pt 2

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  • Approach
  • Ordeal
  • Reward
  • Finally, Orpheus finds Hades and Persephone. The authors of the myth don't say where he finds them, but the couple usually hangs out in Hades' palace, deep within the Underworld.
  • Road Back
  • Using his enchanting music and persuasive speaking skills, Orpheus attempts to convince Hades and Persephone to let Eurydice go. According to Ovid, he gives a whole long speech, during which he reminds Hades that (a) even he, Hades, knows the power of love, having fallen for Persephone once, (b) Orpheus and Eurydice would both be dead eventually, so why not let Eurydice live a little longer?
  • Atonement
  • Orpheus melts the hearts of Hades and Persephone, which is no small feat, considering they're the King and Queen of Death. They decide to let Eurydice go, under the condition that she follow Orpheus during the couple's trip back to the upper world (aka, the land of the living). Orpheus is also not allowed to look at his wife as they ascend. No matter what.
  • Return
  • Orpheus and Eurydice travel towards the upper world. Orpheus can hear Eurydice's footsteps behind him but he isn't 100% sure that she's actually there.
  • As the couple nears the exit of the cave, Orpheus sees sunlight. He is either so excited that he forgets his instructions from Hades, or he is suddenly overcome with extreme doubt about whether or not Eurydice is behind him. Either way, he spins around to look at her, which sends poor Eurydice plummeting back to Hades. Orpheus reaches out to Eurydice, but he's just grabbing at air. He then tries to follow her back to the Underworld a second time, but the Ferryman on the River Styx won't let him pass.
  • Orpheus loses Eurydice forever. For a while, he wanders around Thrace, crying over his lost love, until he dies.
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