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Artemis and Actaeon
Artemis and Actaeon

Theme of Karma in Artemis and Actaeon

You know that saying, "Do to others as you would have them do to you"? Pretty famous, right? Well, apparently our friend Actaeon hadn't heard it, because in his leisure time, he hunted for deer with the help of 40 bloodthirsty hounds. Not the most compassionate pastime one could choose, particularly when you consider that those dogs loved to use their incisors to brutally deconstruct their victims.

When Actaeon is later transformed into a deer and killed by his own canines, there's a sick sort of poetic justice at play. The hunter becomes the hunted, and Actaeon is served a big slice of karma pie. Because as spiritual wisdom has it, you get what's coming to you.

Questions About Karma

  1. Do you think Actaeon's behavior deserved his grisly punishment? Why or why not?
  2. If Actaeon's dogs had recognized him as the deer, what would they have done? Remember, these were trained killers and they loved their master.
  3. Is what happens to Actaeon due to karma?
  4. Does Actaeon learn a lesson from all this? Is there even a lesson to be learned?

Next Page: Hubris
Previous Page: The Myth

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