Arachne, who lived in Greece during ancient times, was famous for her incredible talent in weaving cloth. She could make the most beautiful cloth in the entire land. However, Arachne was not a modest girl. She would walk through the city boasting about her incredible talents. Arachne would even tell people that she was better at weaving than the revered goddess Athena.
Athena was not pleased by Arachne’s boasting. One day, Athena knocked on Arachne’s door. Arachne opened the door to find an old lady dressed in ragged clothes. She did not know she was really looking at Athena in disguise. The old lady pretended to be interested in buying some of Arachne’s cloth. Arachne let the old lady enter. Immediately, Athena, disguised as the old lady, started criticizing Arachne’s weaving, saying she could do much better. Insulted, Arachne challenged the old lady to a weaving contest.
After accepting the challenge, Athena emerged from her disguise. Arachne was not at all frightened by the prospect of a weaving competition with Athena; Arachne was completely convinced she would win!
Both Arachne and Athena spent hours weaving beautiful cloth. Athena’s cloth was spectacular. She had woven a picture of the gods performing their many wonderful deeds. Arachne’s cloth also portrayed the gods and was equally stunning. However, Arachne’s cloth portrayed the gods at their weakest moments, displaying their worst behavior. Athena was furious. She could not believe Arachne had the audacity to insult the gods.
Athena complimented Arachne on her amazing weaving talent and told her she would be justly rewarded for her gifts. Arachne felt her head begin to shrink and watched in horror as six furry legs sprouted from her body. Athena told her to enjoy spending the rest of her days weaving all she wished.
When discussing literature, people recall specific details that are memorable or significant about the story.
When discussing several ideas or details, people often group them into related categories. Classification helps identify what sets of ideas or details have in common.
When we develop experience as readers, we begin to move from the concrete details stated in the story to more abstract ideas that apply to larger categories of literature or personal experience.
A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat for his survival. But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several days. The Emperor and all his court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognized his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story, whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the lion let loose to his native forest.
When discussing written work, television, and movies, we often refer to plot, the cause-and-effect chain of events; setting, the time and place; character, individuals taking action or being affected by events in the story; and point of view, the way the story is told from a single character's or many characters' observations. Being able to identify and analyze literary elements enables readers to compare and contrast different written works and appreciate deeper and richer storytelling.
How would you describe Androcles as a character? Please support your answer with evidence from the text.
When discussing a story or work of art, people will often draw conclusions beyond the facts stated in the story. Inferring based on reasoning and experience helps make a story or work of art more meaningful by looking for clues about the author's or artist's mindset.
Why doesn't the lion eat Androcles? Did it surprise you that the lion spared him? Why or why not?
When discussing literature, television, theater, movies, or music, people often identify a theme--the meaning, feeling, or message--that may be stated clearly or left hidden for readers, viewers, or listeners to discover. Aesop's fables are a genre wherein the short story, often including animals, illustrates a lesson about behavior and choices in life. The lesson is the theme of the story.
Write a moral for the fable. Explain why your moral is appropriate, providing evidence from the story to defend your answer.
Aesop's fables were originally transmitted, or shared, with listeners by storytellers long before they were written down. This creates variations in the story over time. A paraphrase is a rewording to help readers or listeners understand better by using familiar word choices and may be as long as (or longer) than the original message.
How would you rewrite the following quotation in your own words while still giving the readers a storytelling experience? "But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognized his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story, whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native forest."
There are times when readers and writers interested in a topic communicate by giving a brief statement describing the most important message without providing details. When we summarize, the message is short and to the point.
In a single sentence, write the main idea of the fable of "Androcles and the Lion." Then explain briefly (no more than 2 sentences) why you chose this idea from the story and left out others.
We often discuss creativity as the ability to imagine something new that did not exist before. Synthesis is the action of combining different ideas or objects that already exist so they now do something different, or do the same thing in a new or interesting way.
Write another fable, still using the main idea you summarized for "Androcles and the Lion," but now using characters and a setting of your own choice. You may borrow from stories or fictional worlds you already know and enjoy, or create from your own imagination.
AN OLD WOMAN, having lost the use of her eyes, called in a Physician to heal them, and made this bargain with him in the presence of witnesses: that if he should cure her blindness, he should receive from her a sum of money; but if her infirmity remained, she should give him nothing. This agreement being made, the Physician, time after time, applied his salve to her eyes, and on every visit took something away, stealing all her property little by little. And when he had got all she had, he healed her and demanded the promised payment. The Old Woman, when she recovered her sight and saw none of her goods in her house, would give him nothing. The Physician insisted on his claim, and as she still refused, summoned her before the Judge. The Old Woman, standing up in the Court, argued: "This man here speaks the truth in what he says; for I did promise to give him a sum of money if I should recover my sight: but if I continued blind, I was to give him nothing. Now he declares that I am healed. I on the contrary affirm that I am still blind; for when I lost the use of my eyes, I saw in my house various chattels and valuable goods: but now, though he swears I am cured of my blindness, I am not able to see a single thing in it."
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