Explain the story of Persephone.

1 Answer | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The story of Persephone alternates between that of her mother and her husband.  Persephone's mother was Demeter, Goddess of agriculture and plentiful bounties.  One day, while Persephone was roaming and picking flowers, she came across the Narcissus flower.  Persephone picked the flower with both hands and in doing so was kidnapped by Hades, God of the Underworld, who coveted her as a bride and wife. Demeter looked for her beloved daughter day and night, and in the process, nothing grew and famine spread.  Zeus and the other Olympians understood the fundamental problem if the Goddess of agriculture was unhappy.  Zeus also recognized the loyalty he needed to show to his brother, the God of the Underworld.  Zeus ended up finding a solution in that Persephone must return unless she was able to stay in the underworld through something that she did.  When Hades offers her the pomegranate and Persephone, unaware of the implications, eats the seeds, it becomes a gesture that indicates her willingness to stay in the underworld.  From this, an agreement was brokered that half of the year would be spent with her mother, Demeter, and the other half would be spent with her husband in the Underworld, Hades.  It is in this that the explanation of seasonal change was offered.  The time of harvest and bounty is when mother and daughter are united.  The time where there is barrenness and cold is when they are separated.

We’ve answered 317,594 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question