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Pyramus and Thisbe were two lovers who had been forbidden to marry by their parents, but like Romeo and Juliet, they continued to meet and planned to run away to be together. Thisbe arrived a little bit early at the designated place—under a mulberry full of white berries and near a cool spring. Thisbe arrived first and while she waited, a fierce lion appeared, jaws bloodied from a recent kill, and she ran to safety, dropping her cloak in her rush. When Pyramus arrived, he found only her cloak trampled and bloody from the lion who had found her scent and torn the cloak with his mighty jaws. Pyramus’ despair was great. He blamed himself for not being there to protect his love. In his sorrow, he picked up the bloody cloak and kissed it again and again. Despairing, he drew his sword and plunged it into his side, his blood staining the white mulberries a deep red. Thisbe, though still fearful of the lion, got up her courage and returned minutes later to find her love dead. She kissed him, and finding his sword by his side, took it and killed herself. The gods, pitying them, made the berries of the mulberry tree red forever in their honor. Which purpose of mythology is illustrated by the story of Pyramus and Thisbe? religion history explanation of natural phenomena philosophy

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