Mythology Atlanta. Essay

1119 words - 4 pages


How often do you find yourself comparing situations in your life to famous events? Being such an empathetic race, we often find ourselves relating our experiences to that of a general experience. It's no wonder why authors use the literary tool of allusion to further the convey ability of their work to the public. Such prominent topics for allusions include the Bible, history, and mythology. One such subject in mythology that can be alluded to is the Greek heroine Atalanta. Whether explicit or implicit, many references to Atalanta exist due to her multifaceted life story.

To truly perceive an allusion to Atalanta, one must know her story and background. After Atalanta was born, King Iasus found himself extremely disappointed that he did not have a son. Iasus was adamant that he would not have to deal with a daughter. As a result, Iasus took Atalanta to the woods and left her to die. Fortunately, Artemis, the goddess of the wilderness and hunt, took pity on Atalanta and sent a bear to nurture her. The bear took Atalanta to her den and raised the child like one of her own cubs. Having been saved by Artemis's kindness, Atalanta vowed to remain a virgin and shun men like Artemis had done.

After six years passed, a band of hunters stumbled upon Atalanta in a bear cave. The men took her in and taught her how to hunt. Amazingly, by the time she reached adolescence, Atalanta was the best amongst the men in archery and speed. This preternatural athleticism proved useful when a savage boar was unleashed upon the city of Calydon. The boar destroyed crops, killed men and livestock, and forced people off the land. Oenus, the king of Calydon, called out for the bravest hunters to kill the boar and Atalanta responded. The other hunters, however, did not welcome Atalanta's presence because they did not want to hunt with a woman. The King's son, Meleager, had to force the men to accept Atalanta into the hunting party.

When the hunting party faced the boar, several hunters had died. It was only when Atalanta drew the first blood with her bow and arrow that the battle turned into the hunters' favor. With the boar wounded, another hunter Amphiaraus was able to get a shot at it and Meleager could finish it off. After the hunt, Meleager gave Atalanta the boar's hide. Once again, Atalanta's gender instigated a quarrel. Meleager's uncles found the act of giving a woman the prize of a hunt to be shameful. A quarrel erupted between Meleager and his uncles, which led to Meleager's death.

In addition to the fame of the Calydonian Boar Hunt, Atalanta received even more recognition for beating Peleus, the father of Achilles, in a wrestling match. Due to her astounding achievements, her father Iasus forgave Atalanta for not being a boy and allowed her to return home. As a princess, Atalanta was forced to marry someone by Iasus. Atalanta did not want to break her vow of chastity to Artemis, but instead proposed that she would marry the...

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