Daphne and Apollo Cydnee Carter

Why do you follow me? ----

Any moment I can be,

Nothing but a laurel-tree.

Any moment of the chase,

I can leave you in my place;

A pink bough for your embrace.

Yet, if over hill and hollow,

still it is your will to follow,

I am off; ---- to heel, Apollo!

Edna St. Vincent Mallay (1892-1950)

  • Daphne was a river nymph and a huntress.
  • Apollo was the god of music, poetry, and prophecy.
  • Apollo had just killed a python in a foreign land and insulted Eros (Cupid) about his arrows. He told him to leave the hunting to more experienced hunters with better weapons.
  • Eros sat atop of Mt. Parnassus and struck Daphne with a lead arrow of disgust and Apollo with a gold arrow of love.
  • Daphne ran by and Apollo fell instantly in love with her and began to chase her.
  • Daphne ran to the river calling to her father, who was a river god, for help.
  • She was changed into a laurel tree and Apollo from then on vowed to wear a wreath of laurel leaves to remember her by.
Eros also known as Cupid

The tone of the poem is mysterious as well as adventurous. The way the narrator says each line preps the reader for something that is about to happen but it doesn't actually state what will happen. When the narrator says "laurel tree" in line 3 as well as "Any moment of the chase/I can leave you in my place" (4/5). In these lines the narrator gives a clue that something will happen next but the narrator still doesn't go into detail about what will happen.

Diction plays a major role in choosing tone because the words give a mysterious feel to the poem. At first as the readers are led to believe that something bad will happen but it is unclear as to what will happen.

Another literary device is rhyme scheme which is AAA, BBB, and CCC. Through this the narrator gives a feeling of adventure because of how fast the reader goes through the story as well as how the words flow. Some examples are "hollow" and "follow" which are present in lines 7 and 8, as well as "follow me" and "I can be" in lines 1 and 2.

Laurel wreath commonly seen at the Olympic Games.
  • Several things can be learned from this Greek myth:
  • Desire can lead to people to do horrible things in order to get what they want.
  • Ex: Daphne never wanted to be with anyone while Apollo wanted Daphne to be his. Daphne was changed to a laurel tree and Apollo could never be with Daphne.
  • In this myth we learn also that things we enjoy and take for granted can disappear and leave us unhappy.
  • Also in this myth we learn that loss and gain are major occurrences in life.
  • Ex: Daphne lost her human life but gained a longer life as a tree. Apollo lost his true love but in taking the leaves to make a wreath he started a new tradition that is still present in today's society.

The poem relates to the myth because it was derived from the myth. Basically the poem acts as a summary to the myth. The poem tells the story of the chase between Apollo and Daphne as well as Daphne transformation, though it leaves out exactly how she was transformed and why the chase took place. The poem relates to the song because the song also summarizes the myth through a modern perspective. The singer asks where her Apollo is and asks how Daphne could turn him away so easily. With each text the understanding becomes clear on how powerful desire and loss are in the myth. Each includes the chase and desire in each Daphne and Apollo's hearts and the loss present in both their hearts as well. Daphne's loss of human life, and Apollo's loss of his true love.


Created with images by dottorpeni - "dafne" • Hans - "leaves laurel tree" • Hans - "leaves laurel tree" • Dun.can - "Eros" • Epspsdcom - "golden laurels wreath" • Fæ - "Apollo and Daphne LACMA 15.4.7"

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