The Greek Myths - Chapter 12, The Calydonian Boar Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 12, The Calydonian Boar Summary and Analysis

A woman named Althea marries. Her husband murders her first child. She dares to have another one anyways and receives a strange message. In this case she is told that the child will live if she prevents a particular fire brand from being used. She takes this advice even though it makes no sense whatsoever at the time. The boy, Meleager does fine, growing up perfectly nicely and quite healthy. His father Oeneus made an error of omission many years later. He made offerings to the gods but he left out offerings to Artemis, the virgin huntress. The goddess found out and was offended. She set about to punish him as a direct consequence. She did this by sending wild boars. Earlier in the text, readers were informed that there were humans who had the gift for taming wild animals in Greece. This still exists, but in those areas of the world where human domination of the terrain has included the near eradication of anything resembling a genuine predator of another species, this ability has been forgotten or terribly neglected. There is at least one story about how a lion enters a town and goes about killing people. It is one of those times when the townsfolk failed to come forth and conquer the beast but rather died, fled, or hid until it went away. This reaction was evoked in another myth when Heracles killed his own children, went off by himself for a while, and then, when he asked for suggestions, was gently advised to 'leave for a while'. In this story of the Calydonian Boar, Atalanta the heiress becomes included at the time of the hunt. Oeneus determines to hunt down the boar, not realizing that he was supposed to make offerings to goddess Artemis to prevent something like this.

Atalanta joins the hunt. She is the fastest mortal there is. She was reared by a bear tribe, despite having been exposed by a father because she was a daughter and he had wanted a son. She faced opposition; in this case, the men hunters did not want to include her because she's a woman. She was known for being a chaste woman. Meleager, however married - and he was married, was attracted to her. Because of this, he wanted to help her to get her way and was able to make the other men allow her to participate in the hunt. She ended up endangered however, because two centaurs actually tried to ravish her. She killed them both. However, she did not succeed in killing or wounding the boar. Meleager did, but he dedicated the kill to Atalanta due to his 'crush'.

This section contains 459 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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