Study Guide

Atreus and Thyestes

  • Introduction

    Okay, we've really got to warn you guys: this myth is not for the faint of heart. The tale of the awful, sibling rivalry of Atreus and Thyestes is full of murder, incest, and cannibalism... yes, cannibalism. If you're the sort of person who doesn't flinch when watching Saw or whatever new horror flick Rob Zombie is putting out there, then this is the myth for you.

    Of course, for those of us who shy away from horror movies or violent entertainment in general, this story still has something for you. Even though it's definitely one of the more horrific of all the Greek myths, it doesn't celebrate violence at all. Instead, it asks us to look at just how horrible people can be to each other, when they let lust for revenge take control. Though this is the story of two brothers who make total war on each other, ultimately this is a tale that begs for peace.