"Arachne"

Being skilled does not make you better than a god. In the retelling of the Greek myth "Arachne," Olivia E. Coolidge shows what happens to a young maiden who forgets this.

Here are all the word lists to support the reading of Grade 7 Unit 1's texts from SpringBoard's Common Core ELA series: The Road Not Taken, Choices, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Dust Tracks on a Road, Bad Boy, Why Couldn't I Have Been Named Ashley?, Phaethon, Daedalus and Icarus, Arachne, The Lion, the Fox, and the Stag, A Note from the Author, creation myths
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definitions & notes only words
  1. obscure
    not famous or acclaimed
    She lived in an obscure little village
  2. humble
    marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful
    and her father was a humble dyer of wool
  3. embroidery
    decorative needlework
    So soft and even was her thread, so fine her cloth, so gorgeous her embroidery, that soon her products were known all over Greece.
  4. immensely
    to an exceedingly great extent or degree
    Arachne was used to being wondered at, and she was immensely proud of the skill that had brought so many to look on her.
  5. indignant
    angered at something unjust or wrong
    Therefore when she heard them murmur, she would stop her work and turn round indignantly to say, "With my own ten fingers I gained this skill, and by hard practice from early morning till night.
  6. reckless
    marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
    " Reckless girl," she said, "how dare you claim to be equal to the immortal gods themselves?
  7. content
    satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are
    Rest content with your fame of being the best spinner and weaver that mortal eyes have ever beheld.
  8. poverty
    the state of having little or no money and possessions
    It is easy to see that you were never good for anything in your day, or you would not come here in poverty and rags to gaze at my skill.
  9. obstinacy
    resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires
    Before the group that was gathered there she would not give in; so pressing her pale lips together in obstinacy and pride, she led the goddess to one of the great looms and set herself before the other.
  10. skein
    coils of worsted yarn
    Many skeins lay heaped beside them to use, bleached white, and gold, and scarlet, and other shades, varied as the rainbow.
  11. remarkable
    unusual or striking
    Arachne had never thought of giving credit for her success to her father's skill in dyeing, though in actual truth the colors were as remarkable as the cloth itself.
  12. spectator
    a close observer; someone who looks at something
    As they looked at the glowing colors, the spectators realized that Athene was weaving into her pattern a last warning to Arachne.
  13. strive
    exert much effort or energy
    The central figure was the goddess herself competing with Poseidon for possession of the city of Athens; but in the four corners were mortals who had tried to strive with gods and pictures of the awful fate that had overtaken them.
  14. resort
    have recourse to
    the maiden had taken for her design a pattern of scenes which showed evil or unworthy actions of the gods, how they had deceived fair maidens, resorted to trickery, and appeared on earth from time to time in the form of poor and humble people.
  15. shrivel
    decrease in size, range, or extent
    At that the body of Arachne shriveled up, and her legs grew tiny, spindly, and distorted.
Created on August 22, 2014 (updated August 22, 2014)

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