The Myth of Lycaon

Myth on the Web

The myth of Lycaon is a classic story of what happens when a human opposes and attempts to kill a god. It involves the idea of lycanthropy (a transformation into a wolf) and is told within Ovid’sMetamorphoses.

The story involves a murderous, impious king who defies the gods and refuses to worship them; this individual described isLycaon, the king of Arcadia. While many different sources list that he is the son of Pelasgus, his mother varies between three different ones; Meliboia, Kyllene, or Deianeira. The god Lycaon opposes in the myth is Jupiter, the narrator of the story, and is the Roman version of the Greek god Zeus, who is associated with lightning. Lycaon shows his characterization as he attempts to trick Jupiter into eating a captive he slaughtered, intending to kill Jupiter after serving him a dish made from the hostage’s flesh. Jupiter is not…

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