On November 13, 7th Grade Honors English students had the opportunity to attend the production of "Androcles and the Lion" at UVU's Noorda Theater. Aesop's fable goes like this: "A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day brought him meat from which to live.But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several days.The emperor and all his court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognized his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog.The emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the lion let loose to his native forest."
Androcles and the lion are natural enemies. In our world today there are many who are troubled with the threat of enemies. Just like the civil rights activists, Androcles had to overcome obstacles to resolve differences and become allies instead of enemies. When Androcles helps the lion he risks sacrificing his freedom. In our class we have discussed slavery, pondered freedom, and questioned our own loyalties and choices. There are several themes running throughout the play such as friendship and loyalty, freedom, and trust, but most of all, the theme running throughout the play is " "I want to be free to be me." Don't we all?
Ironically, the play is a comedy. Upon our return we had an in-depth discussion about why people use humor to deal with hard issues.