The tragic story of Pyramus and Thisbe was told by Ovid in metamorphes. The tale is about two young lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe. The couple falls in love as they grow up, but everyone is against their love including their parents. The outcome of their forbidden love is that the couple dies and kills their selves for love, making it sound very much like the popular story of “Romeo and Juliet”. Throughout the tale the couple must undergo and suffer their parent’s rivalry, adventure and fate whose love for one another results in their death. Pyramus and Thisbe tale also teaches the cultural values that the couple must face such as honor and sacrifice.
Pyraums and Thisbe’s families have lived as neighbors in Babylon throughout their lives. Their houses shared one roof making it easier for them to spend time with each other. As time passes and the two young lovers grow up and fall in love more and more each day. Sadly, the lover’s family hate each other and forbid their love and prohibit them to get married. This forbidding by the families only makes the two fall more deeply in love and hide their love from their families.
As time passes Pyramus and Thisbe communicate with each other through a crack in a wall that separates their house. Day after day Pyramus and Thisbe shared their joys and sorrows and whisper their undying and forbidden love to each other. Not being able to resist being apart from each other the young lovers create a plan to escape. Their plan was to sneak out of their house separately at night and to meet at the tomb of Ninus under a mulberry tree that grows inside the tomb.
Thibe arrives at the tomb first. When she arrives, Thisbe sees a lioness with a mouth bloody from her recent kill. Scared Thibe runs to hide to a near cave dropping her cloak without realizing. The lioness inspected the cloak tearing it apart and getting blood all over it. Pyramus is late and when he arrives to the tomb, he is horrified at the sight of Thisbe’s clothing that she left behind. Assuming that by being late a lioness has killed her beloved Thisbe, he kills himself, falling on his sword and splashing blood all over the white mulberry leaves.
Thisbe gathers courage to leave the cave and returns to the tomb but finds Pyramus’s dead body under the mulberry tree. After a minute of trying to figure out what had happened, Thisbe blames herself and ends up killing herself as well with the same sword; stabbing her heart. At the end of the tale the parents of Pyramus and Thisbe mourn the loss and the tragedy of their children’s love and mix the young lovers ashes together placing them in a golden burial urn.
The issues and the outcome Pyramus and Thisbe face throughout the tale are hostile parents, adventure, fate and of course death. Having to deal with hostile parents the lovers must hide their feeling for each other. Since the parents are rivals from each other and hate each other family “their paternal hearts flooded with rage, and passionately opposed what their children so passionately desired”. (Page 249) The way the parents feel towards each other should not affect the decisions their own kids communicated to them, after all Pyramus and Thisbe were not hiding their love, they wanted support from their own family.
Parents are supposed to be supportive on the decisions that their kids make even if they do not agree. It will teach them a lesson if the are making a wrong decision. However, on this tale the parents were the one that learned a lesson since they lost their beloved children for holding grudges and hate with each other family. Adventure and fate were another issue that the young lovers had to face. When the couple were making the plan to escape and run away to finally be happy and together they were only thinking about the adventure and not the fate. Never in their minds did it cross that something could go wrong.
The adventure on this tale is really simple. Sneaking out at night and running away from their parents to live a happy life gave them a feeling, they could not be unstoppable which connects to adventure. The lioness represents adventure and fate. Without the lioness being mentioned on the tale the story would not have a turning event. The lioness gave that sensation of adventure since it represented danger, but it also represented fate.
Again, if the lioness was not mentioned or be present in the tale the events of that night would have had been different. Thisbe would not run to hide in a cave dropping her vail, making Pyramus think that she was dead as soon as he got to the tomb. In other words, there would not be a tragic death to tell in the tele. Also, if Pyramus would not have been late to the place they decided to meet it would also be a different story.
The cultural values that Pyramus and Thisbe tale talks about are honor and sacrifice. The young lovers had to sacrifice first their love and at last their lives. When the parents found out about the lover plans of getting married they were kept apart from each other sacrificing their love and only talking through a crack in the wall. The couple also literally sacrifice their lives for each other.
Pyramus kills himself thinking Thisbe was dead and sacrificing his life to be with his beloved Thisbe “For I will die with my true love, and I will be her companion…”(page 252) The tale mentions honor when Pyramus was wishing to die but instead took death into his own hands because if he wished for death it was a sign of cowardly and not heroism; he died with honor. As so did Thisbe. “my love is as strong as yours, and it will gave my hand the courage and strength to take my own life with as sure an aim!”(Page 253)
The tale ends with both Pyramus and Thisbe death “Even death will fail to separate us” (page 253) said Thisbe. Pyramus and Thisbe teach us to fight for love but think about the consequences since sometimes love stories do not end good and fail just like on this tale.
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