Once upon a time, in Ancient Greece, there
Was a gifted weaver named Arachne.
Her artworks are the fairest of the fair.
Her exquisite work is loved by many.
A flash of silver – a needle and thread.
A work of art made purely of talent.
“Has Athena taught you?” an elder said
As he gazed, full of praise and amazement.
She denied Athena; denied the praise.
For her tapestries were most brilliant.
Athena descended down; crazed; enraged;
With a temperament – most resilient.
She could hear the jeers of the citizens.
Cursed with eight legs; though she was innocent.
What you just read was a sonnet I wrote. I wrote this as a coursework assessment for my English class (of course; I would never write stuff like this for fun). It’s not the best, but I’m really proud of it. I’m not sure if you know this, but I love Greek mythology (because Percy Jackson is my life). If you haven’t guessed already, my sonnet revolves around the myth of Arachne. If you don’t know the myth, then let me break it down for you.
Arachne was a mortal, Lydian woman and talented weaver. Her artworks were the most exquisite in all of Greece. They were probably better-looking than Aphrodite. People gathered around her hut just to gaze in wonder and admiration at her artistry.
Then Arachne claimed she was better than Athena, the Greek goddess who invented weaving. Bad idea. Athena descended down to Earth and proposed a challenge; whoever makes the best tapestry is the best weaver. Winner gets bragging rights, loser promises never to touch another spindle or loom ever again. Both their tapestries ended up amazing.
Athena wove divine images of the gods onto her tapestries. She wove a scene of the all the Olympians seated on their thrones – a scene full of superiority.
However, Arachne’s tapestry was a depiction of all the foolish and ridiculous thing the gods has ever done. She showed how Zeus had turned into a swan to rape the Spartan queen Leda; a bull to abduct Europa; an eagle to entice Aegina; and as a shower of gold to seduce Danae (Zeus, what in Tartarus man). She presented the story of Medusa, an innocent girl, seduced by Poseidon and then turned into a hideous monster by Athena. She portrayed the gods as stupid, foolish and childish.
Athena judged both tapestries fairly (she promised on the River Styx, she can’t not judge fairly). It was a tie. But of course, Arachne complained and Athena lost her temper. Nice going Arachne. Athena took out her wrath on Arachne and whilst she was punishing Arachne, the citizens of Lydia sneered and laughed. The same people who praised her and admired her, now turned against her. Arachne was heartbroken. Her pride was hurt. The citizens she’s tried so hard to please are calling her names. She had lost her ability to weave; she had lost her only joy. So she tried to hang herself. Athena thought that maybe she’d taken it too far and took pity on Arachne, but she also hated suicide – she thought it was a cowardly act. So Athena turned Arachne into an ugly spider so that she can weave all her life. The end.
Happy ending? Nah. Moral of the story: Don’t compare yourself to the gods, after all, you can’t be that good. Which was totally invalid because Arachne simply was that good. Or maybe the message was: Some things in life never go the way you expected them to, even if you are comparable to a goddess. Or another simple message: Know when to shut up.
And that was my sonnet about Arachne. Woo~ I can’t believe I wrote a poem. I need to go run a lap or something because that was intense. That is all, ladies and gentleman.