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Artemis and Actaeon Study Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Rape is a common motif in Greek myths (take Leda and the Swan or Poseidon and Demeter, for example). How is this story similar or different to other stories with this motif?
  2. Why is Artemis so upset when Actaeon sees her? Is she more upset about the loss of modesty or the loss of respectability?
  3. Of all the animals that Artemis could have chosen, why do you think she transforms Actaeon into a deer?
  4. How do you think Artemis would have reacted to the fact that Actaeon's hounds eventually killed him? Do you think she meant for him to die?
  5. Some versions of the myth say that Actaeon bragged that he was just as good at hunting as Artemis. How does this change the story?
  6. The fact that Actaeon's dogs kill him at the end is an interesting twist. Why do you think some versions of the myth include this development? What does it say about hunting, kindness, or karma?
  7. Do you think Actaeon is 100% innocent?
  8. Ovid describes what happened to Actaeon as "hard fate." Do you think Actaeon was destined to stumble upon Artemis's grove, or do you think it was just random chance?
  9. How could Actaeon have avoided what happened to him? (First, being turned into a deer, and second, being eaten by dogs.)

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