The God of the Underworld and his Beauty

Hades and Persephone’s story can be interpreted as a version of Beauty and the Beast: Hades as the scary beast, Persephone as the beauty that eventually falls in love with the beast over time and saves the beast from himself.

The story of Hades and Persephone is one of the most known stories of the Greek gods. Let me tell you about it and then get back to the explanation of how it’s like modern day Beauty and the Beast. Hades is the brother of Zeus the god of thunder,lightning and storms and Poseidon the god of horses, earthquakes and the sea. Hades is the god of the underworld, riches, and death. Persephone is the daughter of Demeter who is the goddess of grain/ fertility of the earth. Hades fell in love with Persephone while he was in the underworld. He asked Zeus to allow him to marry Persephone; Zeus allowed it but not before warning Hades that Persephone’s mother Demeter would never allow it. So Hades then conducted a plan to kidnap Persephone when her mother wasn’t present.

While Demeter was tending to her crops, Persephone was dancing and playing with water nymphs. Hades took that chance to make his move. Very rarely does the king of the underworld leave his domain, but he did, to kidnap his beautiful Persephone. Hades appeared on his chariot, bolting across the field towards the dancing Persephone. He swooped up Persephone onto the chariot as she cried out to the nymphs for help, but it was too late for them to take action for Hades had opened up the earth swallowing Hades and Persephone and spitting them out in the underworld.

Demeter came to collect Persephone, but found the nymphs alone and no Persephone in sight. Demeter searched the earth, high and low for her daughter. In the search for her daughter Demeter destroyed livestock, crops and lands. Zeus began to realize that a world famine would begin and wipe out all life on earth, meaning no one left to worship the gods. The gods would fade to nothing. Zeus summoned Demeter to Olympus where he asked her to stop searching because she was killing the earth. Demeter refused and Zeus came to the conclusion that Hades would have to return Persephone.

In the year that Persephone was imprisoned in the underworld, she had not had a single drink or bite to eat. Hades had tried to get her to eat, but she refused to eat anything from or in his domain. Zeus paid his brother a visit to tell him of Demeter and the crisis that would befall the earth. Hades agreed to Zeus’s proposal of returning Persephone and then persuaded Persephone to eat 6  pomegranate seeds. Once Demeter and Persephone were reunited, the crops grew back. But it was soon revealed that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds and was required to stay in the underworld for 6 months–one month for each pomegranate seed. In those 6 months when Persephone was in the underworld she began to fall in love with Hades and wanted to return more often. She knew she couldn’t because in her absence, Demeter was depressed and sad causing no life to survive. When Persephone was with her mother, it was summer and spring and warm. When she was in the underworld, nothing grew, it was cold and winter. Thus creating the seasons. Connecting back to “Beauty and the Beast”, Persephone and Belle were isolated by a ‘bitter and lonely’ keeper that they came to love and cherish despite what others thought of them. They also had very loving parents that were devastated when their daughters were taken from them and did everything in their power to find and bring back their daughter. While Belle wanted to return to her beast, Persephone was forced to but at the same time wanted to return to the underworld.

In the year that Persephone was imprisoned in the underworld, she had not had a single drink or bite to eat. Hades had tried to get her to eat, but she refused to eat anything from or in his domain. Zeus paid his brother a visit to tell him of Demeter and the crisis that would befall the earth. Hades agreed to Zeus’s proposal of returning Persephone and then persuaded Persephone to eat 6  pomegranate seeds. Once Demeter and Persephone were reunited, the crops grew back. But it was soon revealed that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds and was required to stay in the underworld for 6 months–one month for each pomegranate seed. In those 6 months when Persephone was in the underworld she began to fall in love with Hades and wanted to return more often. She knew she couldn’t because in her absence, Demeter was depressed and sad causing no life to survive. When Persephone was with her mother, it was summer and spring and warm. When she was in the underworld, nothing grew, it was cold and winter. Thus creating the seasons. Connecting back to “Beauty and the Beast”, Persephone and Belle were isolated by a ‘bitter and lonely’ keeper that they came to love and cherish despite what others thought of them. They also had very loving parents that were devastated when their daughters were taken from them and did everything in their power to find and bring back their daughter. While Belle wanted to return to her beast, Persephone was forced to but at the same time wanted to return to the underworld.

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