Study Guide

Orpheus - Underworld Explorers

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Underworld Explorers

This exclusive clique is reserved for anyone who manages to go down to the Underworld and make it back out alive. This isn't exactly an easy thing to pull off, so you better bet that their parents are proud on awards day. Even though Orpheus didn't make back out of the Land of the Dead with Eurydice in tow, he still gets to be part of the club. Just making it down there and back is a pretty impressive feat.


The hero of heroes traveled down to the Underworld and back while on the last of his Twelve Labors, in which he wrestled the hellhound, Cerberus, and brought the beast back to the world above. Sounds awesome, right? Well, we've got the whole scoop for you.


This famous slayer of the Minotaur traveled down to the Underworld with his pal Pirithious, who wanted to take Persephone as his bride. Hades didn't take too well to somebody trying to steal his wife, so the Lord of the Dead trapped Pirithious and Theseus by freezing their butts to a rock. (Seriously.) Only Theseus ever made it out of the Underworld, when he was freed by Heracles, while the big guy was on his twelfth labor.


Like Orpheus, Psyche made the trek to the Underworld for the sake of love, when she traveled there to borrow some of Persephone's beauty in order to win back the love of Cupid. We've got all the deets.


The god of Wine and Revelry traveled down to the Underworld the old fashioned way—by dying from dismemberment (the same way that Orpheus eventually died, actually). Dionysus made it back out of the Underworld again by being reborn from the thigh of Zeus. Strange but true.


Just like Dionysus, this Egyptian god was said to have died and come back to life. Also like Dionysus, Osiris was said to have been dismembered and then put back together again. (Ouch).


This god from Japanese mythology traveled down to the Underworld to rescue his wife, Izanami-no-Mikoto, who died in childbirth. Just like with Orpheus, the rescue attempt failed—big time. Izanami-no-Mikoto had eaten the food of the Underworld and was trapped there. When her husband shined a light on her, he saw that she was a rotting corpse covered with maggots. Then she went all zombie on him and chased him out of the Underworld.

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