QLeft.png Artemis - goddess of the Moon. Her noble and severe beauty reminisces of the cold brilliance of the Moon. However, when she fell in love, her heart burned with a fantastic passion. An excerpt from the play "Tragic Orion." QRight.png


Artemis' Transformation

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Artemis was the daughter of Zeus - the king of gods.


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She and her brother Apollo were part of the Twelve Olympians.


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Even then, her mother was a Titan - a race that had opposed the gods of Olympus.


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Artemis was stoic, and acted severe toward herself and others...


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She would often hate people, and in particular men... Perhaps, her descent has something to do with it.


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She is also known as the goddess of the Moon.


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Like the Moon, her beauty was solitary and mystical.


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This is in stark contrast with the image of her hunts on the mountains with her retinue.


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Many gods of Olympus originally belonged to tribes and populations that had been conquered by the Greeks.


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In Artemis' case, they say that the goddess of the indigenous Greeks merged with different goddesses close to her.


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One of them being Selene - goddess of the Moon; and the other being Eileithyia - the goddess of childbirth worshipped in Crete...


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And perhaps the biggest influence was Hecate - the goddess of the underworld from Asia Minor.


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Hecate had three aspects.


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According to scholars, her nature influenced Artemis, and that's how Artemis came to have different qualities.


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Besides, Greek myths can be traced back to the 8th century BCE, but the modem corpus we have now was formed around the 4th century BCE.


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During that time, the several different versions of Artemis that had merged with local goddesses were imported back and added to the qualities of Artemis.


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For example, Roman mythology was created on the basic of Greek myth around the 6th century BCE...


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There the goddess Diana, herself based on Artemis, merged with the ancient goddess of the forest of the Italian Peninsula.


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On the other hand, the Artemis worshipped in the Crimean Peninsula was a severe goddess that demanded sacrifices.


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And in Asia Minor, Artemis was worshipped as the goddess of good harvest and fertility. They say that she merged with the goddess Cybele.


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It is only natural then when all these goddesses merged into one, the final Artemis would have several roles and qualities.


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Even then, her core aspects were the Moon, hunting, independence and purity.


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The wax and waning of the Moon relates to the different aspects of Hecate.


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They thought Artemis went hunting in the mountains of Crete with her retinue and her silver bow.


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Besides, she was a pure maiden that despised men, and distanced herself from other gods.


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She didn't open up to anyone but her parents Zeus and Leto, her brother Apollo, and her beloved.


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In the myths she only loved two people: Hippolytus - prince of Athens, and Orion.


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However, their myths have many common points, to the extent that people believe the myth of Orion was constructed after the one with Hippolytus.


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The myth of Orion is, after all, very unique.


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If we take into consideration the normal image of Artemis, it would have been odd for her to love Orion, let alone bring him along on hunts.


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Up until then, her retinue was composed only of maidens. It's strange that she allowed a human man to participate in them.


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It's fair to say that she'd be magnanimous toward the wish of a human being, but still she was a very severe and rigid goddess.


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This myth is indeed full of contradictions.


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However, gods aren't immutable; many stories prove that.


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Artemis simply changed when she met Orion.


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If we interpret the myth that way, the whole story makes sense. And that's how I should also understand my role.


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For someone that enjoyed hunting in the island of Crete like Artemis, Orion must have been a very special person.


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After all, he was able to go toe-to-toe with her. No one other than Apollo had been able to do that.


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Her whole world must have been turned around.


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He was the one that invited her to a different world... That's why she saw him as someone irreplaceable.


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This myth tells how her encounter with him changed her forever.


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That's what "Tragic Orion" is - a tale of Artemis' transformation.

Artemis' Wish

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What we couldn't tell in our performance is written in the myths.


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Artemis killed Orion with her own hands, but she couldn't bear the thought of not beihg with him anymore...


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So she pleaded Asclepius to bring him back.


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Asclepius was the greatest doctor of the day, and none other than the son of Apollo.


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Normally, no doctor would be able to bring back the dead, but he was different.


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Athena gave him the blood of Medusa, and with it he had resurrected many people already.


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However, Hades - the god of the underworld - didn't approve of her request, and stopped Orion from being brought back to life.


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As a final act of desperation, Artemis went to her father Zeus, king of the gods.


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And there she pleaded Orion be made into a constellation.


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That way she would be able to meet him every time she raced through the night sky on her silver chariot.


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Zeus answered her plea, and made Orion into the constellation we see today.


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And so Artemis can see Orion once a month when the Moon crosses Orion's path.


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She never lost hope and finally her wish became true.


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But I believe it wasn't completely her achievement.


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Asclepius and Zeus are both related to Apollo. In fact, Asclepius is Apollo's son.


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Had Apollo wanted to, he could have prevented her wish from coming true.


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...However, he didn't.


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...I think he regretted making his sister kill her beloved.


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It's rare to see a pair of gods like Artemis and Apollo.


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Their bond was only possible because they were twins.


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And between them came Orion, a young man who created many a scandal with women.


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What's more, he was a descendant of the Titans, a race who had always opposed the gods of Olympus.


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Apollo couldn't allow their union.


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He wanted her to become happy. Any brother would want that.


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That's why he didn't approve of their union. But Artemis refused to listen to him.


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She loved Orion so much that she defied her twin brother.


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And so Apollo chose to take drastic measures. He tricked her into killing her loved one.


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I can only imagine how broken she must have felt after realizing what she had done.


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Apollo thought this would bring the whole problem to an end.


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But Artemis never gave up even as she suffered.


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That's when Apollo realized he had been mistaken.


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And also when he realized he couldn't stop her anymore.


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He might have even helped her behind the scenes for all we know.


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I guess "only the gods know" would be appropriate here. It really is an interesting story...


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But us Stage Girls should only worry about how we perform our roles. Truth and persuasion shouldn't concern us.


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Apollo, Artemis and Orion all experience adversities in our "Tragic Orion".


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The story shines when they despair and when they fight against their hardships.


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Now that we have finished our performance I can truly say that.


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I believe that the meeting of Aijo, Kagura and I brought forth that conclusion, but...


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...if we were to do the same play again, who knows how it would end.


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Whatever the case may be, I will perform with all my heart.

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It looks like I was a good fit for Artemis' role.

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Artemis met Orion and fell in love with him... I’m sure that made her even stronger and more beautiful.


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That’s why she didn’t give in to despair, and managed to make Orion into a constellation.


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It wasn’t just a sad story... Artemis and Orion’s myth is a eulogy to their encounter. That’s how I felt when I chose to perform it.

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