Study Guide

Pygmalion Setting

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Amanthus, a royal city on the island of Cyprus

Amanthus is one of the most important cities in Cyprus, the third-largest island in the Mediterranean. (Yeah, no big whoop, we know.) Cyprus has a lovely, subtropical climate and happens to be the birthplace of Aphrodite. That explains the whole festival-in-her-honor thing.

Although the Greeks lived on Cyprus first, the Turks took up residence during the Ottoman Empire. The relationship between the two groups have historically been pretty rocky, and the country was finally divided into Greek and Turkish sections in 1974. Pretty recent, right?

All that aside, the majority of the myth takes place inside Pygmalion's art studio while he carves and falls in love with his statue. Near the end of the story, our "Reclusive Artist" ventures out to an opulent party in honor of Aphrodite—complete with a big bonfire—but that's about as much Vitamin D as he gets the whole time.

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