Heroes On Their Quests

Heroes On Their Quests

Ancient Greek mythology relates many tales of heroes pursuing their quests. The hero Thesseus slew the Minotaur in the labyrinth on Crete. His lover, the King’s daughter and chief priestess, Ariadne, gave him a ball of thread which guided him out of the labyrinth. He promised to marry her. However, Thesseus left her on the island Naxos and sailed away to follow his destiny to become the King of Athens. Heartbroken Ariadne turned to Dionysos, the god of drink and lust, and she joined a band of women who revelled in wild orgies, drank too much and devoured men. (Thesseus later married her little sister Phaedra, who fell in love with her stepson!)

Medea also used her powers as a priestess to provide magic and herbs to the hero Jason on his quest to find the golden fleece. He married her and they had two sons. Then he followed his quest and abandoned her in favour of the daughter of King Creon of Corinth, princess Glauke. Medea killed their sons and killed princess Glauke with a poisoned dress. She also killed her brother who tried to stop her and eventually she married Thesseus’ father and attempted to kill Thesseus.

Odysseus, King of Ithica, a little island to the west of Greece, was one of the Achaean heroes of the Trojan war. He survived the 10-year war on the shores of Illium, but when he sailed home, he got lost for another 10 years. So for 20 years his wife, Queen Penelope, faithfully ruled his kingdom in his absence and waited for him, despite many suitors vying to win her hand. Noble Odysseus, we think, deserves such a faithful wife, until we read Homer’s Odyssey and learn that seven of those 10 lost years Odysseus spent in the arms of the seductress and siren Calypso. He later contested that he wanted to leave, as he yearned for Penelope. Poor Odysseus?

One of the few Trojans who survived the war was the Trojan hero Aneas. He escaped with his life and fled to Carthage, where he fell in love with the beautiful Queen Dido. They consummated their love in a cave and she understood this to be a proposal of marriage. Aneas abandoned her and set off on his quest to found Rome. She killed herself.

Get the picture? Women assume sex is a declaration of everlasting love or a marriage proposal. Also when a woman stands in the way of a man’s quest, she gets left behind, despite the fact that he may love her. Abandoned and rejected women go on the rebound, commit suicide or get very, very nasty. Women want love, men want glory. Women believe love conquers all. Men don’t. Men believe they can conquer the world.