Study Guide

Atreus and Thyestes Thyestean Feast

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Thyestean Feast

We're guessing Thyestes would be pretty unhappy that the term "Thyestean feast" or banquet is now used to describe any act of cannibalism. Then again, maybe he would eat it up. When Atreus tricked Thyestes into devouring his own sons for dinner, though, Thyestes' name became forever attached to the act of a human eating another human. We have to say we feel kind of bad for him. Sure, he did plenty of evil stuff too, but it's not like he knew what was on the menu. Seems to us that his granddad, Tantalus, deserved the label a lot more. That dude killed his own sons and tried to feed them to the gods, which seems way worse to us. Whatever the case, it's interesting that the motif of cannibalism runs through the myths of a couple generations of this cursed family.

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