Study Guide

Phaeton Pride

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The story of Phaeton is one of THE myths about the dangers of pride. The entire story is pretty much driven by pigheaded Phaeton and his overweening ambitions. When another kid accuses Phaeton of not really being a son of Helios, Phaeton's ego just can't take it, so he travels all the way to the Palace of the Sun to find out if he's really is the son of the sun. This wouldn't be such a bad thing, except when Phaeton's pride drives him to take a spin in his Dad's sun chariot going flagrantly against his Father's warnings, Phaeton ends up scorching the earth and falling to his death. In the story of Phaeton, we see one of Greek mythology's favorite themes: hubris, a.k.a. deadly, overweening pride.

Questions About Pride

  1. Explain how Phaeton's pride destroys him.
  2. Why do you think Phaeton is so proud?
  3. Who else in the story is guilty of having too much pride?
  4. How would this story be different if Phaeton was a humble person?

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