Themes of Theseus Myths
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 6-12
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
Type of Activity: Themes Symbols and MotifsCommon Core Standards
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. In this activity, students will identify themes and symbols from the novel, and support their choices with details from the text.
Theseus Myths Themes and Motifs
The bull shows up repeatedly in the stories of Minos and Theseus. Europa is abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull, and gives birth to Minos. Pasiphae, Minos' wife, is forced to lust after a bull in punishment for Minos' dishonesty. The Marathon bull kills Minos' son [some stories say Androgeus was assassinated by jealous rivals], and the Minotaur in the labyrinth is part bull. Theseus also captured the Marathon Bull and sacrificed it to the gods.
Theseus metes out justice to each of the six foes he faces on his way to Athens. Theseus makes the punishment fit the crime. Literally in some cases. The monster in the middle of the Labyrinth who has a taste for human flesh is slain, never to devour human flesh again.
Triumph of Civilization
Theseus triumphs over unjust and savage beings throughout his story. He defeats the bad guys at every turn, from his "Six Labors" on the road to Athens, to the wild Marathon Bull, the unnatural minotaur, and beyond. Theseus and the Athenian army defeats the invading "unnatural" Amazon force who objected to Theseus taking the Amazon Hippolyta. Theseus also helps the Lapiths fight the centaurs who disrupted a wedding in a most uncivilized way.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)
Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes and motifs in the story of Theseus. Illustrate instances of each and write a short description below each cell.
- Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
- Identify the theme(s) and/or motifs from the Theseus myth you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
- Create an image for an example that represents this theme.
- Write a description of each of the examples.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)