The story of Baucis and Philemon
The story of Baucis and Philemon is one of the most compelling Greek myths of an old couple who receives reward for their compassion to strangers. People rejected and turned the strangers away, until the moment they went to a place where they where they receive a warm welcome by an old couple. The strangers are supposedly gods namely Hermes and Zeus. They request Baucis and Philemon to accept their offer for showing benevolence. However, the old couple’s wish that when they die, they should perish the same hour. Neither Philemon nor Baucis should remain without companion. Goethe uses this literary piece to emphasize on how gods portray the old couple as poor to suggest that love does not essentially rely on material wealth.
Moreover, Goethe uses Baucis and Philemon to express a recurring theme of love, which is not based on individual beauty. Goethe is a renowned Greek writer and uses his wit to convince readers that human beings should exercise benevolence. The author further affirms that successful people in life are always goal oriented, and the old couple are such an example. This becomes apparent through the humble lifestyle of the old couple. Through the author’s use of Baucis and Philemon, it becomes apparent that love is humble and selfless. Eventually as they become eternal trees; they receive a reward out of their love. Furthermore, the author employs the use of natural imagery, which is common in Greek mythology to demonstrate that true love exists naturally and magnificently. In this instance, it becomes difficult to imagine something of the nature of love remaining in the evolution from creature to entangled trees.
Finally, Mephistopheles and his three helpers serve the duty of driving away the couple and relocating them to another land. Surprisingly, instead of the couple’s relocation; they die mysteriously. Apparently, readers learn that human beings ought to show kindness and respect to everyone.
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