When Theseus first entered the maze he tied off one end of the ball of thread which Ariadne had given him, and he played out the thread as he advanced deeper and deeper into the labyrinthine passages. Many artists have depicted Theseus killing the Minotaur with his sword or club, but it is hard to see how he could have concealed such bulky weapons in his clothing. More probable are the versions of the tale which have him coming upon the Minotaur as it slept and then, in properly heroic fashion, beating it to death with his bare fists. Or maybe he broke off one of the creature's horns and stabbed him to death with it. Then he followed the thread back to the entrance. Otherwise he would have died of starvation before making his escape.