The Journey Of Persephone

Decent Essays

The underworld is described as a very dangerous place. Only a few descended to the underworld and returned to tell the tale. However, this essay compares and discusses the journeys of Persephone, Orpheus and Eurydice, Herakles and Odysseus to the underworld and back and the function of these myths

Orpheus a very talented musician and son of Apollo, goes to the underworld in attempt to save his wife Eurydice .Eurydice loses her life to a snake bite on the night of their wedding. In the underworld, Orpheus manages to charm Cerberus with his music and he lets him in, the music also charms Hades and Persephone who permits him to take his wife. However, Hades gives him one condition; he is not supposed to look back at his wife until she is fully …show more content…

Persephone, daughter of Demeter the mother earth is abducted by Hades the king of underworld. She is made the queen of the underworld and Hades consort. Demeter wonders the earth in search for her daughter but to no avail. She is later informed by Hecate, the chthonic cave-dwelling goddess of what has happened to her daughter. Enraged with the loss of her daughter, Demeter makes every plant dry. The gods pleads with her to make the land fertile again but she refuses. Zeus later pleads with Hades to release Persephone he agrees. Unfortunately she has already eaten the fruit of the underworld .Persephone is later released but, She is forced to return to the underworld per their law for 6 months (Oyden 2010,96).The myth of Persephone is interpreted by feminism approach whereby much focus is on Persephone’s character alone. According to Weinstein, the figure of Persephone can be seen as; maiden who goes into the underworld/death, maiden becomes initiated into mysteries of darkness and maiden emerges from the underworld, the cycle continues. Therefore, Persephone tale serves as a healing for women who has been traumatically transported to a certain condition through acts of violence, rejection or abuse condoned by …show more content…

Herakles, strength, suffering, and endurance could symbolise his victory of good over evil. In his final labour, Herakles confronts with death itself. As per kings demand he must bring Cerberus, the three headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. Fortunately, before embarking on his quest, Herakles goes to Eleusis to be initiated into mysteries of Demeter, as an assurance that he will be reborn. Herakles reaches the underworld, asks Hades for the dog but he is to use his own hands when subduing the monster. Lucky enough, he overpowers the dog, brings it to the upper world and presents it to king and returns Cerberus to Hades (Oyden 2010, 95). Herakles therefore metaphorically dies twice and also resurrects twice which is not humanly possible. He also redeems Theseus unlike Orpheus who fails miserably to save his wife from

Get Access
Get Access