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  • In the center of Colchis in an enchanted garden,

  • the hide of a mystical flying ram hung from the tallest oak,

  • guarded by a dragon who never slept.

  • Jason would have to tread carefully to pry it from King Aeetes' clutches

  • and win back his promised throne.

  • But diplomacy was hardly one of the Argonauts' strengths.

  • Jason would have to navigate this difficult task alone.

  • Or so he thought.

  • Leaving most of his bedraggled crew to rest,

  • Jason made for the palace with some of his more even-tempered men.

  • His first instinct was to simply ask the king for his prized possession.

  • But Aeetes was enraged at the hero's presumption.

  • If this outsider wanted his treasure,

  • he would have to prove his worth by facing three perilous tasks.

  • The trials would begin the following day, and Jason was dismissed to prepare.

  • But another member of the royal family was also plotting something.

  • Thanks to the encouragement of Jason's guardians on Mount Olympus,

  • Medea, princess of Colchis and priestess of the witch goddess Hecate,

  • had fallen in love with the challenger.

  • She intended to protect her beloved from her father's tricksat any cost.

  • After a sleepless night, Jason somberly marched to the castle

  • but was intercepted.

  • The princess armed him with strange vials and trinkets,

  • in exchange for a promise of eternal devotion.

  • As they whispered and planned their victory,

  • both hero and princess fell deeply under each other's spell.

  • Unaware of his daughter's scheming,

  • the king confidently led Jason to face his first task.

  • The hero was brought to a huge field of oxen

  • that lay between him and the fleece,

  • and told that he had to plough the land around the crowds of oxen.

  • A simple taskor so Jason thought.

  • But Medea had concocted a fire-proof ointment,

  • and so he plowed the flickering fields unscathed.

  • For the second task,

  • he was given a box of serpent's teeth to plant into the scorched earth.

  • As soon as Jason scattered them, each seed sprouted into a bloodthirsty warrior.

  • They burst up around him, barricading his way forward,

  • but Medea had prepared him for this task as well.

  • Hurling a heavy stone she had given him into their midst,

  • the fighters turned on themselves as they scrabbled for it,

  • letting him slip by the fray.

  • For the third task,

  • Jason was finally face to face with the guardian of the Fleece.

  • Dodging sharp claws and singeing breath,

  • Jason scrambled up the tree and sprinkled a sweet-smelling concoction

  • over the dragon.

  • As the strains of Medea's incantations reached its ears

  • and the potion settled in its eyes, the dragon sank into a deep sleep.

  • Elated, Jason climbed to the top of the tallest oak,

  • where he slipped the gleaming fleece off its branch.

  • When the king saw the hero sprinting away

  • not only with the fleece, but his daughter in tow

  • he realized he had been betrayed.

  • Furious, he sent an army led by his son Absyrtus

  • to bring the ill-gotten prize and his conniving daughter home.

  • But all the players in this tale had underestimated the viciousness

  • of these disgraced lovers.

  • To the horror of the Gods, Jason ran his sword through Absyrtus in cold blood.

  • Medea then helped him scatter pieces of the body along the shore,

  • distracting her grieving father while the Argonauts escaped.

  • As Colchis and their pursuers grew smaller on the horizon,

  • a solemn silence fell aboard the Argo.

  • Jason could now return to Thessaly victorious

  • but his terrible act had tarnished his crew's honor,

  • and turned the Gods against them.

  • Buffeted by hostile winds,

  • the wretched crew washed up on the island of Circe the sorceress.

  • Medea begged her aunt to absolve them of wrongdoing

  • but bloody deeds are not so easily forgotten,

  • and fallen heroes not so rapidly redeemed.

In the center of Colchis in an enchanted garden,

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B2 jason fleece task dragon princess king

The myth of Jason, Medea, and the Golden Fleece - Iseult Gillespie

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/08
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