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Theme of Suffering in Io

Poor Io. It's hard not to feel more than a little bad for her. This little nymph does a whole bunch of suffering before it's all over. As fun as being transformed into a cow might be (to us, but we're weird), it would definitely stink if you had to stay that way for a long time. Add to that a few more gems—being ripped from your home, being made a prisoner, being forced to wonder the earth while being tortured, and possibly being raped—and you've got the makings of a seriously unpleasant life.

Questions About Suffering

  1. In your opinion, what is the worst thing that Io suffers throughout her tale?
  2. Some say that suffering makes people stronger. Do you think that's true in Io's case? Why or why not?
  3. Does Io deserve her suffering in any way?
  4. What other characters in the story suffer besides Io? In what ways do they suffer?
  5. What, if anything, does Io learn from her suffering?
  6. Do Zeus or Hera learn from the suffering they inflict?

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