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Untying Gidion's Knot: Part 3

Posted on July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

Throughout this week, Forum will be delving into the fascinating world of Gidion's Knot in a series of blog posts written by some of our Season 11 class of interns! #forumKNOT 

By Amylia Johnson (@its_amylia), Marketing & Outreach Intern

Throughout history, stories have been instrumental in the progression of ancient cultures and their connection to the world around them. These myths spread across coasts and beyond borders, taking a life of their own that is then preserved in history. Mythology is the amalgamation of stories linked to a culture’s traditional beliefs, capturing the essence of their ideologies and values. Tales of gods, creation, and legends are each painted in vivid detail through words which are regarded as sacred to those who identify with that society. The purpose of myths is to present universal truths in the form of riveting dramas, heart stopping tragedies, and golden victories.
Myths are regarded as fiction because of the lack of evidence to support them, but still hold an important place in the formation of the societies that create them. Creation stories and characters of supernatural status are staples of traditional lore. Spirituality is explored and solidified through myths and yet are still discerned as fictitious. Looking at ancient Greek and Gaelic mythology, the concept of creation as grand imagination is easy to grasp; however, when you take a religion largely endorsed in modern times such as the Christian story of Adam and Eve, the concept of it as myth becomes harder for some to accept. 
 No matter the era or the society these myths originate from, they all have been cherished by those who choose to accept it as truth and pondered by those who don’t. In Gidion’s Knot, both truth and fiction are tangled and the two characters present their own interpretations of events. Both are trying to rationalize and support their beliefs in an attempt to bring closure after a devastating incident.
 The play takes place in Gidion’s 5th grade classroom which is dominated by the subject of mythology. Pictures of ancient Greek gods and Hindu deities line the walls. A large poster featuring the legend of Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot is another visual point of discussion in the play. The imagery and discourse touches on legend and myth, which ties into the play’s theme of real life being combined with fantasy.
The play is a tangle of ideals, tragedy, and half answered questions which creates its own knot for the audience and characters to either solve or cut apart. All legends and myths are tied to a hint of truth, whether it be literal or intrinsic and in the case of Gidion’s Knot, all the elements combine to create a short, bitter tale full of revelations and regret. 
Gidion’s imagination serves as a catalyst for a series of events that have very real consequences and leaves the audience with a decision to make: Was Gidion a bully? A victim? A protector? Is there truth to his words or was his imagination simply too powerful?
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