#77: THE MINOTAUR
FROM BULLFINCH'S MYTHOLOGY:
The Athenians were at that time in deep affliction, on account of the tribute which they were forced to pay
to Minos, king of Crete. This tribute consisted of seven youths and seven maidens, who were sent every year to be devoured by the Minotaur, a monster with a bull's body
and a human head. It was exceedingly strong and fierce, and was kept in a labyrinth constructed by Daedalus, so artfully contrived that whoever was enclosed in it could
by no means find his way out unassisted. Here the Minotaur roamed, and was fed with human victims.
Theseus resolved to deliver his countrymen from this calamity, or to die in the attempt. Accordingly, when the time of sending off the tribute came, and the youths and maidens were, according to custom, drawn by lot to be sent, he offered himself as one of the victims, in spite of the entreaties of his father. The ship departed under black sails, as usual, which Theseus promised his father to change for white, in case of his returning victorious. When they arrived in Crete, the youths and maidens were exhibited before Minos; and Ariadne, the daughter of the king, being present, became deeply enamoured of Theseus, by whom her love was readily returned. She furnished him with a sword, with which to encounter the Minotaur, and with a clue of thread by which he might find his way out of the labyrinth. He was successful, slew the Minotaur, escaped from the labyrinth, and taking Ariadne as the companion of his way, with his rescued companions sailed for Athens.
MINOTAUR was one of the first literary monsters, and a damn tough one to boot. Half man and half Bull, he spent his free time living in a maze. He also liked eating power pills and magic dots and chasing around ghosts, making him the early inspiration for Pac-Man.
Seriously, though...you have to give the maze props to Minotaur. Had there been no Minotaur in his labyrinth, there would have been no cool hedge maze at the end of THE SHINING and they would have had to use some lame ending like hedge animals that came to life.
ALL HAIL MINOTAUR!
Dr. Phibes Shopping Zone