Wednesday 9 October 2013

Abduction of Persephone

"Abduction of Persephone or Rape of Persephone"

                 According to Greek legend, Hades was in love with beautiful Persephone. Zeus without knowledge of Demeter had promised  Persephone to Hades. When Persephone was  playing in a flowery meadow with her companions, Hades carried her off to the underworld as his bride. Persephone cries of anguish was heard by Hecate. Demeter only heard the echo of her voice, immediately set out in search of her daughter. Demeter wandered in search of her daughter for nine days without taking food and without bathing.

 On tenth day she met Hecate, who told her that she had heard the cries of Persephone, but did not know who had carried her off. Hecate assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone guiding her through the night with flaming torches.Together they went to Helios, who was able to see all deeds from both morals and immortals. Her told Demeter that Zeus and Hades were to blame. Demeter in her anger at this news, leave Olympus and went to earth among men, conferring presents and blessings wherever she was kindly received and severely punishing those who repulsed her or did not receive her gift with proper reverence.

Demeter in her anger produced famine on the earth by not allowing the field to produce any fruit. Zeus anxious that the race of  mortals should not become extinct sent out all the gods of Olympus to conciliate Demeter. But Demeter vowed not to return to Olympus nor to restore the fertility of the earth, till she had seen her daughter again. Zeus sent Hermes to the underworld to speak to Hades and try to convince him to let Persephone to return to her mother. After Hermes successful persuasion, Hades was willing to let her go. But in other hand tricked her with promegranate seed as farewell gift. Once eaten the seed, she became bound to the underworld and would have to return eventually. 

Demeter and Persephone reunion

Demeter was once again outraged. Zeus now sent Rhea to persuade  Demeter to return to Olympus and also granted that Persephone should spend only one third part of the year in underworld. Demeter lift the curse from the lands. But in the sign of the protest, she was casting sorrow each year when her daughter had to leave for underworld. This was know as the winter time. 


1 comment: