Friday, May 28, 2010

A Letter to Theseus

Dear Theseus,

Can you even keep your own story straight? I would hate to be persuaded that you're a compulsive liar, and that's why your history got so screwed up, but how is it that no one can agree on which Amazon Queen you abducted married? Was it Hippolyta or Antiope? For that matter, were you with Heracles on that trip, or on your own? While I'm asking, was this Amazon Queen fighting for you or against you when the Amazons invaded Attica after you violated made off with their sovereign, got her pregnant, and then hooked up with Phaedra?

Plutarch swears up and down that your hook up with Phaedra was after the Amazon Queen's death, and the rest of those stories are just dirty lies, but he was writing a millenium after you supposedly lived, and frankly, I'm not sure I trust him not to fabricate a little truth here or there if it served his agenda, so what am I supposed to believe, here? I know that whole Ariadne business wasn't really your fault, Dionysus forced your hand, and I can even believe that the Phaedra and Hippolytus situation was the work of the gods and outside of your control, but seriously? You don't even remember the NAME of the woman who you stole, married and had a son with? I would think that if you loved her that much that you just HAD to have her, you'd at least take the time to get her name straight!

If you would be so kind as to straighten out this little misunderstanding for me, that would really make my life easier-- not to mention improve your reputation, because quite frankly, I think you're in danger of losing your heroic appeal. Real heroes remember the names of the women they fall in lust love with, after all! I'm SURE that it isn't REALLY your fault that these later historians/priests/entertainers/men couldn't be bothered to fact check the names involved, what with her being a mere woman, but it really does reflect poorly on your-- shall we say, charm? You might want to have your publicist look into it.

Your Biggest Fan,

P.S. Nobody else seems to have these kinds of issues with THEIR heroes. I really hope that you're not wasting my time-- Thor is already threatening to pummel you, and I really think he might win if it came down to that. xoxo


  1. Okay, so this had me laughing out loud.

    I'm sorry your hero is being such a pain, but won't that just make him that much more interesting to read?

  2. Haha!! I'm so glad :) It cracked me up too when I was writing it, and then I was worried that I would be the only one laughing when I posted it. :P

    And Theseus is NOTHING if not interesting, that is for sure :)

  3. OMG this was hilarious! Crack that whip on him!!! lol...

  4. Set him straight, girl! If he doesn't answer you soon, I say you let Thor pummel him:)

  5. Or at least turn him into some sort of vending machine as per Douglas Adams' 'The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul'

  6. Kristen: Ahaha! I will :)

    Tina: Amen.

    Stu: lol. Poor Theseus. I'm not THAT upset with him.

  7. I definitely give 10 to 1 odds to Thor on a fight between the two. I mean, come on, one has Mjolnir and the other has an insatiable... appetite. Maybe a sword. No contest.

    But as to your underlying point, it's always interesting to be confronted with such a different value system. Who cares about some Amazon woman? She was the queen? Pssh, whatever, just a baby receptacle on legs.

  8. I've read recently about writing to different people in your life, unsent letters to people and problems, but the author never said anything about writing to the hero in your novel. I am so going to do this!

  9. Immensely funny, girl.
    My only assumption is that there was more than one Theseus and several guys' stories got lumped into one.

    "remember when a couple years ago, every other kid was named 'Jason' and the girls were all named 'Britanny'?"

  10. Valerie: Theseus definitely had a sword, but I agree that it wouldn't be at all a fair fight. No matter how you slice it, Theseus is only HALF a god, and Thor is not just full blooded but also reknowned for his strength. And he can hurl lightning. Even without Mjolnir, Thor would still win.

    and yes. I expect the most important fact was that she was the Queen of the Amazons, and depending on when the story was being told, how old Theseus was, whether he went with Heracles or on his own, etc, WHO the Queen was, differed.

    Andria: It was a lot of fun :) I'm not actually that bent out of shape with him-- it's really not his fault-- but I feel kind of bad for him that he's getting a bad wrap because of it.

    Monica: Trust you to have a fitting quotation for the purpose :)

    I expect that the stories about Theseus were highly variable from region to region--all the same person, just different interpretations. Some people say that Theseus stole the Amazon Queen when he went with Heracles, other people say he went alone. There's also a debate about her willingness, or lackthereof.

    Melissa: Glad you enjoyed it!! :)

  11. Oh, the joys of writing about ancient mythological characters. *sigh* You've got it tougher than me, though. Most of my characters aren't that debated, but Theseus is a tough one and I don't envy you. Hey, just think of it this way: you get more wiggle room, you get to take more creative liberties. :)

    This was hysterical, btw. I wish I could write letters to my characters and get them to reveal a little more about themselves. Why do these think it's appropriate for them to hide parts of their personalities from me? Totally not cool. You should totally turn this into a blogfest or something; it would be hilarious to see all the writers venting at their MC's. lol

  12. Funny letter! I admit he's not my favorite because of all his ADD when it came to love interests.

    My problem? Trying to track down if indeed Post WWII Germany did or did not in fact have a guerilla resistance army in place. Mixed answers on this one.

  13. haha ok this post is just hilarious. Love the letters, very original, quirky and fresh

    Looking forward to catching up on previous posts, looks like you have a gem here


  14. hehehe you made my day this is great!

  15. My money would be on Thor too. What with the lightning bolts and all. Plus, I have the feeling that Thor could really crush the brewskis, and that earns my respect right out the starting gate.

    Although, honestly, abducting the queen of the Amazons is also pretty cool. I might have to think about this one.

    Great post, good lady. :)

  16. KM: it's not as bad as I make it out to be. I have a really good sense of Theseus's character and what makes him a hero-- it's just the chronology that's nightmarish. :)

    Jackee: I think most of the ADD wasn't Theseus's fault :) Good luck finding your info on Germany!!

    Culture: Thanks!! Welcome to the blog :)

    Tessa: I'm glad! :)

    Simon: The abduction of the Amazon Queen did not require any real physical exertion. He just kind of tricked her into boarding his ship and sailed away. It wouldn't be much of a contest against Thor, imo. Mary Renault even suggests that Theseus was kind of a shrimpy guy, as opposed to being an immense hulk like Heracles. I do not subscribe to this, myself, but her arguments make sense. In which case, he'd have even less of a chance against Thor!

  17. Keep on writing, great job!


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