Study Guide

King Midas The Terrible Wish

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The Terrible Wish

You know that saying "be careful what you wish for?" Yeah… Midas didn't know that one.

Stories like this are why that saying even exists. Seriously, try to think of a story or novel in which a character that makes a wish and doesn't get punished for it. We'll bet you 50 licorice sticks you can't do it. (But only red licorice. Black licorice is gross.)

Nope! Aladdin doesn't count. Everything turns out all right for that guy, but not because of the wishes he makes. In fact, his wish to become a prince turns out terribly. But before we get too far into our (super on-point) opinions about Aladdin, let's move on.

Wishful Thinking

Basically, humanity has a love/hate relationship with the idea of wishes. We all make wishes, and we all want our wishes to come true. But then, every time a wish does come true, it never works out. (If you type "lottery winners" into Google, it will autofill with "poisoned" and "killed." Just saying.)

Same goes for literature. All these wish-gone-wrong stories seem to be suggesting that we don't actually know what we want and we don't know what's good for us. Midas thinks that being able to turn everything to gold will be awesome. But he doesn't stop to consider the problems that might follow his wish. If he had, he might have chosen a different wish.

Want some more examples of oops-style wishes? Here you go:

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