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Mr. Reynolds' English Classes

Southgate Anderson High School

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Theseus Notes pdf.pdf

Theseus Summary:

Archetypal Sword-hero, seeks out his father and becomes king.

Political accomplishment as founder-king of Athens, created democracy

The 6 Labors (Criminals)

  • Labor 1. Killed Periphetes, a son of Hephaestus (Bronze club)

  • Labor 2. Slew Sinis a giant and son of Poseidon.

  • Labor 3. Killed an enormous pig known as the "Crommyon Sow,” which was sacred to the

      goddess Artemis

  • Labor 4. Sciron, when people washed his feet he kicked them over a cliff, where they were

      eaten by a giant turtle

  • Labor 5. Defeated Cercyon, a powerful wrestler.

  • Labor 6. Killed Procrustes, owner of a special bed that (he claims) would adjust to fit you

The Minotaur:

Travels to Crete to kill the minotaur and end human sacrifices.

Assisted by the princess, Ariadne, daughter of king Minos

-She gives him a ball of yarn as a way to navigate the Labyrinth

-Possibly left a sword for him in the Labyrinth

-Sabotages Cretan navy so they cannot follow

Abandons Ariadne on the island of Naxos, where she is rescued and married by Dionysos

Ariadne curses Theseus, causing him to put up the wrong (black) sails on his ship.

When King Aegeus (T's dad) sees the black sails, he jumps of a cliff into the Aegean Sea (yup,

it's named after him!)


Trying to be like Hercules, Theseus kidnaps Antiope, an Amazon princess.

They get married and have a son, Hippolytus (named for Herc's Amazon queen)

The Amazons retaliate and take her back home.

Helen and Persephone:

Theseus and his sidekick Perithous decide to get together with daughters of Zeus.

Theseus kidnaps Helen of Sparta, and then travels to the Underworld

Hades traps Theseus on the "chair of forgetfulness,” but Hercules comes to the rescue

Helen is rescued by her brothers, who bring her back to Sparta.

The people of Athens are now understandably upset with Theseus, and he has to leave town.

He visits another local king, Lycomedes, who pushes him off a cliff.

Site updated on March 19, 2018