|Peter Paul Rubens – L’enlèvement de Proserpine (The Rape of Proserpina, 1638)
Proserpina is the Latin name for the Greek goddess Persephone.
Recently, I listened to the NY Times Book Review podcast with Stephen Fry on Reimagining the Greek Myths. Fry’s latest book is a second about the Greek myths. In Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined , a sequel to his Mythos, Stephen Fry moves from the exploits of the Olympian gods to the deeds of mortal heroes.
What interested me in Fry’s sequel is that these are not the stories of the gods but of the mortal humans who sometimes live in the favor of the gods and goddesses, and sometimes are punished by them. Some of their names are also well known: Perseus, Jason, Atalanta, Theseus, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Oedipus, Theseus and Heracles.
“…Prometheus himself – the Titan who made us, : befriended us and championed us – continues to endure his terrible punishment: shackled to the side of a mountain he is visited each day by a bird of prey that soars down out of the sun to tear open his side, pull out his liver and eat it before his very eyes. Since he is immortal the liver regenerates overnight, only for the torment to repeat the next day. And the next.Prometheus, whose name means Forethought, has prophesied that now fire is in the world of man, the days of the gods are numbered. Zeus’s rage at his friend’s disobedience derives as much from a deep-buried but persistent fear that man will outgrow the gods as from his deep sense of hurt and betrayal.Prometheus has also seen that the time will come when he will be released. A mortal human hero will arrive at the mountain, shatter his manacles and set the Titan free.”
Where’s the best light to look human?
This month’s prompt is to reimagine a myth or mythological character in our own world or in a modern situation. Is there a god, goddess or mortal from mythology that connects to your life?