There are our own interpretations/opinions added on almost every page and they can be read by hovering over the text(:
Historical Context (Linking it to the Greeks)
This tale has haunted mankind from 6th century BCE (or even earlier) and there have been adaptations into poems, films, music (all forms of art, basically). Many Greek tales of love are prolific (and astoundingly tragic) but Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was not placed in any position of importance. Love was important to the continuation of mankind (as we mentioned in our excerpt) but Aphrodite was not particularly revered. The Greeks, thus, viewed love as a fundamental part of their lives but they paid homage to her out of duty and basic respect.
Through this story, it gives us an idea of how people back then (the Greeks in particular) viewed love to be and how it should be. Apart from the superficial level of love such as infatuation,attraction and passion, one should just forsake everything and go through hell (literally) just to get their lover back. This ideal concept of love was probably their definition of love and it shows how much of an importance they viewed love to be.
However, if we look into this tale carefully, under the layers encompassing various degrees of love, this myth of Orpheus and Eurydice reflects the weakness of human spirit. Had Orpheus trusted the Gods as well as himself, he wouldn't have turned back and lost his wife, for ever. Putting ourselves in the shoes of Orpheus, it is definitely easier to become doubtful than to trust others. This tragic love story further symbolises Orpheus' sacrifice of his wife due to human folly. It is only human to make mistakes from time to time. However, it had lasting consequences that Orpheus could not bear to withstand and ended up giving up on his own life.
In relation to today's age and time, are people today as dedicated and committed as Orpheus was? Matrimony is still upheld as 'sacred' in today's world but how seriously is it looked upon? While upon marriage, marriage vows are made which stipulate commitment and dedication, such as "for better, for worse, in sickness and in sickness and in health", we feel that couples nowadays are less committed. Do couples in love treat it wholeheartedly? Would people just walk out of their relationship when something unfortunate happens? What about after a few years, or a decade later? Due to reasons such as infidelity, communication breakdowns or early marriages etc, couples end up in a divorce easily. Adding on, this is a generally exponentially increasing trend, with divorce rates gradually increasing across the world. Therefore, we feel that it is important to note that the idea of love goes a long way back and should not be taken lightly.
What would your definition of love be?
All Images edited with Canva.
Orpheus Playing the Lyre to Hades and Persephone. Author: Pieter Spierinckx & Peter Ykens [Public Domain]. Wiki Commons.
Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld. Author: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot [Public Domain]. Wiki Commons.
Orpheus and Eurydice Author: Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein-Stub [Public Domain]. Wiki Commons.
Orpheus and Eurydice Myth (no author). Retrieved from http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/orpheus-and-eurydice/
Orpheus Mourning the Death of Eurydice Author: Ary Scheffer [Public Domain]. Wiki Commons.