Atalanta Meghan Kelly, TorrySessoms, Devon Bucey, and Jake Cheek
Story Summary • Atalanta is abandoned as a baby on the side of a mountain and is raised among bears and wild animals. She grows up to be active, brave, fierce and athletic, but also mannish and opposed to marriage. Perceiving these qualities gives her the ability to defeat centaurs and the Calydonian Boar saving the town. After saving her town she competes in a wrestling match which then leads to her meeting her parents and going to live with them. Her father insists that she marries a man worthy of her and she challenges that anyone who can beat her in foot racing may marry her knowing she wont lose (Hubris) Hippomenes gets golden apples from Aphrodite to use against Atlanta in their footrace. Hippomenes wins the footrace and Atalanta must marry him. The two have a son and are said to have been turned into lions.
Heroic Qualities Flaws Despises Love Uncompassionate Hard for her to form connections Mannish Aggressive Overconfident Competitive • Brave • Active • Daring • Strong • Fast • Athletic • Competitive Her competitiveness is heroic, but also a flaw because it leads to her downfall.
Atalanta's Journey • Atalanta was abandoned by her father shortly after she was born because he wanted a son. • Atalanta learns her father’s identity after wrestling Peleus. • “It was after this achievement that she discovered who her parents were and went to live with them, her father apparently being reconciled to having a daughter who really seemed almost if not quite as good as a son.” page 249
Atalanta’s Tasks • Killing the Calydonian Boar (Bottom of page 246-Top of page 248) • Oeneus the King called for the help of the bravest men in Greece and Atlanta showed up along with them • Atalanta wounded the boar with her arrow after it had already killed two men • Meleager, who fell in love with her at first sight, then rushed to the wounded creature and stabbed it in the heart • He was the one who killed the boar but the honor of the hunt went to Atalanta and Meleager gave the skins to her • “…Atalanta kept her head and wounded the boar. Her arrow was the first to strike it. Meleager then rushed on the wounded creature and stabbed it in the heart. Technically speaking it was he who killed it, but the honors of the hunt went to Atlanata and Meleager insisted that they should give her the skin.” page 248
Atalanta’s Tasks • Killing Centaurs • “ …A second arrow followed. Both Centaurs fell, mortally wounded.” page 246 • Wrestling • “Atalanta appeared among the contestants, and in the wrestling match conquered the young man…” page 249
Atalanta’s Tasks • Winning footraces • Atalanta’s father wanted her to marry someone worthy of her but she hated the idea of getting married. Atalanta promised her father that she would marry anyone who could outrun her, knowing there was no man alive that could do so. • “As a way of disposing of them easily and agreeably she declared that she would marry whoever could beat her in s footrace, knowing well that there was no such man alive...fleet-footed young men were always arriving to race with her and she always outran them.” page 249
Atalanta’s Downfall • Her overconfidence • “…she would marry whoever could beat her in a footrace, knowing well there was no such man alive.” page 249 • Losing the footrace against Hippomenes(Melanion) because of the golden apples. • This was part of Atalanta’s downfall because if she lost the footrace she had to marry him and she didn’t want to, but she lost so she had to. • “…her lover panting and almost winded touched the goal. She was his.” page 251
Motifs and Themes • Pride Goes Before a Fall: (Hubris) Atalanta’s arrogance gets the best of her and she loses the race to Hippomenes (Melanion)
Motifs and Themes • Transformation: • Atalanta and Hippomenes(Melanion) are turned into lions • “ The two are said to have been turned into lions because of some affront offered…” page 252
Major Archetypes • The Helpful Animal • Atlanta was raised by bears after being left on top of a mountain • “But as so often happens in stories, animals proved kinder than humans. A she-bear took charge of her, nursed her, and kept her warm…” page 246
Major Archetypes • Trickster • Hippomenes (Melanion) • “But at last one came who used his head as well as his heels. He knew he was not as good as runner as she, but he had a plan…this ingenious young man…” page 250
Major Archetypes • Supernatural Intervention • Calydonian boar sent to Atalanta’s town by Artemis to punish the king • … a terrible creature sent to ravage the country of Calydon by Artemis in order to punish the King, Oeneus, because he forgot her when he was sacrificing…”page 247 • Aphrodite interferes by giving Hippomenes (Melanion) the 3 golden apples • “By the favor of Aphrodite, always on the lookout to subdue wild young maidens who despised love….” page 251 • Atalanta and Hippomenes (Melanion) are turned into lions • “The two are said to have been turned into lions because of some affront offered either to Zeus or Aphrodite.” page 252
Major Archetypes • Heroine • Atlanta is a heroine because she defeats the Calydonian boar, saving the city • “The brute devastated the land , destroyed the cattle, killed the men who tried to kill it...called for help upon the bravest men of Greece….with them came Atalanta” page 247 Atalanta’s Appearance: “A shining buckle clasped her robe…her hair was simply dressed…” and “ As for her face, it seemed to maidenly to be that of a boy , and too boyish to be that of a maiden” page 247
Major Archetypes • Fire • When Meleager was born furies came to his mom and said he would live until the this log turned to Ash. When he doesn’t accept the skins his mom throws his log “life” into the fire • “…and thrown a log of wood into the fire burning in her chamber…. To live until this wood turns to ash…” page 248
Major Archetypes • Three: three golden apples • “…possession of three wondrous apples, all pure of gold” page 251 • Mountain: Atalanta was left there when shewas born • “…tiny creature left on a wild mountainside to die..” page 246 • Sea: sailed the sea on the ship Argo: • “Some say that she sailed with the Argonauts…” page 249
Story Summation • Atalanta learned that she shouldn’t have too much pride or hubris because it will lead to her downfall hence the theme “Pride goes before a fall.” She got too comfortable with her ability to beat the men she raced. She also learned that you shouldn’t just use your physical attributes, but also mental thinking when competing for something.
Lessons and Cultural Values • Just because you're strong and fast doesn’t mean you’ll always win. • Too much pride (hubris) will lead to your defeat. • The odds can be against you, and you’ll still come out on top. • Greeks were sexist back in the day because they thought women were inferior to them. • “Some of the heroes resented her presence and felt it beneath them to go hunting with a woman” page 247 • Atlanta’s father…daughter and not a son was born to him…bitterly disappointed. He decided • that she was not worthy • of bringing up…” • page 246