Orpheus and Eurydice

Topics: Love, Greek mythology, Getty Center Pages: 4 (1698 words) Published: April 19, 2013
Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the popular Greek myths. The myth is about Orpheus’ going to Hades to take his wife back from Pluto - the ruler of the underworld. He uses his fascinated music and charming voice to make Pluto and his wife Proserpine feel sympathy and persuade them to release Eurydice back to the living world. The most compelling scenes were Orpheus made a commitment with Pluto that Eurydice will follow him behind, and he should not look back until they reach the living world, because Pluto wants to test Orpheus for the faith he has in Eurydice. Unfortunately, Orpheus has turned back to look at Eurydice one step too early, because he does not sure if she has been following him behind. Eurydice turns back to shadow, and Orpheus will never be able to see her again. Through the mythology, we come to the issues of love, happiness, suffering, life, and death. There are many film directors, artists, and authors borrow Orpheus and Eurydice mythology to show their beliefs in the context of humanity and man’s issues. “Orpheus (1)” written by Margaret Atwood, “Orpheus and Eurydice” drawn by Jean Raoux, and “Black Orpheus” directed by Marcel Camus were three different works in different areas that retell the mythology. Each person chooses a different way to show the story that best suited their time periods and cultures. The poem “Orpheus (1)” was written by Margaret Atwood in the 70s. The poem was written in the time period when Women Right movement was active in Canada. Atwood was a feminist, therefore her writing strongly showed her support for feminism. In Orpheus (1), a strong female character was demonstrated. Eurydice in this particular poem had her own voice to express how she felt. Through the poem, Atwood had a hidden message that women should have their own choice and the right to follow and do what they desire. Atwood wrote the poem based on Eurydice’s point of view, and she criticized Orpheus for his selfishness. Orpheus...

Cited: Atwood, M. (1976-1986). Orpheus (1). Selected Poems II: 1976-1986.
Gordine, S. (Producer), & Camus, M. (Director). (1959). Black Orpheus [Motion Picture].
Raoux, J. Orpheus and Eurydice. J. Paul Getty Museum Collection. The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, Pensylvania.
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