Myth Adaptations: The Persephone Story

Our leading lady goes by many names. Common among these are the Roman Proserpine or Proserpina and the Greek Persephone. Another 'name' is Korē, which simply translates to "maiden." Classical Athenian playwright Euripides goes as far as to refer to her as arrētos korē, "the unnamed maiden" (Lincoln 230).

Dubbed a “born wanderer,” her story has been chopped up, told and retold so often even she is unsure of her origins or where she's headed. Still, every version begins the same way: a young girl is playing in a meadow with her friends (often nymphs, sometimes fellow goddesses). Drawn away by a beautiful flower, she becomes separated from the group – and finds herself trapped in the Underworld…

Fumbling in the dark, she eventually comes to a crossroads. It seems that only one road remains unblocked:


She shrugs and forges ahead...

Works Cited

Lincoln, Bruce. "The Rape of Persephone: A Greek Scenario of Women's Initiation." The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 72, No. 3/4 (Jul. - Oct., 1979), pp. 223-235. Online.