Orpheus - The Tragedy of Orpheus The story of Orpheus is a...

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The Tragedy of Orpheus The story of Orpheus is a tragic one. Unlike many of the other characters, all of his misfortunes are due to the actions of other people and not directly by the gods. His horrible fate was not due to impiety or pride and begin before he is even married. In contrast to the wedding of Ianthe and Iphis the god Hymen had attended before, that of Orpheus and Eurydice was plagued by bad omens and not much joy on the part of the god. There were no “countenances of radiating joy,/ no omens of good fortune for the couple;/ even the torch [Hymen] carried merely sputtered,/ emitting only tear-producing smoke,/ not catching fire when he whirled it round.” (book x, 7-11) It is as though Orpheus is fated to be miserable, for the text even hints at his unfortunate fate when Orpheus had summoned Hymen “to no avail” (book x, 4) This and the brevity of the introduction to Orpheus makes feels as though part of the story is missing. That ominous phrase “to no avail” perhaps means that Orpheus had been warned that marriage and his
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Orpheus - The Tragedy of Orpheus The story of Orpheus is a...

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