Greek Hero: Orpheus

The heroes of Greek myth are more than human, yet less than gods. However, using their supernatural powers for protection and war, they are and were praised as religious symbols, giving them a demigod-like status. Many of the prominent Greek heroes such as Achilles and Odysseus were involved in the famous Trojan War, in which the Achaeans (Greeks) waged war on the city of Troy after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta.

MythDen.com - Orpheus Image

Orpheus is a hero of Greek mythology, with a story that breaks the heart. He was taught to play the lyre by the god Apollo. With the best teacher of music, Orpheus played his songs all across the land. He traveled with Jason on the ship that took them to retrieve the golden fleece. His music came in handy there, as on their return to their home, they were approached by sirens. Orpheus sang so loudly and beautifully over the voices of the sirens, that none of the heroes aboard the ship succumbed to the spell of the sirens...

In his lifetime, he fell in love with a nymph by the name of Eurydice. She loved his music so much that they decided to wed. They were one of the happiest couples in all of the land. One day, a son of Apollo by the name of Aristaeus saw the beautiful nymph and tried to seduce her. Unfortunately, in attempting to resist the minor god, she stepped on a poisonous snake and died nearly instantly. Learning of this sad event, Orpheus traveled to the underworld to meet with Hades to bargain to have the return of his lovely wife. He played his music for the god of the underworld and Hades decided that he could have his wife returned to him. However, there was one condition to the return of his wife, he was not to look at her until they had departed from the underworld and had reached the world above. Orpheus agreed to this. But in his excitement to have his Eurydice returned to him, he turned to look at her and admire her beauty. By looking at her prior to the agreement, Eurydice disappeared, back to the underworld and Orpheus was never to see her again. In anger and sorrow, Orpheus cursed himself for breaking the agreement and vowed never to love another.