At its heart, the Persephone's story is meant to explain the turning of the seasons. When the goddess of spring, Persephone, makes her yearly descent into the world of the dead, her mother, Demeter, spreads winter over the earth. When Persephone returns to the world above, spring returns with her. This tale was a way for the ancient Greeks to grapple with a phenomenon that must've been pretty darn mystifying. Hey, want to see a video on why we really have seasons? Check it out here. If only the ancient Greeks had YouTube.
Questions About Man and the Natural World
How can Persephone's descent and return be equated with the seasons?
Compare and contrast Persephone and Demeter to other nature goddesses like Artemis and Gaia.
What impact does Persephone's marriage to Hades have on humans?
If you were to create your own myth for how the seasons began, what would it be?