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Reply To: The Hero’s Journey in Contemporary Literature/Fantasy


I can’t find any source telling the story, “the other way around” (where Artemis stumbles on Actaeon). If you have one, then please provide it.

As far as the other “viewpoint”, if you find a myth about a girl bathing and then discovering a peeping-Tom, then also, please let us know (source is again appreciated). Thanks!

Also, here are some alternate interpretations of the myth (with accompanying sources):

  • In Greek Mythology, Actaeon is widely thought to symbolize ritual human sacrifice in attempt to please a God or Goddess:[32] the dogs symbolize the sacrificers and Actaeon symbolizes the sacrifice.

    Actaeon may symbolize human curiosity or irreverence.[citation needed]

    The myth is seen by Jungian psychologist Wolfgang Giegerich as a symbol of spiritual transformation and/or enlightenment.[33]

    Actaeon often symbolizes a cuckold, as when he is turned into a stag, he becomes “horned”.[34] This is alluded to in Shakespeare’s Merry Wives, Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, and others.[35][36]

  • ACTAEON, son of Aristaeus and Autonoë, a famous Theban hero and hunter, trained by the centaur Cheiron. According to the story told by Ovid (Metam. iii. 131; see also Apollod iii. 4), having accidentally seen Artemis (Diana) on Mount Cithaeron while she was bathing, he was changed by her into a stag, and pursued and killed by his fifty hounds. His statue was often set up on rocks and mountains as a protection against excessive heat. The myth itself probably represents the destruction of vegetation during the fifty dog-days. Aeschylus and other tragic poets made use of the story, which was a favourite subject in ancient works of art. There is a well-known small marble group in the British Museum illustrative of the story.

It looks like many people have interpreted the myth in many ways, and that JC falls in a “Jungian” camp.