The grade one classes were very fortunate to welcome storyteller Jeff Stockton to our classrooms during our inquiry work into perspective. He told us several different "sides" of the same story, so we began to understand how stories can be interpreted based on different perspectives.

Theseus and the Minotaur

This myth was about the character of Theseus and his triumph over the Minotaur, a hideous creature trapped in a labyrinth. The townspeople of Crete lived in fear of the Minotaur because he had the body of a man and the head of a bull. He was angry and people who attempted to fight this monster never returned again from his maze. WhenTheseus came to face the Minotaur, he was the hero of the town when he defeated and killed the monstrous Minotaur. His prize for this feat was the beautiful Ariadne, who gave him his secret weapon, a ball of thread, that he used to unwind and remember his path out of the maze. When Theseus and Ariadne returned home to Knossos, they forgot to raise the white sails, showing their victory, and instead the black sails waved, showing defeat, and Theseus' father fell off the cliff into the sea below when he saw the black sails.

After hearing this story, we drew pictures of the awful Minotaur and we all agreed that he was the villain or "bad guy" of the story.

We were surprised when Mr. Stockton said he had another part of the story for us that might change our minds. We assured him nothing would convince us that the Minotaur was not evil. Then we heard....

The Minotaur's Side of the Story

The King of Crete, King Minos, was greedy and sneaky. While he promised Posiedon the most beautiful white bull's head as a sacrifice, when he found it, he couldn't resist keeping it for himself and he gave Posiedon a second bull's head, thinking he would never find out. Posiedon was so angry that he put a secret spell on Minos, and when Minos' first son was born, he was born with the head of a white bull and the body of a boy. This creature was the shame of the royal family of Crete and Minos did everything he could to hide him from everyone. Minos kept the Minotaur locked in a dark dungeon, and only put miniscule amounts of food under the door every so often. The Minotaur was neglected, abandoned and treated like an animal. This childhood made the Minotaur the hurt and angry creature that he became.

When we heard this new information about the Minotaur, we had second thoughts about our judgment on him. Suddenly we saw King Minos as the villain of the story, and we understood why the Minotaur became the mean creature that he became.



Copyright J.Lambrinoudis and M.Shervey