Orpheus and Eurydice were meant to be.
But destiny had other plans for them. All of us have read about the many affairs of the ancient gods, but only a fraction of us are familiar with the tale of Orpheus and his lovely wife, Eurydice. This is the topic we’ll be covering today. This one’s a biggie, so fasten your seatbelts.
Orpheus was actually the son of Apollo.
It’s likely that many readers already know that Apollo is the Greek god of lyric poetry and music. It was only natural that his offspring would inherit his musical talents. Orpheus grew up with a passion for music and excelled at playing the lyre, a stringed instrument fashioned from tortoiseshell that resembled a violin. His father was also a talented musician, but some say that he eventually surpassed him.
However, we now enter the beginning of the story. Orpheus was once strumming his lyre in the forest when a nymph wandered over to find the source of the enchanting music. And Orpheus, upon first sighting the nymph Eurydice, was smitten by her extraordinary beauty. They were quickly engaged and married after an intense but brief courtship.
Hymenaios, the god of marriage however had a warning for them.
Hymenaios told them their marriage wouldn’t last on their wedding day, but that didn’t dampen their spirits because they were so in love. And they continued to live happily ever after. Until Aristaeus, a shepherd, got in the way. See, the shepherd had set his sights on the lovely Eurydice, and he devised a plan to eliminate any competition for her by killing Orpheus.
So the shepherd attacked Orpheus.
Orpheus managed to get away with Eurydice in his arms, but she dropped her and was bitten by a snake. Because of this, she died suddenly, and Orpheus was left to grieve for his wife. But he wasn’t giving up, so he went to his dad, Apollo, for advice. In addition, Orpheus was able to speak with Hades, the God of the Underworld, because of Apollo. Orpheus played so beautifully that all of Hades’ underworld was listening, and Hades ultimately gave him a choice.
Hades said he could have his wife back on one condition.
Orpheus had to bring his wife Eurydice back from Hades without once looking back, lest he leave her there forever. They set out on their journey because it appeared to be a simple task.
They were close to the end as Orpheus saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
When Orpheus, now in the Overworld, turned to look at his wife below, he saw nothing because she was still in the shadows. This is how she came to be eternally trapped in the underworld.
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