The Story of Arachne

While endeavoring to write something resembling maggot-infested feces (yeah, I’m that thrilled with what I’ve written so far on NT2), I decided to share some of the Greek myths I’m using or might be using in my ms.

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Today’s tale is a short version of Arachne.

The goddess Pallas Athena taught Arachne to weave but the young woman became so skilled in the art that she left the goddess. People came from across the land to view her work and watch her on the loom. Her pictures were the most beautiful and her movements the most wondrous to see. They praised her and asked how she had learned this craft.

Instead of naming Athena as her teacher, Arachne claimed that she had been born with the skill and had taught herself. The credit was hers and she basked in her glory and ego. Athena was displeased with this but did nothing until Arachne boasted that she was better even than the goddess herself!

Furious, Athena appeared before the crowd as an old woman and warned Arachne to be humble and admit the truth, but the foolish maiden’s pride was beyond her control. She cried out a challenge that Athena come and weave alongside her. Then everyone would see which of them was the best.

Athena threw off her disguise and accepted the challenge. The two set their looms up where they were and began to weave. Athena wove images of mortals’ hubris and the punishments for presuming to be the equal of gods. It was intended as a message to Arachne but the mortal did not heed it.

Arachne wove images of various gods deceiving and raping or seducing young women.

When the two were done, Athena looked upon her former pupil’s work and could find no fault with it. Incensed at the perfection of the work and the audacity of the subject Arachne had chosen, she ripped the weaving apart and then beat the mortal over the head with the shuttle.

In her despair, Arachne hung herself.

But before she died, Athena took pity on her former pupil and transformed her into a spider. Arachne continued to weave but from then on her wool was spider silk and her beautiful pictures were webs.

There are a couple lessons here. What lesson would you take from this story?

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About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming a world-famous writer. I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a stay-at-home mom, a writer, and a POP Pilates instructor. I didn't think I'd succeed at that last one but I did it! I confronted my fears, dealt with things I didn't want to deal with, and completed the training! POP Pilates classes are coming soon to mid-Nebraska!
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