Today I would like to look at the story of the minotaur from the minotaur’s point of view. Rather than that of the hero Theseus.
I have received some criticisms online for arguing this perspective. However, undeterred I would like to examine it further anyway.
I have been accused of being a new-age hippy. Idealistic and ultimately unfaithful to the original story.
But today, I would like to argue the case that the Minotaur is the victim in this story. That he was made into a monster through tragic circumstances and in his short life he could have achieved so much more. So, work with me here. Give me 10 minutes of your time and I will tell you the sad tale of being who through great suffering was forced into being a monster.
The minotaur a creature from greek mythology has long been portrayed as a monstrous savage being, locked away in the labyrinth whilst it feasted on young children.
However, upon closer examination of the myth and its origins. I think it becomes clear that the minotaur was not a monster but a victim of circumstance.
The minotaur’s origins can be traced back to the union of Cretan queen Pasaphe and a bull. This union was not a voluntary one but a punishment from the sea god Poseidon. King Minos, driven by selfish urges, kept a sacrificial bull and defied the prideful sea god, Poseidon. In retaliation, the god struck Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, with lust and infatuation for the bull. Used merely as a pawn of punishment, Pasiphae deceptively mates with the bull and bears the half-calf, half-man creature. His conception and existence serving as a penalty for Minos’ egotism.
The minotaur born from this union was thus not a creature of choice but rather the product of divine punishment.
The minotaur’s life was tragic, it was not given a chance at a normal existence. Born out one man’s greed, one god’s wrath and one woman’s lust from the moment of its birth it was shunned and feared by society. rather than being cared for and raised as a member of the royal family.
It was locked away in the labyrinth a maze-like structure designed to keep it imprisoned. It was also forced to live on a diet of human sacrifices further eroding any humanity that the wretched creature had.
Imagine how different his life could have been had it had say a mother’s love, education, a loving family and even friends.
As a child the Minotaur had a name. he was known by as Asterion, a name shared with King Minos’ foster father. When he was young, his mother, Queen Pasiphae able to feed him with her own food supply, helping him grow big and strong. But when the Minotaur grew up into a bull-man, his mother could no longer sustain him on human food. Asterion started to become a threat to those around him.
His mother initially raised him with watchful and tender care, and it was only as he grew older that he became a threat to Greek society. It could be argued that eating human flesh as an adult was simply the great beast’s way of surviving, much like any starving wild animal who is desperate for food.
King Minos, tired of living in fear and shame, approached an oracle for advice. The oracle told Minos to hide the Minotaur away in a complex maze from which he could never escape.
Minos locked the Minotaur away in the labyrinth from a young age. The isolation, starvation and frustration of being trapped in any situation for many years would be enough to drive any living creature to the brink of madness. So, any poor fool who dared to enter the maze was likely to meet with a crazed animal who was close to breaking point, and they would most likely be eaten.
One can assume that upon its birth King Minos ordered Daedalus to construct the labyrinth. This is a task that must have taken some years. He didn’t just turn around one day and say “Oi Daedalus knock me up a quick labyrinth to put my wife’s half bull love child into, This took years of planning. Minos knew that he would one day lock up his wife’s love child.
King Minos of Crete demanded that the people of Athens sacrifice seven youths and seven maidens to the minotaur Every seven years because the people of Athens killed his son and heir out of jealousy that he won the panathenic game which was a huge religious athletic event in Athens.
Minos had planned to wage war on the city, but the great Oracle of Delphi suggested an offering made instead, a way to punish the Athenians without actually having to go to war with them.
The minotaur’s eventual demise at the hands of the hero Theseus only further solidifies the creature’s status as a victim.
Theseus ultimately succeeded in killing the creature, thus halting the sacrifice of children. But this sacrifice was not the desire of the minotaur, but rather that of his mother’s husband, King Minos. The minotaur locked away alone and hungry was simply trying to survive in the only way it knew how.
A bull’s diet is naturally a vegan died, but how many green pastures do you think there were in the labyrinth prison in which the minotaur was condemned to spend the rest of its days? Those who entered the labyrinth knew that they would starve to death if they were not eaten by the minotaur.
In conclusion, the minotaur is often portrayed as a monstrous savage being. But upon closer examination of its origins and the circumstances of its existence it becomes clear that the minotaur was not a monster but rather a victim of the actions and decisions of others.
It was punished by the gods, shunned by society and ultimately killed for reasons beyond its control. The creature’s story serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers of societal ostracisation and the consequences of actions driven by dear and misunderstanding.
Maybe the true monsters in this story are those who allowed this beast’s life to unfold so miserably.
Perseus was partly to blame for the beast’s misfortune – after all it was he who made Queen Pasiphae fall in love with a bull and conceive a child with him in the first place.
Daedalus could even be blamed for creating a brutally challenging maze that drove the Minotaur insane. But King Minos was perhaps the worst perpetrator of all. He was the one who decided to lock the monster away, and to feed him on the flesh of young Athenians, giving him such a fearsome and terrifying reputation across all of Ancient Greece. And it was this terrible reputation that finally pushed Theseus to kill the Minotaur in order to protect the Athenians from future harm.
The demise of the Minotaur led directly to Minos losing two daughters, as well as a means of power over Athens. As for Theseus, his desperation for glory in conquering the Minotaur, along with his blatant aloofness, led to his father’s untimely death, who threw himself off a cliff thinking that his son had failed in his venture.