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Click here to learn about Athena and Arachne

Page history last edited by Stephanie 13 years, 2 months ago


 Athena/Minerva and Arachne 


Arachne, a woman who lived in Greece at the time, was a very gifted weaver.  In fact, she was so gifted that people thought that she was taught be Athena/Minerva, who was an extraordinary weaver herself, for she was “the goddess of wisdom, of household arts and crafts, of spinning and weaving, and of textiles.”  However, Arachne did not like how people were intimating that her work was not as fine as Athena’s/Minerva's.  Meanwhile, when Athena/Minerva heard about Arachne’s attitude, she came to her in the guise of an old lady.  Athena/Minerva wanted to inform Arachne not to lure the rage and fury of the gods and goddesses, but then it turned into a tapestry-weaving contest between the two of them.  They both wove and wove, however, because Athena/Minerva was so angry and jealous of the work Arachne had made, she tore up Arachne’s tapestry and tapped Arachne’s forehead hoping to make Arachne feel guilty.  From this thought, Arachne hung herself; so then Athena/Minerva felt atrocious about this and brought Arachne back to life, but in the body and form of a spider.  So, in the end, Arachne could then live as a spider, and her wish of weaving for eternity was granted. 






Characteristics oMythology


     1.     Explanation of natural phenomena:

     - Why are there spiders?

     - Why are spiders such good weavers?


     2.     Presence of gods and goddesses:

     Athena/Minerva - Goddess of Wisdom


     4.     Use of imaginative description:

     Athena's ability to transform into an old woman, also, the ability to bring Arachne back to life in the form of a spider.


     5.     Device of transformation:

     Firstly, Athena transformed herself into an old woman to disguise herself when talking to Arachne.  She changed back into herself when she accepted the weaving challenge from Arachne.  Secondly, Athena turned Arachne into a spider so that she could weave for all eternity.


     6.     Theme/Message/Significance of tale:

     An unfaithful attitude towards the powerful ones -gods and goddesses- can have a harsh outcome.






Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. New York: Grand Central, 1942. Print.


"Athena, Arachne and the Weaving Contest." Greek-Gods.Info. 2005-2009. Web. 22 Sept. 2009. http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/athena/stories/athena-arachne/.


Athena and Arachne. Photograph. Web. 22 Sept. 2009.



"Weaving For Eternity: The Tale of Arachne." Spiffy Entertainment. Ed. Roemello. Spiffy Entertainment, 1999-2009. Web. 20 Sept. 2009. <http://www.spiffy-entertainment.com/arafate.html>.






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