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King Must Die

  • Date Submitted: 09/04/2010 09:12 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.2 
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Act of Treachery in The King Must Die
The King Must Die, by Mary Renault, is a historical novel which outlines the adventures and life of a Greek mythological hero named Theseus. The novel is set in different cities of Ancient Greece around 1450 B.C. The novel began in the city of Troizen while Theseus was still a child. From a young age, Theseus believed that he was the son of the water god, Poseidon. He worshiped Poseidon and was able to predict earthquakes, which reduced people’s doubt that he was in-fact the son of Poseidon. Theseus set his mind to be better than the other boys at everything and he achieved his goal. Later on, he drifted to sea and returned to an island unknown to him where he decided to go to war in aid of the natives. When he returned home, he was surprised to figure out that his father was a mortal, King of Athens, a fact which faintly disappointed him. Afterwards, Theseus left to find his father and arrived at Eleusis. To his surprise, he ironically arrived on the day “the King must die.” (p. 64) Consequently, he killed the King of Eleusis, Kerkyon, and became the new king. Due to the fact that he did not agree with some of the traditions of the Eleusinian, he began to change things around. He went to war to aid his allies, when a king was not allowed to go to war, and during this time an act of treachery happened to him. Moreover, he reached Athens and met his father, Aigeus. He was told that the Athenians need help in a battle; thus, he agreed to help them. He went back to Eleusis and returned with his companions to help support Athens. They went to war and came back victorious. Then, Theseus volunteered as a bull dancer and was taken away to Crete. He assembled his people and trained them extremely well to stick together all the time. Therefore, they all managed to survive; and as a result, after several months they conquered Crete, and yet again Theseus became a king, the King of Crete. Everyone celebrated Theseus’s victory...


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