Love, Betrayal and Revenge

Of all great myths and legends, same story in different retelling has different moral meanings, but the love, betrayal and revenge theme seems never changed.

The story of the Minotaur begins with betrayal and revenge. Because Minos wanted the throne of Crete, he asked for the sea god Poseidon's help, promising to sacrifice a magnificent white bull. Once crowned, however, Minos found the bull to be so beautiful that he gave the sea god another bull instead. Angered, Poseidon caused Minos' wife to fall in love with the white bull, and she give birth to a half-man, half-bull creature: the Minotaur. This creature was kept in a labyrinth (maze) and fed with human sacrifices paid in tribute by the city of Athens.

Then, the story turned to the point that Theseus betrayed Ariadne who had helped him escape death in the Labyrinth of the Minataur.

Theseus, one of these youths doomed to sacrifice, is determined to enter the labyrinth and slay the Minotaur, rescuing Athens from the Minotaur's appetite. Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, falls in love with Theseus and helps him to conquer the Minotaur. Together they escape the island of Crete. On the way back, they stopped at the island of Naxos to gather supplies. Ariadne walked to the end of the beach, paddling in the waves, and Theseus told the sea captain to set sail as fast as he could. Poor Ariadne was marooned on the island of Naxos, abandoned by her faithless lover.

This time Poseidon again took the revenge when he heard the cry of Ariadne and was angry with Theseus for his betrayal of the princess. He sent a storm to toss his ship. The white sales which is the sign of successful mission, were ripped and torn and fell into the raging seas. The ship survived the storm, but the captain was forced to repair his ship and use the black ones that were meant to signal failure. Seeing the black sail of Theseus ship, his father, the king of Arthen Aegeus felt despair and jump off the cliff and drowned in the sea.

The only innocent one seems to be the monster Minotaur. The Minotaur might be a monster, but in a story filled with betrayal and deception, the creature is the only character who does not suffer from guilt. He is the only innocent one, making him vulnerable (and perhaps sympathetic).

The story of Jason and the golden fleece is anothe great example of love, betrayal and revenge.

In both story, the daughter betrayed her father for her lover, and then betrayed by his faithless lover as result.

(The orchard book of Swords, Sorcerers & Superheroes by Tony Bradman & Toy Ross, published by Orchard Books, ISBN 841217778)

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