The tragic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice – Brendan Pelsue

The tragic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice – Brendan Pelsue


It was the perfect wedding,
the guests thought. The groom was Orpheus,
the greatest of all poets and musicians. The bride Eurydice, a wood nymph. Anyone could tell the couple
was truly and deeply in love. Suddenly, Eurydice stumbled,
then fell to the ground. By the time Orpheus reached her side,
she was dead, and the snake that had bitten
her was slithering away through the grass. Following Eurydice’s funeral, Orpheus was overcome with a grief
the human world could not contain, and so he decided he would journey
to the land of the dead, a place from which no living creature
had ever returned, to rescue his beloved. When Orpheus reached the gates of the
underworld, he began to strum his lyre. The music was so beautiful that Cerberus,
the three-headed dog who guards the dead, lay down as Orpheus passed. Charon, the ferry captain who charged
dead souls to cross the River Styx, was so moved by the music that he brought
Orpheus across free of charge. When Orpheus entered
the palace of Hades and Persephone, the king and queen of the dead, he began to sing. He sang of his love for Eurydice,
and said she had been taken away too soon. The day would come when she,
like all living creatures, dwelled in the land of the
dead for all eternity, so couldn’t Hades grant
her just a few more years on Earth? In the moment after Orpheus finished,
all hell stood still. Sisyphus no longer rolled his rock
up the hill. Tantalus did not reach for the water
he would never be allowed to drink. Even the Furies,
the demonic goddesses of vengeance, wept. Hades and Persephone granted
Orpheus’s plea, but on one condition. As he climbed back out of the underworld, he must not turn around to see
if Eurydice was following behind him. If he did, she would return
to the land of the dead forever. Orpheus began to climb. With each step, he worried more and more
about whether Eurydice was behind him. He heard nothing—
where were her footsteps? Finally, just before he stepped out
of the underworld and into the bright light of day, he gave into temptation. Orpheus tried to return to the underworld,
but was refused entry. Separated from Eurydice, Orpheus swore never
to love another woman again. Instead, he sat in a grove of trees
and sang songs of lovers. There was Ganymede, the beautiful boy
who Zeus made drink-bearer to the gods. There was Myrrah, who loved her father
and was punished for it, and Pygmalion, who sculpted
his ideal woman out of ivory, then prayed to Venus
until she came to life. And there was Venus herself, whose beautiful Adonis
was killed by a wild boar. It was as if Orpheus’s own love and loss had allowed him to see into
the hearts of gods and people everywhere. For some, however, poetry was not enough. A group of wild women called the Maenads could not bear the thought that a poet
who sang so beautifully of love would not love them. Their jealousy drove them to a frenzy
and they destroyed poor Orpheus. The birds, nature’s singers,
mourned Orpheus, as did the rivers,
who made music as they babbled. The world had lost two great souls. Orpheus and Eurydice had loved each other
so deeply that when they were separated, Orpheus had understood
the pain and joys of lovers everywhere, and a new art form,
the love poem, was born. While the world wept, Orpheus found peace,
and his other half, in the underworld. There, to this day, he walks with Eurydice
along the banks of the River Styx. Sometimes, they stroll side by side; sometimes, she is in front; and sometimes, he takes the lead, turning
to look back at her as often as he likes.

100 thoughts on “The tragic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice – Brendan Pelsue

  1. Thank you so much to everyone who has started supporting our mission on Patreon! You asked for more myths, and here they are! If you'd like to learn more about how to get involved, visit our Patreon page: http://bit.ly/2APSQow

  2. Quick question tough
    Whats the different between them loving each other in the land of the dead and in real life?
    Aaaah yes..they are unable to procreate..this is a trully sad sad story

  3. this is my FAVORITE greek myth, its so beautiful and makes me all soft and romantic:c
    also: not here from hadestown, here from hoziers Talk aka the best song ever written

  4. Half the comments: “who’s here from Hadestown!!!!!”

    I’m just here cuz I study mythology and ancient greece as an A level

  5. Anyone else think that at 4:25 , the person in the boat should have turned to the 'camera' and given the announcement? Just me? 😂

  6. MY GIRLFRIEND IS NAMED EURYDICE =ΕΥΡΥΔΙΚΗ!! κωλαρα ειναι αυτη πωπω μανουλα μου 🤣

  7. ΝΑΑΑ ΚΑΙ ΘΑ'ΜΑΣΤΕ ΕΣΥ ΚΑΙ ΕΓΩ !! ΚΑΤ'ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΙΔΙΟ ΟΥΡΑΝΟ ΚΑΙ ΑΠΟΨΕ ΘΑ ΞΑΝΑ ΓΕΝΝΗΘΩ!!!😍

  8. ahhh, we have different stories then. this wasn't what was discussed in our English subject but I prefer this one much better.

  9. Are we just going to ignore Charon's expression of sadness when he sees Orpheus and Eurydice loving each other on the banks of the Styx River?

  10. Mannnn underworld must be lit with this dude as there justin beiber over down there.

    Haides be like: yow yow yow my boy, sing us those music again

  11. This is the ultimate challenge. Give entirely and fully everything and anything we might ever have. Totally everything to someone who I could equally love and be loved in return. Who cares where to spend eternity, if having it all inside and in you.

  12. Pasts the 3 headead dogs and the boat tour undead guy or something something: BY just playing the instrument

    The book of life: Am I a joke to you

  13. *Slams head into a wall*
    I'M COMING WAIT FOR MEEE
    I HEAR THE WALLS REPEATIIINGG
    THE FALLING OF OUR FEET AAANDD
    IT SOUNDS LIKE DRUMMIIINGG
    AND WE ARE NOT ALONE
    I HEAR THE ROCKS AND STOONEES
    ECHOING OUR SOOONGG
    I'M COMIIIIIINGG

  14. Ok but WHAT ABOUT THE SALT?!? IT'S THE ONE THING THE MYTH IS KNOWN FOR BUT BOTH THIS AND HADESTOWN COMPLETELY IGNORE IT!!!

  15. In india, there's hindu mythology, similar to this story: There was once a couple, deeply in love, living in forest & selling woods for lving. They were very happy. but one day  Satyavan (the boy) was supposed to die, Savitri (the girl) wents with him into the forest. As he was chopping wood, he got overcome with fatigue and fell asleep in her lap. Savitri knew that this was the moment of his death. savitri become so sad & she decided to not let yamraj (Hindu lord of death)take his husband's soul. She did evrything in her power to stop yamraj from taking his husband, and at last yamraj told her that this can't happen, as his years of living has finished. So savitri asks yamraj to give his husband, her half lifespan. Finally, yamraj felt sorry impressed by savitri's sacrifice that he granted her wish. And satyavan came back to life, then they livied happily ever after. 🙂

  16. IM COMING WAIT FOR ME
    I HEAR THE WALLS REPEATING
    THE FALLING OF OUR FEET, IT SOUNDS LIKE DRUMMING
    AND WE ARE NOT ALONE
    I HEAR THE ROCKS AND STONE
    ECHOING OUR SONG
    IM COMING

  17. We need a sequel to Hadestown, and it has to have the Maenads. No I do not accept constructive criticism.
    (And also Orpheus and Eurydice get united at the end in the underworld.)

  18. It will be interesting to see how this story fits in with the SB2 decode by AndWeKnow.
    Heading back to that video now.
    I love Greek mythology. Great story.

  19. Persephone could come and go and was the myth that explained the seasons. Hades get's a bad rap. Ganymede was "more than a drink boy" to Zeus. Ted-Ed isn't being thorough or honest on this.

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