Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice on the Banks of the Styx by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

The tragic tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the great romantic myths of the Greco-Roman pantheon.   Orpheus was the best musician of the ancient world.  He was gifted his lyre by Apollo himself!   When Orpheus fell in love and married Eurydice their happiness was short lived.

Eurydice would die not long after they were married.   Orpheus would fall into a deep grief, and he decided to go to a trip to Hades in order to get his bride back!   He was able to navigate his way down to the Underworld by using his ability as a musician.

When Orpheus finally got to see Hades himself he pled his case.    Hades agreed to let Eurydice be returned to Orpheus after hearing how beautifully Orpheus played.    There was a caveat to Eurydice returning to the land of the living.    Orpheus would have to walk out of the Underworld, and Eurydice would follow him, but he could never turn around to see if she was behind him.   Of course at the last possible moment (just as he was about to leave the Underworld) he turned around to see his beautiful wife!    The moment after he turned around Eurydice was taken back into the Underworld never to be returned.

This is the tragic end to the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.    The moral of the story is to have trust in others, because if Orpheus had simply had the faith in Hades word he would have saved his wife.   This also has always served as a reminder that in a relationship you need to trust your lover.   If you cannot trust the person you love, then the relationship will never last!   This tragedy is one that would inspire art and literature for millennia to come!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.   Let me know your thoughts on this myth in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Orpheus and Eurydice on the Banks of the Styx by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope.   I found the image on eclecticlight.co.

Further Reading

  • Mythology by Edith Hamilton
  • Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch