Study Guide

Theseus: Birth and Early Adventures Rules and Order

Rules and Order

As we talk about in "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory", Theseus is said to represent the establishment of rules and order in the wild regions around Athens. His name can even be translated as meaning "to set" or "to order." Some say that his butt-kicking, bandit-slaying march up the coast is symbolic of how the area around Athens, known as Attica, was eventually tamed and brought under the control of Athenian rule. Theseus was like Wyatt Earp heading into the Wild West, cracking down on the bad guys, and bringing order wherever he roamed.

Questions About Rules and Order

  1. What was Theseus's primary method of bringing order to the area around Athens?
  2. Why do you think Theseus was so determined to bring order to Attica? What was his motivation?
  3. Compare and contrast Theseus to crime fighters from a modern TV show or movie. How does he stack up against characters like the detectives of Law and Order, Sherlock Holmes, or even Spiderman?

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