She then tapped Arachne on the head three times, turning her and her future daughters in to
spiders to weave webs for the rest of their days. The story of Arachne and Athena has a common lesson, that can be found in other Greek myths. A myth can be analyzed by functionalism, which involves seeing how the myth effects social structures. This myth shares a common lesson with that of many other Greek myths; it is considered taboo to offend a god because that would then incur that god’s wrath. There are many examples of this taboo, however the three examples for this to be used are the stories of Apollo and Achilles, Artemis and Agamemnon, and Artemis, Apollo and Niobe. Apollo became offended by the Greek army during the Trojan War, due to Agamemnon’s capturing and treatment of one of his priest’s daughter, Chryseis. As a result, Apollo sent a plague into the Greek army camp to kill them all one by one. Then to turn the tide into favor of the Trojans, Apollo guided Hector, hero of Troy, to fight Achilles on the battlefield. However, Achilles’ close companion, Patroclus, had secretly disguised himself in Achilles’ armor. Achilles had grown angry with Agamemnon’s treatment of soldiers in his army and was refusing to fight for him. Hector defeated and killed Patroclus, which caused a fit of rage from Achilles. In this state of anger, Achilles chased after Hector, killing anyone that got in his way. He finally caught him at the gates of Troy; where he executed him in front of all the people of Troy. Later, in the sacking of Troy, Apollo tells Paris that Achilles is coming into the city. Paris not being the best fighter, uses his bow and arrow to shoot Achilles in his only weak spot, his heel. Paris completed this feat because Apollo helped guide the arrow to this exact spot.
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- Spring '12
- Greek Mythology, Arachne