Theseus By Stephen Dobyns Analysis

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With only a mirror and a sword, a demigod beheaded a snake hair monster who turned people to stone. Strangling the lion with his bare hands, the mortal then donned the impenetrable skin as armor. In another, slaying the giant beast with horns, Theseus escapes with a ball of yarn. Stephen Dobyns introduces this Greek myth in his poem Theseus within the Labyrinth of a hero defeating a savage monster and voyaging home. The tale may seem adventurous yet ordinary, or is it? The Greek myth originates where every year seven young men and seven young women are sacrificed to the Minotaur. A courageous prince rises and battles the Minotaur, a beast - half man, half bull - to save his kingdom from losing young lives. In the dark Labyrinth, Theseus only has a length of yarn that the princess gave him to guide him out. He flees Crete along with princess Ariadne.…show more content…
However, Theseus abandons Ariadne on the voyage home. He could not have escaped the Labyrinth without the wisdom of Ariadne. That brings up Dobyns’ opening: "Just what was wrong with Ariadne anyway, that's what I'd like to know?" Is she too simple for him? Or is she too loving? Dobyns also speculates. He raises this question, not once but twice. Most would presume that Theseus is just a protagonist who has gone from a triumphant fighter, to a mindless voyager, and to an indulger who plunged into tragedy. That is a diminishment of an idea according to the poem whereas it picks up speed and begins to shift from a superior ego to ignorance. Ariadne would "correctly foretell the mystery or banality behind each locked door." Without solving the illogical puzzle, he points out the inevitable: Theseus “heard the distant scream and his head shot up to see the black sails and he knew.” It was then the reality that Theseus had no control over what would happen in his life. The poem, just like life, hurtles forward suddenly and without

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