ELA 4: Hades and Persephone

Myths like this one can teach us lessons about the natural world. So what does this one mean? Don't...eat...pomegranate? That can't be right. Better watch it again.

4th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School4th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:23

Except a story can be about anything you could ever imagine, like a cotton candy breathing

00:28

dragon…mmm…terrifying and delicious. [Guy looks excited]

00:31

Myths, on the other hand, specifically try and teach us about nature, history, the origins [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

00:36

of Earth, and the beings that live on it.

00:38

Which unfortunately means, there's no myth about a cotton candy breathing dragon.

00:41

Bummer.

00:42

So let's check out an example.

00:44

Take Hades, the God of the Underworld in Greek Mythology. [Pictures of Hades covered in flames]

00:47

Now Hades, as you can probably imagine given that he's…y'know…the

00:50

God of the Underworld, wasn't exactly the most pleasant guy to be around. [Hades talking about hate in a pit of fire]

00:54

So when he took a wife – and we mean that literally, he literally kidnapped her – she

00:59

wasn't all too happy about the arrangement.

01:01

We're guessing she made Hades sleep on the couch. [Hades lying on the couch looking unhappy]

01:03

Anyway, his wife was Persephone, a daughter of Zeus. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

01:06

And if you thought Hades being the God of the Underworld was fancy, guess what?

01:10

Zeus is the King of the Gods. [Zeus stood in a cloud]

01:12

Seriously, check his business card. [Zeus holding up his business card]

01:14

…Okay, just kidding, Zeus didn't have business cards, but he was a big deal. [Stop sign appears]

01:18

So back to our myth.

01:19

Persephone was so torn up about the whole “being forced to marry the god of the underworld” [Persephone crying]

01:23

thing, she refused to eat.

01:25

Well…almost. [Persephone walks away from Hades at a restaurant]

01:26

She ate a single pomegranate seed.

01:29

We like to eat ice cream when we're sad, but hey, whatever works. [Girl sat on couch next to a big pile of empty ice cream containers]

01:32

But then, Hermes, Persephone's brother, came to rescue her.

01:35

So they left together, and all was merry and bright! [Hermes carries Persephone away]

01:38

Well…almost.

01:39

Since she ate that one seed, Persephone was forced to return to the underworld every year

01:44

for six months.

01:45

Lousy deal, huh? [Persephone going back to Hades]

01:46

And so, whenever Persephone returns to the underworld, the season changes to winter…

01:50

….and when Persephone is away from the evil Hades and his miserable abode, the season

01:54

changes to summer.

01:55

So that’s the myth!

01:57

But what does it explain about the world?

01:59

Well, what parts of this myth remind us of the world we know today? [Girl sat on a couch with ice cream around her mouth]

02:02

Probably the part about winter and summer, right?

02:04

So this myth explains….drum roll please…why there are different seasons! [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

02:08

When Persephone is forced to go to the underworld for six months, it’s all dark and sad, so

02:12

the whole Earth gets all dark and sad.

02:14

But when she returns and escapes from that misery, winter ends and the world is full

02:18

of warmth and light again.

02:20

Okay, so this isn’t exactly the most scientific explanation for why we have seasons, [Unscientific stamp]

02:24

but that's okay.

02:25

Each mythology has its own unique and interesting explanations for how the world works, and

02:30

there's something to learn from all of them.

02:32

And next time, Persephone?

02:33

Stick to ice cream. [Persephone looking happy as she eats ice cream]