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16+ Violence Mature Content

Theseus and the Minotaur Retelling

by Tuckster


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence and mature content.

Theseus and the Minotaur

Theseus and the Minotaur is a well-known Greek myth that incorporates elements of romance, adventure, action, tragedy, and violence. The main character in this story was a man named Theseus, who was born to Aethra. It is uncertain who his father is, since Aethra was with both Posiedon and Aegus, king of Athens, but it is likely that Aegus was the father. Aegus hid his sandals and tunic under a large boulder and told Aethra that if they had a son, he should come up here and get the sandals and tunic before coming to find him. Theseus was born, and on his sixteenth birthday, Aethra took him up and told him to lift the boulder.

Theseus lifted the boulder without difficulty and retrieved the sandals and tunic, then journeying by land to Athens, disobeying his mother's pleas for him to take the safer route by sea. Along the way, Theseus met with several thieves and bandits, but managed to outsmart them all and arrived at Athens unharmed.

When he arrived at Athens, Aegus' new wife, Medea, saw that Theseus was Aegus' son. Due to her jealousy, she plotted with Aegus to poison Theseus' wine. Aegus, unaware that Theseus was his son, agreed, and just as Theseus was about to drink the wine, Aegus recognized the sword at Theseus' side and knocked the wine cup aside, saving his son. Both Aegus and Theseus were filled with joy at their reunion, and lived happily for several months.

However, one day near the spring equinox, Theseus saw a ship with a black mast sailing to Athens. He questioned his father about the ship, but Aegus refused to tell his son what had happened. Theseus then went and asked the captain of the ship, who told him that he had delivered the Minotaur's yearly tribute of seven young men and seven women to be fed to the Minotaur. The Minotaur, a half-man half-bull who resided in a Labyrinth under King Minos' palace, was the son of Queen Pasiphae and a bull, who had fallen in love as the result of a curse. After King Minos' son had been killed in a journey to Crete, King Minos demanded that every year, seven tributes would be sent to the Labyrinth as food for the Bull.

Theseus, outraged, pleaded with his father to be sent in place of one of the tributes the next time they were sent away. King Aegus attempted to dissuade Theseus, but Theseus was determined to slay the monster. He promised his father that if he defeated the Minotaur, he would replace the black sails with white sails as a signal to all.

The next year, Theseus set sail with the other tributes for Crete, and when he arrived, Princess Ariadne fell in love with him and gave him a spool of string, instructing him to leave the string as a way to lead him out of the Labyrinth after he killed the Minotaur. Theseus took her advice and killed the Minotaur once he was inside the Labyrinth, then led the other tributes out safely. Triumphantly, he sailed back with Ariadne and stopped at Naxos to have a celebratory feast.

In one version of the myth, Theseus deliberately leaves Ariadne behind on Naxos when he sails to Crete, but another version states that Theseus accidentally left Ariadne behind. Regardless, Theseus forgot his promise to his father, and kept the black sails up as he sailed back.

His father, who was waiting on a cliff near the sea for Theseus' return, saw the black sails and was so distressed that his son had been killed he jumped from the cliff to his death into the Aegean sea, named for this tragedy.

The tale of Theseus and the Minotaur tells the story of a brave young hero, determined to save his fellow Athenians from the horrible Minotaur through his wits and strength, overcoming all obstacles to successfully slay a dangerous beast and bring peace to his people once again.

Author's Note: This is a retelling of the classic Greek myth Theseus and the Minotaur for school. All of my information is from online encyclopedias, and it's 669 words, so please let me know what you think! I would appreciate any and all grammatical notes and ways to make this better in any way. I want to hand in a solid essay, since this will be one of my first grades in writing for this trimester, so thank you for any help! If I am factually incorrect anywhere, PLEASE feel free to call me out on that as well. 


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Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:53 pm
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erilea wrote a review...



Heya, MJTucker! Lupa here for a RevMo review! :D Let's get started.

1)

It is uncertain who his father is, since Aethra was with both Posiedon and Aegus, king of Athens, but it is likely that Aegus was the father. Aegus hid his sandals and tunic under a large boulder and told Aethra that if they had a son, he should come up here and get the sandals and tunic before coming to find him.


These sentences feel disconnected, because you go from discussing Theseus's parents to Aegus's orders. They don't flow very well together. Also, the pronouns are confusing because there's too many "he"'s in the last sentence. Lastly, you never explain why exactly Theseus has to search for Aegus. With Aegus being the father, shouldn't Theseus grow up in Aegus's palace? You could change it to:

It is uncertain who his father is, since Aethra was with both Poseidon and Aegus, king of Athens, but it is likely that Aegus was the father. Before Theseus was born, Aegus hid his sandals and tunic under a large boulder and told Aethra that their son should come up here and get the sandals and tunic before searching for him.


2)
When he arrived at Athens, Aegus' new wife, Medea, saw that Theseus was Aegus' son. Due to her jealousy, she plotted with Aegus to poison Theseus' wine. Aegus, unaware that Theseus was his son, agreed, and just as Theseus was about to drink the wine, Aegus recognized the sword at Theseus' side and knocked the wine cup aside, saving his son.


Whoa! Aegus has a new wife? Why? And why does Aegus randomly decide to poison his guest? How did Medea convince him to do so? I understand you're trying to keep it short, but even though I know what happens (I'm obsessed with Greek mythology), some people might get confused.

3) The last paragraph messed me up a little because it makes the story sound all positive, even though Theseus forgot to change the sail color and Aegus committed suicide. Somewhere in that summary, you might want to add that small fact.

That's all I have to say! You made your retelling very interesting and I like how well everything went together. I can't wait to read more. Keep writing, MJTucker!

XOX,
Lupa22




Tuckster says...


Thanks for the review! I will make sure I make the writing smoother, and I really appreciate your time. You made some really good points, and I'll be sure to keep them in mind. Thanks so much!



erilea says...


No problem! :D



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Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:04 am
Dracula wrote a review...



Hey there, MJTucker. I remember in Year 12 when I did Classical Studies I rewrote a chapter of The Odyssey from Nausicaa's point of view. It was pretty fun. :D I'll do my best to help you with this. Now to read! *dramatic passing of time*

In the first paragraph, I noticed that you switched between tenses. You start with present: Theseus and the Minotaur IS a well-known Greek myth... Then you use past tense: The main character in this story WAS a man named Theseus... You swap every now and then, a prime example being two tenses in the same sentence: It is uncertain who his father is, since Aethra was with both Posiedon and Aegus, king of Athens, but it is likely that Aegus was the father.... I know that it's super hard to figure out tenses when writing about stories. I find myself wondering 'has the story happened or is it happening?' but the best thing is to just pick one and go with it.

I like your writing style. Everything is quite detailed and descriptive, as writing (or oral pieces) were in that time period. There are some areas, however, where you go a bit too far and have too many breaks. Take this one for example: Aegus, unaware that Theseus was his son, agreed, and just as Theseus was about to drink the wine, Aegus recognized the sword at Theseus' side and knocked the wine cup aside, saving his son. There's just so many breaks that it gets a little confusing. I suggest maybe cap the commas at three or four.

Those two things aside, I think you did pretty well. You've clearly explained the story and then given an interpretation of the story's moral. Good luck with the class. :D




Tuckster says...


Thanks for the review! This was my first draft, so your points on my writing were very helpful, and I'll be sure to go back and edit those in! Thanks again :)



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Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:20 am
Lightsong wrote a review...



Hey, I'm here to give a quick review. :D

The first thing I would like to point out is that there's nothing in the essay that indicates this is indeed a retelling instead of a stating of facts. As such, I am quite confused as to which part is retelling and which is not. In my knowledge, a retelling is a way of telling a story in a different version, but there's no comparison here to tell us which part is the original one and which part is the retelling one. Perhaps my understanding of the term 'retelling' is incorrect, and if that's the case, please enLighten me. ;)

As such, I would suggest to give a summary of the original version before you explain the retelling one. Or, if you want it to be less wordy, you can show us the original version and insert the retelling one as the story progresses. One of the example would be:

Theseus leaves Ariadne. But in my version, he does not leave her and instead brings her with him to his home.


Something like that.

I am not well-versed about Greek mythology, but the story does align with my reading of Rick Riordan's book about Theseus and the Minotaur. Perhaps it would be more interesting if you explore the story, as if I recall, Daedalus plays a role in creating the Labyrinth, which seems to be an important setting in the story of Theseus. I would also like to see how the conclusion interpret the pros and cons of your retelling version (which you should include and mention) instead of just giving us the morale in the story. All in all, I think this is a neat article, if not misleading in its attention to show the retelling of the story.




Tuckster says...


Thanks for the review Lightsong! Perhaps retelling wasn't the best way to phrase this, because it still have to follow a lot of the formal rules, so I can't use first-person pronouns. My goal was simply to briefly summarize the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, and since I didn't have a lot of great sources, it wasn't supposed to sound informal. I agree with you that I do need to work on my conclusion a little. I'll definitely keep your points in mind when I go through and edit. Thanks again!




"The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them."
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