Persephone: Greek Mythology and Spring Persephone Returns Essay

Submitted By jclary94
Words: 572
Pages: 3

Persephone There are many variations in the story of Persephone and the conflicting roles she held. In Greek mythology, Persephone is known as the goddess of springtime, flowers and youth and, the queen of the underworld. She is the daughter of Zeus, king of the gods, and Demeter, the harvest queen. As a young girl she was called Kore, which is Greek for maiden. As a young woman, Persephone had many suitors. In one variation of the story, it was Persephone who rejected their advances, but in others, it was Demeter who turned them away wanting to keep her daughter to herself. She was successful up to the time Zeus made a deal with his brother Hades, king of the underworld.

In the original version of the myth, Persephone is out in a field with friends picking flowers with her mother close by watching over her. Zeus was also watching down from Olympus, but for another reason. As Persephone was gathering flowers, an unusually beautiful flower caught her eye. The flower was a narcissus, the exact flower Zeus wanted her to see. As she leaned down to pick the flower, the earth suddenly trembled and split in two and out of the bowels of the earth emerged a great golden chariot carrying Hades. As quickly as Hades snatched up Persephone taking her underground, Demeter intuitively knew something bad had happened to her daughter. The sudden loss of Persephone caused Demeter to sink into a state of deep depression so much so that she abandoned her duties as goddess of grain and growth. Soon, the beauty that graced the earth withered and died all around her as she wandered aimlessly from town to town in search of Persephone.

So outraged by the loss of Persephone, Demeter demanded Zeus bring her daughter back. Zeus surrendered to Demeter’s demands and sent a messenger to the underworld to bring Persephone back. When he arrived, he was surprised at what he saw. Expecting to find a weakened and terrified Persephone, he found instead, a well adjusted and glowing Queen of the Underground in charge of assisting new arrivals in adapting to their new life. As much as she loved and missed her mother, Persephone felt she had found her purpose and was distraught as to what she