and Eurydice by G. Kratzenstein-Stub ] In Greek mythology, Eurydice (Eurydíkê, Εὐρυδίκη) was an oak nymph or a sweet maiden. She was the wife of Orpheus. Orpheus loved her dearly; on their wedding day, Orpheus played songs filled with happiness as his bride danced through the meadow. One day, a satyr had seen her and pursued her. According to legend, Eurydice stepped on a snake and fell to the ground. The venomous snake had bitten her, leaving Eurydice dead. Distraught, Orpheus played and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and gods wept. In their saddened states, they told him to travel to the Underworld and retrieve her. Orpheus did so, and by his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, his singing so sweet that even the Erinyes wept. In another version, Orpheus played his lyre to put the guardian of Hades, Cerberus, to sleep. It was then granted that Eurydice be allowed to return with him to the world of the living. But the condition was attached that he should walk in front of her and not look back until he had reached the upper world. In his anxiety, he broke his promise, and Eurydice vanished again from his sight - this time forever.

The story in this form belongs to the time of Virgil, who first introduces the name of Aristaeus in his work Georgics (29BC). Other ancient writers, however, speak of Orpheus' visit to the underworld; according to Phaedrus in Plato's Symposium, the infernal gods only "presented an apparition" of Eurydice to him. Plato's Phaedrus also accuses Orpheus of cowardice for not being prepared to die for Eurydice; it is possible that Plato knew a significantly different legend.

The story of Orpheus and Eurydice has been depicted in a number of works by famous artists, including Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin exhibited in Pompidou Centre; Paris (Face à l'Histore, 1996), the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam ("Kabinet", 1997) and The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerpen ("Gorge(l)", 2007), has inspired ample writings in the fields of ethics, aesthetics, art and feminist theory. It has also been retold as an opera by Monteverdi, Jacopo Peri, C W Gluck and Yevstigney Fomin, a play by Sarah Ruhl, and in the comic book "The Sandman" by Neil Gaiman. It also forms the basis for the 1967 song "From the Underworld" by The Herd and poem "The Years Go Fast and the Days Go Slow" by James McCoy.

ee also

*List of characters in Metamorphoses
*"Euridice", an opera by Jacopo Peri
*"Orfeo ed Euridice", an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck
*"Eurydice", a play by Sarah Ruhl
*"Orfeu Negro", a 1959 adaptation of the classic myth, filmed in Brazil
*L'Orfeo, the earliest extant opera, from 1607, by Monteverdi


* Ovid, "Metamorphoses" 10
* Apollodorus, "The Library" 1.3.2
* Pausanias, "Description of Greece" 9.30
* Virgil, "Georgics" 4.453
* Plato, "Symposium"
*Sleepthief,"Eurydice" featuring Jody Quine"
* Griselda Pollock, "Abandoned at the Mouth of Hell". In: Looking Back to the Future. G&B Arts. ISBN 90-5701-132-8.
* Judith Butler, "Bracha's Eurydice". In: Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger: Eurydice Series. Edited by Catherine de Zegher and Brian Massumi. Drawing Papers n.24. The Drawing center, NY, 2001. Reprinted in: Theory, Culture and Society, 21(1), 2004. ISSN 0263-2764.
* Emmanuel Levinas in conversation with Bracha L. Ettinger, "What would Eurydice Say?" (1991-1993). Reprinted in 1997. Reprinted in Athena: Philosophical Studies, Volume 2, 2006. ISSN 1822-5047.
* Dorota Glowaka, "Lyotard and Eurydice". In: Margaret Grebowicz (ed.),Gender after Lyotard. NY: Suny Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7914-6956-9
* Christine Buci-Glucksmann, "Eurydice and her Doubles. Painting after Auschwitz", in: Artworking 1985-1999, Amsterdam: Ludion, 2000. ISBN 90-5544-283-6.
* Carol Ann Duffy, "Eurydice". In: The World's Wife. ISBN 9780330372220.

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