Pyramus Picture

Pyramus and Thisbe grew up in adjoining houses in Babylon. They fell in love but their parents would not allow them to marry one another. After many nights of whispering through a crack in the garden wall, they determined to slip away together in freedom. They agreed to meet at a well-known place, the Tomb of Ninus, under a tall mulberry tree full of white berries, near a cool spring.

Thisbe arrived first, but was frightened away by a lioness, which mauled with its bloody jaws the cloak that Thisbe had dropped. That is what Pyramus saw when he appeared a few minutes later. He concluded that Thisbe was dead and that he was responsible. He lifted up the cloak, kissed it, and carried it to the mulberry tree. He drew his sword and plunged it into his side. His blood changed the blooms and fruit of the tree from white to purple.

Thisbe returned, wishing that the lioness was gone and longing to see Pyramus. Discovering Pyramus' body, she kissed him, begging him to look at her. At the sound of her voice he opened his heavy eyes then died. She found his sword and her cloak. She killed herself with the same sword. The ashes of the unfortunate pair were placed in the same urn.

Their story as a whole can be found in Ovid's Metamorphosis 4.




Simone, as the model for the beautiful Pyramus.
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