One of the most popular use of the apple is in the story of Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. Although the Bible never states that Eve picked an apple off the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil, the fruit is always represented in paintings & pictures as being an apple. This gives us the term "Adam's Apple" for the laryngeal prominence mostly seen in men & gave the reputation that the apple is a seductive, forbidden & evil (the Latin term for apple & evil are almost the same.)
Apples pop up in Greek Mythology numerously. The most known story resulted in the Trojan War. The Goddess Eris tossed a golden apple at a wedding party that said "for the most beautiful one." Goddesses Athena, Hera & Aphrodite all claimed the apple. In order to decide who should receive the apple, they asked the Trojan Prince, Paris, to be the judge. Athena & Hera tempted Paris with gifts, but Paris prefered Aphrodite's gift: the most beautiful woman in the world. He gave the apple to Aphrodite & she gave Paris Helen. Afterwards, throwing an apple to someone became a symbol of affection.
|Hercules holding the apple|
Hesprides; his eleventh task
was to fetch them from the
Tree of Life.
Now, why is one fruit so important? Why didn't Adam & Eve eat an orange? Why didn't Eris throw a golden pineapple? Why wasn't Snow White tricked into eating a poisonous kumquat? This isn't rhetorical; I'm actually asking why the apple plays such an important role? I also want to know what other tales & stories of apples being used as a plot device there are.