In our English class during our freshman year in high school, we had the opportunity to study Edith Hamilton’s book Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. I was inspired to translate one of the eight brief tales of lovers in that book. I chose the story of Pyramus and Thisbe because it reminded me of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (although Pyramus and Thisbe predated Romeo and Juliet); the story of forbidden love between lovers from feuding families.
I was thinking that it would be a good reading exercise for high school students who are studying the ancient world (e.g., Babylon) in their Araling Panlipunan subject (I think this topic is studied by Grade 8 students). Although, the story is a reading exercise in Filipino.
In the PDF file below, I’ve translated Edith Hamilton’s English version of Pyramus and Thisbe by Ovid and I’ve also included some dialogue from Thomas Bulfinch’s version of the same story from his book The Age of Fable.
There is also a list of vocabulary words in Filipino with English definitions. I’ve also included a set of questions that the students can answer.
The story may also be an example of a legend (alamat) since it tells of the origin of why the fruit of the mulberry tree is red instead of white. The immature fruits of the mulberry tree are actually colored white, green, or pale yellow. In most species, the fruits turn pink and then red while ripening, and then dark purple or black. They have a sweet flavor when fully ripe.
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