American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Greek Mythology An Athenian princess who avenged the betrayal and cruelty of her husband, Tereus, by killing their son. She and her sister Philomela were changed into swallows as Tereus pursued them.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as Progne.
“The conclusion of the story, in which Procne kills their son then bakes him in a pie and serves him to Tereus in revenge, is less recounted somehow, arguably because the scorched-earth emotional relentlessness it exemplifies sits so uncomfortably withinthe heart of the genuinely feminine.”
“I could tell of the murder of that poor son of Zeus, whom Procne, mother of an only child, slew and offered to the Muses; but thou hadst three children, wretched parent, and all of them hast thou in thy frenzy slain.”
“Procne then killed her kids by Tereus and fed them to him.”
“But she wove a tapestry that told the story, and got it to her sister, Procne.”
“She alerts her sister Procne by weaving the tale into a tapestry — then the sisters plot against Tereus.”
“What then, said Sylla, is it upon the old fabulous account of killing her son, that they deny the swallow entertainment, by that means showing their dislike to those passions which (as the story goes) made Tereus and Procne and”
“The gods prevented him from punishing her by turning him into a hoopoe, Philome1ainto a swallow, and Procne into a nightingale.”
“When Procne discovered that Tereus had raped and mutilated her sister, Philomela, she took revenge by serving him a meal that included the flesh of their child, Itys.”
“ And Procne is to this day flitting about, lamenting; and her sister of Athens shrills with her tongue cut out.”
“I will hasten down to the thicket to waken my dear Procne and as soon as they hear our voices, they will come to us hot wing.”
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