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Is there an archetypal myth in which a person does something really good to humanity, but contrary to common sense that says that he should be thanked and praised, he's attacked by those whom he helped instead? There's a lot of situations like that, when people simply don't want something really good, because well they are people. Like Nietzsche and his Zarathustra, who came down to people and started talking to them but instead they were saying he's a fool.

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  • Hi and welcome to mythology and folklore! I'm not quite sure what you are asking. Could you clarify?
    – Tom Sol
    Feb 28, 2020 at 16:56
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    for any myths that tell a story of how common people reject someone who tried to benefit them. e.g., if prometheus was punished not by zeus, but betrayed by people themselves
    – user181157
    Feb 28, 2020 at 19:31
  • I totally recall this subject matter, however it was so long ago I would not be able to answer this.
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 1, 2020 at 3:21

2 Answers 2

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The story of Jesus Christ. Came to save the world, but the same people killed him

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  • yeah exactly people could have chosen between him and murderer Barabbas to be released bu they "followed the advice of the elders"? and didn't choose him. although i feel like quite a lot of people were pro-jesus, but it's the elders and the roman empire which he was undermining that resulted in his crucifixion. but yea, "lord forgive them for they don't knoweth what they're doing". thx for contribution, and i'm looking for myths in other cultures that can reflect this.
    – user181157
    Feb 29, 2020 at 12:41
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Looking over the Motif-Index of Folk-Literature and Aarne–Thompson–Uther (ATU) Index, I couldn't find anything quite like you’re describing. The closest thing I could find is ATU Type 160, “The Grateful Animals and the Ungrateful Man", but it's not a close fit. To summarize, in this type of folk tale, a man rescues another man and several animals from a life-threatening situation. The animals repay his kindness, and he prospers, becoming wealthy and popular. The man who had been rescued, however, frames his rescuer for a crime he hadn’t committed. The village turns against the innocent man. He is sentenced to death, but is saved by devising a ploy with one of the animals to do something helpful for the village to get back on the people’s good graces. He is able to return to his normal life.

So, again, this only vaguely resembles your criteria: a) he aids one person (but only one) who shows no gratitude in return, and b) his people do reject him, but then come to accept him because he ostensibly does something to help them.

Additionally, there is ATU Type 155, “Ingratitude Is the World's Reward.” These stories don’t have the precise elements you’re looking for, either, but they do contain themes of ungratefulness.

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