Theseus and his mother Aethra resided in Troezen, a town at the foot of a sizable mountain. Aegeus, the father of Theseus, once took Aethra on a walk in the woods close to a mountainside, long before Theseus could remember. He raised a large rock there and hid his footwear and sword beneath it.
He told Aethra that if Theseus was strong enough to raise the rock, she might allow him to take the sword and sandals and travel to his father in Athens. He then rolled the rock back into its original position. Aethra had never met Aegeus before, but she was aware that he was the king of Attica and that he was seated on the throne in the lovely city of Athens.
Theseus now had the strength of a man and was able to raise the large boulder at that point. He then removed the sandals and the sword from underneath it, stowed the sword by his side, and was soon prepared to go towards Athens.
Back ago, the terrain between Troezen and Athens was rough and rocky, and behind many of the rocks, thieves and giants waited to leap out and attack lone travelers. But, traveling by sea was considerably safer. Old and frail Aethra’s father thought Theseus to travel by water, but Theseus rebuffed him and stated, “Never! With my father’s fine sword, am I not?
Theseus bid goodbye to his mother and grandfather and set out on his voyage by land, adding, “I will go by land, and if I meet with any adventures, so much the better.”
The bandits and giants assaulted him as soon as he set foot on the rocky rocks near Troezen, but none of them could stand a chance against Theseus and his father’s sword. A giant by the name of Sinis would bend the tops of two pine trees, bind travelers to the trees, and then release the springs, causing the travelers to split in half and be launched across the landscape. Another thief, Procrustes, resided nearby and pretended to entertain people at his makeshift hotel. He would chop off their heads or feet if they were too tall for his bed; if they were too short, he would stretch them to fit. Theseus also put an end to Procrustes. Thereafter, similar outcomes befell additional thieves and giants.
Theseus was well-known in Athens by the time he arrived because people had been anxious to spread the word about what he had accomplished all along the route. In actuality, only one person—his own father, Aegeus, the king—in the entire city of Athens was unaware of his impending arrival. Medea, a stunning woman and well-known witch, was residing in the king’s palace at the time.
Perhaps it was only reasonable for her to feel regretful to have Theseus come to Athens since she had a son whom she planned to put on the throne once King Aegeus passed away. But Medea’s completely normal feeling gave rise to a terribly terrible deed. Her understanding of deadly plants allowed her to create a highly potent potion that would instantly kill anyone who drank it. She then persuaded King Aegeus to give Theseus this cup when he presented himself at the throne by accusing the young stranger of being a traitor and plotting to kill him. Theseus innocently raised the poisonous cup to his lips with the intention of drinking to the monarch, not realizing that it might contain poison.
Aegeus then observed the sword Theseus was carrying, and he recognized his own son by the carving on the ivory hilt. He immediately knocked the cup out of Theseus’ hands and greeted the young man as a father would a son.
Medea was terrified when she realized her terrible plan had failed and that Theseus’ father had recognized him. She refrained from planning any further tricks for Theseus and instead utilized all of her magic to escape safely. She started by causing a dense mist to rise from the river. She then summoned her winged dragons, leapt into her chariot, and fled from Athens, where she never dared to return, in the unexpected darkness and chaos brought on by the mist.
The populace wasted little time in informing the king of all the valiant actions Theseus had carried out while traveling from Troezen. The monarch declared that there would be three days of public celebration and feasting in Athens since he was so happy with what he had heard and delighted to have his son visit. But in the midst of all this joy, a messenger arrived to inform King Aegeus that the Crete-based tribute collectors had arrived. Long ago, at Athens, King Minos of Crete’s eldest son had been killed. King Minos sent a sizable army on Athens to exact revenge for the prince’s death, and he demanded that every ninth year, seven young men and seven young ladies from Athens’ noble households pay him a tribute.
The young men and women were known as “the offspring of the tribute,” and it was said that they were destined to become the Minotaur, a vicious monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man whom King Minos imprisoned in a labyrinth close to his castle. No one had ever been known to exit the labyrinth after going in. The Athenians now have to pay the harsh tribute a third time after already paying it twice.
Theseus made up his mind right away to kill the terrifying Minotaur and put a stop to the tribute. He presented himself as one of the seven young men before the lots were drawn, despite King Aegeus’s best efforts to talk him out of it. Theses became highly well-liked as a result, which thrilled the Athenians. The seven young women and the other six young men were chosen at random on the designated day, and then everything was prepared for sailing. The ship that took the children of the tribute had dark sails, which seemed appropriate for a journey that would be so sorrowful. On the previous two occasions that the tribute had been given, this had been done. Realizing that there was a slim chance of success, King Aegeus sent Theseus a white sail, instructing him to hoist it in place of the black one in the event that he is successful in killing the Minotaur and returns home safely. The black-sailed ship then slowly sailed off of the pier, the old king saying his farewell, “From the top of that rock I shall watch every day for your return.” The young people it carried were terribly dejected because none of them, if not All of them, thought they would ever see the warm shores of Greece again. He was just as upbeat and courageous as he had been when he left for Athens carrying his father’s sword.
Theseus told King Minos that he intended to kill the Minotaur when the tribute’s kids arrived in Crete. The prince was promised by King Minos that if he could do this assignment, he and all of his friends might be set free and that no further mention of the tribute should ever be made. Truth be told, keeping this dreadful Minotaur as a pet was everything but enjoyable because there was always a chance that he may escape the labyrinth and cause unending harm. Thus it stands to reason that King Minos would have been overjoyed to get rid of the Minotaur. There was very little chance for the hero’s triumph because he was so heartless that he forbade Theseus from facing the monster armed.
One of the young Athenians was destined to be the Minotaur’s food in the morning when they were all placed into a cell beneath King Minos’ palace that evening. The chambers of Ariadne and Phaedra, King Minos’ two daughters, were directly above this dungeon. The two sisters heard the convicts grumbling as they stood on the wall admiring the moonlight. Such a shame that these kids will end up as Minotaur food, murmured Ariadne. Due of his bravery, I feel the most sorry for the young Prince Theseus. Phaedra was as eager as Ariadne to assist the young prince, saying, “If you are willing, we should help him destroy the Minotaur. So the two came up with a strategy they believed would work. When everyone in the king’s household had fallen asleep, they quietly crept to the dungeon and unlocked the door.
Except for Theseus, all the other captives had dozed off due to exhaustion and fear. But Theseus was wide awake. He was signaled to exit by Ariadne. The well-known labyrinth was then where she and Phaedra led him. In the moonlight, the white marble walls appeared to be exceedingly tall and solid. The only sound in the otherwise quiet night was the crashing of the waves on the coast, and Theseus could clearly hear the Minotaur’s heavy breathing. Theseus heard Ariadne whisper, “Now is the finest time to attack the thing; do not wait till daylight.” The Minotaur’s den is located right in the middle of the maze, Ariadne continued. “The sound of his breathing will indicate where you need to turn. Here is a sword and some yarn that will help you navigate back to safety after you’ve killed the monster.
She then unlocked a door leading to a hidden passageway within the labyrinth for him after giving him the sword and the clew of yarn while holding the other end in her own hand. Theseus entered the labyrinth while holding the sword and yarn string in each hand. The inside was divided into many little pathways that were surrounded by tall walls. Theseus frequently had to take a different route because so many of these roads led to empty walls. This labyrinth, which was created by the renowned Daedalus, is the most complex ever. Similar to the Maeander River in Phrygia, it was meant to be twisting and baffling. Theseus moved back and forth, in and out; he could hear the labored breathing more and more clearly, and he knew he was approaching the center, where the creature he was looking for resided. Ariadne was holding her end of the yarn as she and Phaedra stood at the gate. They waited for a very long period, but they had no idea how long. Only the light from the stars remained after the moon had set behind the hills. They then heard a loud roar that caused the labyrinth’s sturdy walls to shake. Everything returned to being quiet after this. Ariadne found it difficult to wait because she had no idea if Theseus was dead inside or if, if he hadn’t been murdered by the Minotaur, he had dropped the yarn during the struggle and was now lost in the maze of passages.
After feeling the yarn string finally tighten, Theseus emerged and announced that he had killed the Minotaur. Thankfully, the boat that had transported Theseus and his friends to Crete was still there. By doing so, it was possible to flee from King Minos before dawn. The small ship was launched right away, and everyone was soon prepared to leave for Athens after being rapidly roused from their slumber in the dungeon. Theseus invited the daughters of King Minos to travel back to Athens with him before boarding the ship. He said, “When your father, the king, learns how you have helped me, he will be furious. The two princesses agreed to this invitation since they had good reason to fear King Minos’ brutality. This would be the greatest way to avoid his wrath.