Q is for Quests

Kind of cheating today, since the letter Q doesn't exist in the Greek alphabet! So, quests it is (it was a toss up between quests and queens) and I'm going with the quests of Theseus.
Cima da Conegliano [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
His first quest came when he turned sixteen. He had to lift a boulder in order to obtain the sandals and sword that his father, King Aegeus of Athens, had left for him beneath it. He lifted it easily and set off to Athens to meet him.

Along the way he came across many adversaries. He defeated all of them, and because of this he was treated as a hero when he finally reached Athens. Theseus was invited to a banquet with the King of Athens, who did not know it was his son. Medea, the Queen of Athens, knew that it was Theseus and thought he would be a threat to her son, the current heir of the throne, so she persuaded King Aegeus to serve his son poisoned wine. Aegeus, however, recognised the sword he had left for his son years ago, and knocked the cup from Theseus' hand.

Theseus' main quest was to defeat the Minotaur. While he was in Athens, King Minos came for tributes for the Minotaur, and Theseus volunteered, telling his father he would kill it. His father eventually agreed, and said that if he survived, he must change the ship's black sails to white.

When in the Labyrinth, Theseus is helped by Ariadne, King Minos' daughter. She gave him a ball of string, given to her by Daedalus, to help him to escape. Theseus defeated the Minotaur and travelled back to Athens, leaving Ariadne on an island as a request from Dionysus. He forgot to change the black sails to white, so when King Aegeus saw the ship coming back, he believed his son to be dead and jumped off a cliff into what is now known as the Aegean Sea.

Comments

  1. Ah there had to be a twist in the tail.

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  2. As I'm reading this I'm thinking finally a happy ending. And then I got to the ending. I've decided ancient Greeks love tragedy.

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  3. Of course... a tragic ending. Was it your "quest" to stay away from happy endings. hehe

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  4. Well, as quests are a huge part of Greek mythology, it's a perfect fit.

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  5. This is so cool, like M.J. says quests are a huge part of Greek mythology anyway, a lot of the stories are based off that kind of thing.

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  6. Really enjoying these posts. My wife is something of a Greek Mythology lover as she lived in Cyprus for two years. Theseus is bad ass isn't he!?

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  7. Interesting to think about quests. Do we have them today, these intensely personal journeys to discover our selves? Perhaps yes. Hopefully not as tragic as the Greeks, though.

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  8. Greek stories are odd in that they always have to end tragically, no matter what (in my limited reading experience, anyways). Not the happiest bunch, those ancient Greeks :P

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

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