I was tempted to pick mermaid today, I almost did, but it’s about time for another beast to form part of the squad, so I give you – the Minotaur. I also can’t go more than a few days without delving into Greek mythology.
So here’s a low down. Poseidon gifted King Minos and his wife (Pasiphae) with a giant white bull, which Minos was supposed to sacrifice in Poseidon’s honour. When Minos broke his word, Poseidon added a rather nasty appendage to the original gift and cursed Pasiphae with lust for the bull. She went to rather extreme lengths to show her affection (ordering the creation of a hollow wooden cow) in order to mate with him. She gave birth to the Minotaur (part man and part bull) – a beast so evil, Minos instructed Daedalus to build a labyrinth to contain it. Minos sacrificed seven men and seven women every year to keep the Minotaur content. The beast was killed by Theseus, who luckily found his way out of the labyrinth, with help from Ariadne (Minos’ daughter).
The Minotaur in media
- This contest, between Theseus and the Minotaur, features heavily in Greek art.
- The Minotaur appears in Dante’s Inferno.
- In Steven Sherril’s novel, The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, the story depicts the Minotaur five thousand years after leaving the labyrinth.
- Minotaurs were introduced in several episodes of One Piece (anime).
- In Batman: The Animated Series (If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?) – the Riddler builds a labyrinth as a riddle for Batman and Robin to solve – the Minotaur is robotic.
- The Minotaur appears in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books.
- A Minotaur or Minotaur like creatures have appeared in Doctor Who. The Fourth Doctor claimed to have given Theseus the ball of string which helped him navigate his way through the labyrinth.
- A race of Minotaurs appear in C.S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
- Time Bandits, a film starring Sean Connery, features a Minotaur.
- The Minotaur is mentioned in Death’s Shadow, a novel by Darren Shan.
- A character in the Monster High cartoon (Mattel), Manny Taur, is the son of the Minotaur.
- A Minotaur is killed by Perseus in the film Wrath of the Titans.
- In The Librarians series, a Minotaur is featured in human form – the Librarians are stuck in a dimensional labyrinth and hunted by the Minotaur.
There are more references to the Minotaur, and even variations on the myth I shared with you above. Are you familiar with this mythical creature? Would you have the Minotaur on the side of good, or, as the creature does have a penchant for eating people, is the Minotaur more of a villain? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.