Who is Orpheus? He was a poet and singer, made famous for his expedition into Hades to rescue his wife Eurydice, who had died of a poisonous snake bite.
Orpheus’s talents lie in his music. With his lyre, given to him by Apollo, he captivates the world- mortals, wild animals, gods, and even Hades himself. He brings the god of the underworld to tears with his music, and rescues his wife, only to make one fatal mistake that will haunt him for the rest of eternity. He cannot bear to look at his wife before they are free, although Hades strictly forbade him, warning Orpheus that if he should look on his wife before they left the underworld, she would be doomed to stay there.
Like Adam’s tasting the forbidden fruit, or Pandora’s opening the box of evil, Orpheus’s loss is final. Eventually, after a violent death of dismemberment, he is transformed. His lyre becomes a constellation, and his soul is granted immortality in Elysium.
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