Star Crossed Lovers

“I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.”
Anaïs Nin

Posted by Ravenous Butterflies—Evelyn Nesbit, Thisbe, 1900.

Pyramus and Thisbe

Pyramus and Thisbe are young lovers in a Babylonian* story told by the Roman poet Ovid in the Metamorphoses. The lovers, who lived next door to each other, were forbidden by their parents to see or speak to each other. But the two communicated through a hole in the wall between their houses.

Deciding to elope, Pyramus and Thisbe agreed to meet at night under a mulberry tree outside the city. Thisbe arrived first, wearing a veil over her face. When she heard a lion roar, she fled, dropping her veil. The lion, whose jaws were bloody, found the scarf and tore it up. When Pyramus arrived, he saw the stained, tattered veil and assumed that Thisbe was dead. He drew his sword and stabbed himself. Thisbe then returned to find Pyramus dying, and she used his sword to kill herself as well.

It is said that, before this incident, the fruit of the mulberry tree was white. However, the blood from Pyramus and Thisbe turned its fruit deep red, and it has been that color ever since.

The story of Pyramus and Thisbe is the subject of the mechanicals’ play in Shakespeare‘s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Any relationship to Romeo and Juliet? Many others?

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