Previous to his unfortunate choice of gift, what was Midas's life like? What did he do? How did he spend his time? How were his relations to others (gods and human)? What sorts of values are implicit in such representations of life? What is considered good? What is the implicit purpose and substance of a good life? Is Midas' situation at that point similar to those of Adam and Eve before the fall and of Tantalus before his crime? How does Midas's choice of a gift relate to the values established earlier in the narrative? What does Midas seem to value above all other things? In what ways does his choice pervert the good life defined before? What competing set of values is implied in Midas's choice? Why is the god Bacchus saddened by Midas's choice? What does Bacchus represent? What are his attributes in Greek mythology? How is the figure of Bacchus related to the issues and different value systems addressed by the story of Midas? What is the "something better" which Midas could have chosen? Why is Midas, after receiving the gift, said to have gone off "cheerfully, delighted with the misfortune which had befallen him"? What are the rhetorical effects and implications of such a statement? What is the symbolic meaning of the initial transformation of a green oak twig into a golden one? What does the oak tree symbolize? Are there any similarities to the symbolic trees in Eden? How about the earth, the corn, the apple, and the clear water which Midas turns to gold? How are these images related to the messages of the story? What is Midas neglecting or abandoning in his ever-growing thirst for gold? What are the implications of the statement, "he dreamed of everything turned to gold, and his hopes soared beyond the limits of his imagination"? What way of life does the Midas situation represent? When do Midas's troubles become apparent to him? What role does food play in such an awareness? Why? Are there any relations to the punishment of Tantalus? Are the faults of Midas and Tantalus similar in any respect? Do they violate similar sacred principles? Which? In what ways do they pervert processes and ways of life which the narratives define as good? In what ways do they participate in processes and ways of life which the narratives define as evil? What are the consequences of each? What are the implications of the statement, "wretched in spite of his riches, dismayed by the strange disaster which had befallen him, Midas prayed for a way of escape from his wealth, loathing what he had lately desired"? What is the significance of the penance which Bacchus imposes on Midas to cleanse him of his fault? What is the meaning of the spring where Midas must bathe? Why is Midas said to remain foolish even after escaping from the ordeal of the gold? What is the story's understanding of human nature and tendencies? In what ways is the story of Midas relevant to ways of life and economic behavior in contemporary societies? What are the implications of the story for such societies and ways of life?
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