Study Guide

Persephone, Demeter, and Hades Death and the Maiden

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Death and the Maiden

Many centuries after the ancients, the basic story of Persephone's myth – innocent maiden abducted by death-figure – morphed into the theme of "death and the maiden" found in European art. This idea of an innocent girl seduced by death was popular all the way up to the Renaissance and afterward. What can we say? Sex and death – people are always going to be fascinated.

Want to read some other "death and the maiden" type stories? Check out Joyce Carol Oates's short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" and Emily Dickinson's poem "Because I could not stop for Death."

For more on the "death and the maiden" motif, particularly in art, click here.

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