Althaea is a figure from Greek mythology, known for her role as the mother of Meleager and her tragic fate. She is a complex character, who’s story is intertwined with her son’s and it has captured the imagination of audiences for centuries.
Althaea’s story begins with her marriage to Oeneus, the king of Calydon and the birth of her son Meleager. According to the myth, she was told by the Fates that her son would only live as long as a piece of wood burning on the fire. She immediately took the piece of wood and hid it, determined to save her son’s life.
As Meleager grew up and became a brave and skilled warrior, Althaea was proud of him, but his life was also marked by tragedy. After the Calydonian boar hunt, Meleager was involved in a dispute over the spoils of the hunt with his uncles, and in a fit of rage, he killed them.
Upon hearing the news, Althaea retrieved the piece of wood and put it on the fire, causing Meleager’s death, and fulfilling the prophecy. She was overcome with grief and remorse, and in some versions of the myth, she kills herself.
Althaea’s story is one of love, motherly devotion, and tragedy. She is a reminder that our actions have consequences, and that the choices we make, even with the best intentions, can have devastating results.