Greek Mythological Story of Orpheus and Eurydice
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The story of Orpheus, son of Apollo, and Eurydice, the oak nymph, is a tragic tale that began joyfully. The story began when Apollo, the god of music and the twin of the goddess Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, gave his son, Orpheus, a golden lyre as a gift. Orpheus, who appears to have inherited his father’s musical talent used it to play joyful music. All who heard him play were captivated by how beautiful Orpheus could make that instrument sound. This very act led to him eventually meeting Eurydice, the love of his life. Here’s the details of their story:
Apollo Teaches Orpheus to Play
Apollo did more than just gift the lyre to Orpheus. He also taught him how to play the instrument. Orpheus quickly showed that his musical talent was vast when he not only caught onto the instrument quickly, but also played with perfection and Apollo was even surprised at his progress. However, there was an added element to Orpheseus’ gift. Whenever someone heard him play, it became clear that they couldn’t resist his music and from it, they all became enchanted.
Orpheus and Eurydice Fell in Love
When Orpheus and Eurydice met, they instantly fell in love. Orpheus, the son of a god and Eurydice, a beautiful wood nymph, appeared to have a perfect union. They were so happy, they thought for sure that they would always enjoy that happy state. However, shortly after they were married, they learned that this wasn’t the case. When asked to bless their union, the Hymen instead foretold of their union’s tragic end.
Eurydice Dies Tragically
There are a few versions of Eurydice’s death that are available. In all variations of the story, Eurydice falls into a nest of vipers, is bitten on the heel, and succumbs to her wounds. Also, in all of the stories, Eurydice begins her ill-fated day by wandering in the forest with her fellow nymphs. However, the events that led up to her falling into the pit change depending on who tells the tale. In some of the tales, she falls into the pit after she tries to escape the romantic overtures of a shepherd who becomes infatuated with her. In other versions of the story, she encounters a satyr in the forest who tries to take advantage of her. When she tries to leave the satyr, she falls into the nest of vipers.
Orpheus Learns of the Death of Eurydice
When Orpheus learned that his beloved wife had died, he wandered through the forests and played a lament on his lyre. All beings who came in contact with his music were greatly moved by the emotions that were stirred by his playing. Shortly after that, his father, Apollo, suggested that Orpheus travel to Hades in order to visit Eurydice. He journeyed through Hades playing his lyre, which even caused Hades to sympathize with him. He made a deal with Hades, who said that Eurydice could return to the mortal world with Orpheus as long as he didn’t turn around. At the last moment, however, Orpheus did turn around and Eurydice was lost to him forever.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston