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Orpheus and Eurydice Study Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. When he enters the Underworld, who does Orpheus charm with his music? Bonus question: What kind of instrument does Orpheus play?
  2. As he argues for Eurydice's life, Orpheus brings up the Hades and Persephone myth. How does this myth differ from the Orpheus and Eurydice myth? How is it similar?
  3. Eurydice's release comes with a catch. What does Hades forbid Orpheus from doing as the couple travels to the upper world?
  4. Would this story have turned out differently if Hymen had been in a better mood at Orpheus and Eurydice's wedding? Or if Eurydice had never been chased along the riverbank? Who's really to blame for this whole scenario?
  5. Why do you think Eurydice died of a snake bite instead of something else? Is the snake bite symbolic?
  6. Why do you think Orpheus turned to look at Eurydice? If someone you loved were following you up from the land of the dead, would you be able to resist the urge to turn around and check on them? (Be honest!)
  7. Orpheus might win the award for Saddest and Most Gruesome Death of a Greek Musician. How does he die?
  8. Some versions of the myth say that Orpheus and Eurydice reunite in the Underworld. Do you think they're happy together? Or do you think their relationship has changed after so much hardship?

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