This chapter uses a musical metaphor in an attempt to describe the different versions of Alcmene's tale as a group of variations on the same melodic theme. Given that no melody has ever given rise to more variations than La Folia, it can serve as the guiding thread for the proposed metaphor. In reading Alcmene's story, as with any other classical myth, we are in the same situation as someone in the audience listening to La Folia who has no idea what the original theme is because the presumptuous musician has decided to follow only the variations, without playing the theme.
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