Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Theseus Character Analysis

Theseus is Aegeus’s son. When Theseus returns to Athens after performing several heroic deeds, Medea attempts to kill him but Aegeus saves him. Theseus is then captured by Minos when Minos captures Athens. Minos tries to feed Theseus to the Minotaur, but his daughter Ariadne helps him escape. Theseus then abandons Ariadne and returns to Athens, stopping in Calydon to defeat the boar that Diana sets loose in the city. He also stops at Achelous’s house and exchanges stories with the river god.
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Theseus Character Timeline in Metamorphoses

The timeline below shows where the character Theseus appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 7: Theseus and Aegeus
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
Shortly after Medea marries King Aegeus, Aegeus’s son Theseus returns from his heroic voyages. However, Aegeus doesn’t know that Theseus is his son. Medea... (full context)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...lights fires on altars and hosts a celebration. Everyone gathers to rejoice and tell of Theseus’s heroic exploits. Theseus has killed giants, robbers, and bulls, making the world safer and opening... (full context)
Book 7: Minos and Aeacus
Time, Fate, and Poetry  Theme Icon
War soon puts a stop to Aegeus’s happiness at Theseus’s return. King Minos of Crete is seeking revenge for his son Androgeos who was killed... (full context)
Book 8: The Minotaur and Ariadne
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
One day, Minos’s daughter Ariadne helps Theseus—one of the Minotaur’s victims—escape the labyrinth by giving him a string to follow back to... (full context)
Book 8: Meleager and the Calydonian Boar
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
After Theseus discovers how to escape the labyrinth, Athens no longer has to pay its tribute of... (full context)
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
The hunters continue to fight the boar. Theseus misses every time he tries to strike the boar. At last, one of Meleager’s spears... (full context)
Book 8: Achelous, the Naiads and Perimele
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
After Theseus helps defeat the boar in Calydon, he heads home to Athens. On the way, he... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
While he dines, Theseus asks Achelous about the islands that he sees scattered throughout the water. Achelous explains that... (full context)
Book 8: Philemon and Baucis
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
After Achelous finishes his story, one of Theseus’s companions scoffs, calling the story fiction and saying that the gods can’t create and alter... (full context)
Book 8: Erysichthon
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
After Lelex finishes his story, Theseus asks for more stories of the gods’ wonders. The river god Achelous tells Theseus that... (full context)
Book 9: Achelous and Hercules
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...comes in bearing Achelous’s broken horn filled with fruit for the guests. The next morning, Theseus and his companions leave, not wanting to wait any longer for the flood to go... (full context)
Book 12: The Battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...fight spills outside where the centaurs uproot trees and rocks to throw at the Lapiths. Theseus hops on one of the centaur’s backs and strangles him while Peleus kills several with... (full context)
Book 15: Egeria and Hippolytus
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
...the woods and wails, ignoring the nymphs who beg her to cease lamenting. One day, Theseus’s son Hippolytus finds Egeria and urges her take comfort in the misfortunes of others. He... (full context)