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Orpheus

and
Eurydice
Charlie and Veronica
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ary_Scheffer_-
_Orpheus_Mourning_the_Death_of_Eurydice,_1814.
jpg
Background
Apollonius of Rhodes began the story passing on the
first part of the story on the account of Orpheus and
Eurydice
The rest is told best by Virgil and Ovid
All three use a similar writing style making it look as if it
was all told by the same person
Setting
Kingdom of Thrace
The Underworld
http://www.pinterest.com/rishardg/achaemenid-empire-persia-
and-iran/
http://lpsmythologywiki.wikispaces.
com/Greek+Myths--The+Underworld
Main Characters
Orpheus - son of a muse
and the prince of Thrace,
charmed human, animals and
nature with his music
Eurydice - a wood nymph
who falls in love and marries
Orpheus
http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_274211/Joseph-
Paelinck/Orpheus-and-Eurydice
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/g/gennari/benedet1/orpheus.html
Other Characters
Hades
King of the
Underworld, ruler of
the dead
Persephone
Queen of the
Underworld
Jason
son of Zeus leads the
Argo
nemca.deviantart.com http://tossingthegreeksalad.wordpress.
com/2014/03/06/persephone-and-the-
seasons/
http://www.rugusavay.com/jason-
greek-mythology-hero/
Story
Orpheus, mortal, was given a
music gift from his mother
With his voice and instrument he
could move living and nonliving
things, stop quarrels, wars and
saved heroes and Argonauts from
the Sirens
Orpheus falls in love with Eurydice
and shortly after they get married
Their happiness is short lived
because she is bitten by a viper in
a big meadow and the wound kills
her
http://preraphaelitepaintings.blogspot.
ch/2010/08/george-frederic-watts-orpheus-and.
html
Orpheus is devastated by Eurydices death
and plays his sorrows out on guitar
After a while though, he gets of his sorrow
and tries to do something
He sets off to go to the underworld playing
his music all the way there
His music helps him charm everyone in the
underworld and gets him all the way to the
Palace: he calm Cerberus, Ixion stays
motionless, Sisyphus rested, Tantalus
forgot his thirst, Furies were brought to
tears
http://www.wikigallery.
org/wiki/painting_368758/(after)-
Carlo-Cignani/Orpheus-And-
Eurydice
At the Palace of Hades, the King
and Queen listen to his beautiful
song, and luckily Orpheus is able
to charm the two as well
Eurydice is summoned to be
brought back to the light with
Orpheus
There is one condition though: he
must not look at her the whole way
back until the exit from the depths
of the underworld.
Orpheus and Eurydice exit the underworld
together and Orpheus has to fight the urge
to look back wanting to make sure she was
there
Right as Orpheus steps out into the upper
world he turns to look at his beautiful wife
Its too early though Eurydice was still not
out and the entrance swallowed her back in
as she says, farewell
He tried to re-enter the underworld but this
time was not allowed
http://www.shmoop.com/orpheus-
eurydice/photos.html
From then on Orpheus lives in
desolation, his only comfort is his lyre
He wanders through the kingdom of
Thrace endlessly
At last a band of Maenads fall upon him
tearing him to bits
The Muses find his head in the Hebrus
and bury it in the sanctuary island; the
limbs are found and buried at the foot of
olympus where the bird sing sweetest
http://www.socialhistoryofart.
com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=98849936
Questions
1) How could Orpheus have been more careful
and not turn to Eurydice too soon?
2) What is the moral of this story? (What does it
represent?)
3) Why did Orpheus go to the underworld?
Answers
1) Orpheus was too overcome with excitement to wait until
Eurydice was out of the underworld. He should have
asked her if he could look back yet or remembered that
he was still in front of her before he turned around.
2) The moral of this story is patience and trust. He always
wanted to look back and make sure she was following
him and he was too impatient to wait for her to exit the
underworld before turning around to see her.
3) Orpheus went to the underworld to chase his love and
to bring her back to him.
Resources
Hamilton, Edith, and Steele Savage. Mythology,. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.,
1942. Print.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice." Shmoop.com.
Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. <http://www.
shmoop.com/orpheus-eurydice/>.
MLA formatting by BibMe.org.