What is the moral of Proserpine and Ceres?

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ms-einstein | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Many moral lessons can be inferred from the myth of "Proserpine and Ceres." First, love may cause those afflicted to do strange things. Cupid shoots Hades, the God of the Underworld, with an arrow. Hades essentially goes after the first girl he see, Proserphine. She is gathering flowers in a field and he drives her to the underworld where he ravishes her.

Proserphine's mother, Ceres, Goddess of Fertility, searches the world over for her, cannot find her, and lapses into malaise. All the plants start to wither so Zeus intervenes. As long as Proserphine has not eaten anything in the Underworld, she is free to leave. However, Proserphine is honest and confesses to eating three promegranate seeds. Consequently, she is doomed to remain in the Underworld half of the year and is allowed to live with her mother the other half. When Proserphine lives in Hades, plants die. The outcome explains the seasons.

Proserphine displays honesty in acknowledging what she ate.

Ceres shows how deep maternal despair affects all.

Hades demonstrates that bad behavior usually will taint love so he is unfulfilled for half of every year.