Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pyramus and Thisbe

Steve Prunty
Interpretation Essay
Mythology 1
18 September 2008
Pyramus and Thisbse
There are many lessons to be learned from this tale of lovers, and as a result it has influenced major plays in our society. In a natural and very basic sense, we have two lovers by the name of Pyramus and Thisbe. These two youths are forbidden by their parents to see each other, much like in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Despite this containment, the two find a chink in the common wall of their houses through which they are able to exchange sweet nothings. They decide to escape under cover of darkness and run away together, planning to live happily ever after. However, as well we all know, sometimes plans do not unfold as they should.

Once again, in a natural sense, a mulberry tree has red berries. According to the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, this has not always been the case. The mulberry tree had white mulberries before they were stained red by the blood of Pyramus. The gods, out of pity, changed the entirety of the mulberry population to a red hue. In the middle of the night, as Thisbe awaited her lover, a lioness with fresh blood on its teeth from a recent kill appears. Fleeing for her life she turns to run, losing her cape in the process. The lioness, intrigued by its scent, tears the cloth to shreds. Pyramus, finding the cloth belonging to his beloved torn and bloodstained, stabs himself with his sword. His blood splatters a nearby mulberry tree, changing the berries from white to red.

In a social aspect, the mere topic of love is so broad that it covers so many areas at once. It covers motivation, lust, need, desire, even rash decisions such as running away on a whim. It is evident that love has the power the change the fates of anyone in it.

Pyramus and Thisbe lost their heads. It is obvious that patience and good timing could have resulted in their long lives and possible freedom. Instead, the two immature lovers chose to run away from safety and risk their lives, which tragically ended anyway.

In sum, lessons we have learned from the mistakes of two youthful are plentiful. We have learned not to make rash decisions without proper prior planning. We have learned that lions are not to be tempted. Yet most of all we have learned that despite the constraints of parents, lovers will find a way to be together.

Myth- A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some hero, being, or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation.

Ex: Pyramus and Thisbe


Hero-A hero is a universal figure who must endure many trials and challenges in order to undergo an event of transformation, which often provides a reward that can be shared with humanity.

Ex: Hercules


Hero Journey- This is the series of trials, troubles, initiation, death, rebirth and reward, all of which create a passage to another stage of life.

Ex: Frodo’s quest to destroy the One Ring


Universal-Applicable everywhere or in all cases

Ex: Human


Archetype-The original pattern or model from which all things of the ssame kind are copied or on which they are based. (prototype)

Ex: First telephone


Cyclical- An endless cycle, ending where it started.

Ex: A wheel


Life from Death- Reincarnation, or the beginning of something that comes from the end of something

Ex: Jesus


Duality- Yin and yang, two opposites that work together, opposites attract

Ex: Gaia and Uranos


Cosmology- Study of the stars, the atmosphere, and the cosmos

Ex: Cosmologists


Creation- The beginning, the watery abyss, expanse of nothing, the egg

Ex: the human embryo


Matriarchal- Women hold power in the society

Ex: Chicago


Patriarchal- Men hold power in a society

Ex: Iraq


Sacrifice- giving up something to benefit others

Ex: Soldiers


Old Man - Napi

To the Montana Crow people, creation is easily explained by the story of Napi. In the tribe’s mythology, Napi was the creator of mankind. Using lumps of clay he breathed life into men and women.

Women, overtime, grew dissatisfied with the world. They complained until Napi could stand no more. As a result he could not decide whether to kill the humans forever, or have them come back after death. For this reason decided to create a test, the results of which would decide the fate of the men and women. The test would be as simple as this: If wood will float on water, men and women will expire and be reborn. If it sinks, they will die and never return.

Obviously wood floats, but the women were again unhappy. Thy decided to test themselves. The only difference is that this time they threw stone. Immediately the stone sank. Therefore, women made death eternal.