Athena and Poseidon’s Contest for Athens
This text features an intro to the genre of Greek mythology and a story about how the city Athens got its name.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text before reading the play, in order to introduce them to mythical Greek themes and motifs, and how these ideas connect with nature. The tale of Athena and Poseidon vying for the position of patron deity of Athens is presented in this text. The tale reveals both Athena and Poseidon’s connection to nature. In the play, King Theseus, an allusion to a mythic relative of Hercules, is about to marry a conquered Amazonian queen. Oberon is the king and Titania the queen of the fairies in the forest where the lovers dream. Have students use “Athena and Poseidon’s Contest for Athens” to help to identify the mystical aspects of Athens and how they connect with nature. As students read the play, have them continue to look for and discuss mythical and natural aspects.