Published on March 2, 2014
Stories of Love and Adventure Daphne and Apollo By: Noemi Bautista
Characters: Apollo - The son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis. Apollo was the god of music (principally the lyre, and he directed the choir of the Muses) and also of prophecy, colonization, medicine, archery (but not for war or hunting), poetry, dance, intellectual inquiry and the carer of herds and flocks. He was also a god of light, known as "Phoebus" (radiant or beaming, and he was sometimes identified with Helios the sun god). Daphne - She was the daughter of the river god Peneus.
Eros - The Greek god of love and sexual desire. Eros is usually depicted as a young winged boy, with his bow and arrows at the ready, to either shoot into the hearts of gods or mortals which would rouse them to desire. His arrows came in two types: golden with dove feathers which aroused love, or leaden arrows which had owl feathers that caused indifference. Sappho the poet summarized Eros as being bitter sweet, and cruel to his victims, yet he was also charming and very beautiful. Peneus - The god of a river in Thessaly, son of Oceanus and Tet hys. He is the father of Daphne, the nymph who was pursued by Apollo.
Theme of Love in Apollo and Daphne When Cupid's golden arrow nails Apollo, making him fall for Daphne, Apollo doesn't seem exactly in love with Daphne. Instead, this god of reason seems overwhelmed with irrational, overpowering erotic desire. Cupid (a.k.a. Eros) was the god of desire after all, not love (that was the job of his mother, Aphrodite/Venus). However, when Daphne's father turns her into a laurel tree to protect her from the love-crazy god, Apollo seems sincerely moved by what's happened. He honors Daphne for all time by making the laurel his sacred tree, keeping her memory always close to his heart. Sure, we can debate whether being transformed into a tree is worth the "honor" of being sacred to Apollo, but it seems clear that Apollo has developed something deeper than his initial wild desire for Daphne. Overall, though, love is tragic in this story. It's also causes total chaos. Neither Apollo nor Daphne ends up happy, and this is actually pretty common in stories about Apollo. The guy is simply unlucky in love.
Theme of Transformation The theme of transformation pops up in two major ways in the story of "Apollo and Daphne." First: at the end of the story, Daphne's father transforms the young nymph into a laurel tree. At least Daphne will have a long life in her new tree form, and, thanks to Apollo's blessing, her laurel leaves will always be green. The other kinds of transformations that we see in the story center on matters of the heart. Thanks to Cupid's gold-tipped arrow, Apollo falls head over heels for the young nymph. Daphne, on the other hand, is transformed into someone who despises the very idea of love when Cupid shoots her with his lead-tipped arrow. The story shows us how feelings of love and disgust can lead to dangerous transformations.
Setting Near Mt. Parnassus Context The myth survives the ages because many artists of different generations got inspired with it.
Similar Myths to Apollo and Daphne in Other Cultures The First Pine Trees In the Micmac legend, three brothers make wishes that aren't all that specific. One brother wishes to be very tall. The second brother wishes that he could always be in the forest. The third brother wishes to have a super long life and always be healthy. These wishes sound a lot like Daphne's wish to always be in the forest and be a virgin, right? Like Daphne, these brothers get their wish – sort of. They're each turned into a pine tree. The first brother becomes a really tall pine tree, the second turns into a pine tree that's obviously permanently in the forest, and the third becomes a healthy pine tree that lives for a very long time Venus and Adonis In the myth about Venus and Adonis, Venus loves a human man name Adonis. When he's killed in a hunting accident, she transforms him into a flower, called an anemone. Just like Apollo, she's honoring the memory of her lost lover by turning him into a plant.
Symbols Laurel tree - Honor Cupid's Arrow – Love Trivia In the Percy Jackson series, Zeus turns his demigod daughter, Thalia, into a pine tree to save her from a hoard of monsters. Laurel leaves are said to have many medicinal purposes. Some think that headaches, indigestion, arthritis pain, and sleeplessness can all be helped with some of these useful leaves.
References: http://www.pantheon.org/ http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/ bl/bl_text_ovid_daphne.htm http://poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/La tin/Metamorph.htm http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/myt hs/a/102110-Apollo-And-Daphne-ByThomas-Bulfinch.htm
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