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The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in Western literature Lee, Mark Owen 1960

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THE MYTH OF ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE IN WESTERN LITERATURE  by  MARK OWEN LEE, C.S.B. B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto, M.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto,  1953 1957  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OP PHILOSOPHY  i n t h e Department ofClassics  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to the r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, i960  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the  University  o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  study.  I further  copying of t h i s  be g r a n t e d by the Head o f  Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n  Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada.  my  I t i s understood  t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r g a i n s h a l l not  thesis  financial  permission.  ©he Pttttrerstt^ of ^riitsl} (Eolimtbta FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  PROGRAMME OF THE FINAL ORAL E X A M I N A T I O N FOR T H E DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY of MARK OWEN LEE, C.S.B. B . A . University of Toronto, 1953 M . A . University of Toronto, 1957 S.T.B. University of Toronto, 1957  WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1960 AT 3:00 P.M. IN ROOM 256, BUCHANAN BUILDING COMMITTEE  IN CHARGE  D E A N G . M . S H R U M , Chairman M.  F.  M C G R E G O R  G .  W .  L.  G R A N T  P. B.  C.  W .  J.  E L I O T  G.  W .  M A R Q U I S  A .  B.  R I D D E H O U G H  C . F.  G U T H R I E  S A V E R Y E.  B I R N E Y  External Examiner: T . G . R O S E N M E Y E R University of Washington  THE  MYTH  OF ORPHEUS  A N D EURYDICE  IN  WESTERN  LITERATURE ABSTRACT This dissertion traces the course of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in classical and later Western literature. Three particulars about myth serve to unify the discussion: myth evolves in literature; its meaning changes through the ages; some myths evolve artforms in which to express themselves.  Myth evolves in literature: Chapter I examines the twenty-one references to or treatments of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in Greek and Roman authors, and attempts to show that the traditional story of Orpheus' backward glance and the second loss of Eurydice is a Hellenistic development of a story originally connected with Orphic mysteries. T h e fully developed myth is seen to combine elements of myth, legend and folklore. The meaning of myth changes through the ages:  in the classical period (Chapter II), the separate themes in the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, themes of death, music and love (stemming from the mythical, legendary and folk elements, respectively), are stated in the Culex; but Orpheus for this age is primarily a great civilizing influence, and this is the context in which V i r g i l places him in the Georgics. In the Middle Ages (Chapter III), the myth is allegorized in Boethius and romanticized in the Middle English poem Sir Orfeo. In the Renaissance (Chapter IV), Orpheus is once more a symbol of the civilizing force, and the descent to Hades, though often alluded to, is less important than other myths in the Orpheuscycle. The Orpheus bequeathed to literature by the opera (Chapter V ) is more human and fallible, and in the Romantic age (Chapter VI) this figure is gradually fused with the mystical Orphic poet, so that the contemporary Orpheus of Rilke and Cocteau (Chapter VII) is again a symbol, but of man in his role of artist, seeking to communicate with another world.  Myth sometimes evolves art-forms in which to express itse  Politian's Orfeo, a secular subject, which used music to tell its story, is seen to be the forerunner of the opera (Chapter I V ) ; later, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice evolved the opera, in the works of the Florentine Camerata and Monteverdi, and served as the pattern for its reform, in Gluck (Chapter V ) . While the myth has meant something different to every age, there is a uniformity in its tradition: poets have always availed themselves of one or more of its three themes—the victory of death over life, the civilizing power of music, the problem of human emotion and its control.  BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES Greek History  .. M . F. McGregor  Classical Archaeology  C. W . J. Eliot  Herodotus and Thucydides  . M . F. McGregor  Greek Lyric Poetry  G . B. Riddehough  Tacitus  . P. C. F. Guthrie  Aesthetics  B. Savery  PUBLICATION  The New Saint Basil Hymnal, (associate editor)  Cincinnati,  1958  ABSTRACT  T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n t r a c e s t h e course of t h e myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i n c l a s s i c a l and l a t e r Western erature.  lit-  Three p a r t i c u l a r s about myth serve t o u n i f y t h e  discussion:  myth e v o l v e s i n l i t e r a t u r e ; i t s meaning changes  t h r o u g h t h e ages; some myths e v o l v e a r t - f o r m s i n w h i c h t o express  themselves. Myth e v o l v e s i n l i t e r a t u r e : Chapter I examines t h e  twenty-one r e f e r e n c e s t o o r t r e a t m e n t s of the myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i n Greek and Roman a u t h o r s , and attempts t o show t h a t t h e t r a d i t i o n a l s t o r y of Orpheus' backward glance and t h e second  l o s s of E u r y d i c e i s a H e l l e n i s t i c development  of a s t o r y o r i g i n a l l y connected w i t h Orphic m y s t e r i e s . f u l l y developed myth i s seen t o combine elements  The  o f myth,  legend and f o l k l o r e . The meaning o f myth changes t h r o u g h t h e ages:  i n the  c l a s s i c a l p e r i o d (Chapter I I ) , t h e s e p a r a t e themes i n t h e myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , themes of death, music and l o v e (stemming from t h e m y t h i c a l , l e g e n d a r y and f o l k  elements,  r e s p e c t i v e l y ) , a r e s t a t e d i n t h e C u l e x ; but Orpheus f o r t h i s age i s p r i m a r i l y  a g r e a t c i v i l i z i n g i n f l u e n c e , and t h i s i s  the c o n t e x t i n w h i c h V i r g i l p l a c e s him i n t h e G e o r g i c s .  In  the M i d d l e Ages (Chapter I I I ) , t h e myth i s a l l e g o r i z e d i n o  1  B o e t h i u s and r o m a n t i c i z e d i n the M i d d l e E n g l i s h poem S i r Orfeo.  I n the Renaissance  (Chapter I V ) , Orpheus i s once  more a symbol of the c i v i l i z i n g f o r c e , and the descent t o Hades, though o f t e n a l l u d e d t o , i s l e s s i m p o r t a n t than o t h e r myths i n the O r p h e u s - c y c l e .  The Orpheus bequeathed t o  l i t e r a t u r e by the opera (Chapter V) i s more human and i b l e , and i n the Romantic age  fall-  (Chapter V I ) t h i s f i g u r e i s  g r a d u a l l y f u s e d w i t h the m y s t i c a l Orphic p o e t , so t h a t the contemporary  Orpheus of R i l k e and Cocteau  a g a i n a symbol, but of man  (Chapter V I I ) i s  i n h i s r o l e of a r t i s t ,  seeking to  communicate w i t h a n o t h e r w o r l d . Myth sometimes e v o l v e s a r t - f o r m s i n which t o e x p r e s s itself; to t e l l  P o l i t i a n ' s Orfeo, a s e c u l a r s u b j e c t which used music i t s s t o r y , i s seen t o be the f o r e r u n n e r of the opera  (Chapter I V ) ; l a t e r , the myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e e v o l v e d the opera, i n the works of the F l o r e n t i n e Camerata and M o n t e v e r d i , and s e r v e d as the p a t t e r n f o r i t s r e f o r m , i n Gluck (Chapter V ) . While the myth has meant something d i f f e r e n t t o e v e r y age, t h e r e i s a u n i f o r m i t y i n i t s t r a d i t i o n : have always a v a i l e d themselves  poets  of one or more of i t s t h r e e  themes - the v i c t o r y of d e a t h over l i f e ,  the c i v i l i z i n g power  of music, the problem of human emotion and i t s c o n t r o l .  iii  ORPHEUS IN THE Why  NUCLEAR  AGE  the f a s c i n a t i o n of s t a g e , s c r e e n , r a d i o and  t e l e v i s i o n w i t h the Orpheus legend? nuclear-age  I s i t a symptom of  psychology?  T h i s has always been among the b e s t known of the Greek myths, but s i n c e the war become o b s e s s i v e .  i t s a t t r a c t i o n seems t o have  I t keeps c r o p p i n g up i n s e t t i n g s as  d i v e r s e as p l a y w r i g h t A n o u i l h ' s F r e n c h r a i l w a y j u n c t i o n and movie d i r e c t o r M a r c e l Camus' c a r n i v a l i n R i o . Orpheus, whose l u t e charms even the t r e e s , i s i n c o n s o l a b l e a t the d e a t h of h i s E u r i d i c e ; he goes down i n t o Hades and, w i t h h i s music, s o f t e n s the f l i n t y h e a r t s of the i n f e r n a l powers; they a l l o w her t o r e t u r n t o e a r t h , but  on  the c o n d i t i o n t h a t she s h a l l w a l k behind him and he s h a l l l o o k back; he cannot r e s i s t the y e a r n i n g t o see the  not  beloved  f a c e a g a i n ; he t u r n s - o n l y t o see her recede among the shades .. . . . A p o i g n a n t l y simple l i t t l e  s t o r y of l o v e and d e a t h -  or something more? I s i t perhaps t h a t i t g r a t e s on the nerve-ends of man  i n the n u c l e a r shadow? He,, l i k e Orpheus, i s d e a l i n g w i t h a v a s t , dark  malevolent  power and t r y i n g t o c o n t r o l i t .  i s a l o n e l y i n d i v i d u a l g r o p i n g h i s way  He,  like  and  Orpheus,  through a world  iv  suddenly become u n f a m i l i a r and i n s e c u r e . knows t h a t t h e d e c i s i o n of t h a t w o r l d  He, l i k e  Orpheus,  can be i r r e v o c a b l e .  He dare n o t l o o k back.  - E d i t o r i a l , The Vancouver Sun December 8,  1959.  V  FOREWORD  At the end of h i s e x h a u s t i v e a r t i c l e on Orpheus i n P a u l y - W i s s o w a s R e a l - E n c y c l o p a d i e , Konrat Z i e g l e r 1  promised:  Uber Orpheus i n der L i t e r a t u r , b i l d e n e n Kunst und Musik des M i t t e l a l t e r s , der Renaissance und der N e u z e i t werde i c h i n der A n t i k e handeln. I n 1950 the s t u d y f i n a l l y appeared,  but as a b r i e f e n t r y  i n the g e n e r a l l y i n a c c e s s i b l e F e s t s c h r i f t Otto S c h m i t t . Other than t h i s , , t h e r e appears t o be no attempt and a s s e s s the l i t e r a r y and E u r y d i c e i n the West.  to c o l l e c t  t r e a t m e n t s of the myth of Orpheus The need f o r such a study  was  v o i c e d by W a l t h e r Rehm: Es f e h l t der Forschung b i s l a n g noch d i e Dars t e l l u n g , d i e das Orpheus-Symbol d u r c h d i e s p a t a n t i k e n , c h r i s t l i c h e n J a h r h u n d e r t e d u r c h v e r f o l g t . S i e musste d i e - b a l d e i n s e t z e n d e A l l e g o r e s e des Symbols a u s e i n a n d e r l e g e n . . . d i e Unwandlung des Orpheus In der m i t t e l a l t e r l i c h e n D i c h t u n g b e l e u c h t e n und dann v o r a l i e n von der e i g e n t u m l i c h e n Neugeburt sprechen, d i e d i e G e s t a l t des Orpheus n i c h t z u f a l l i g gerade im R e i c h des Gesangs und der Tone,- i n der d r a m a t i s c h m u s i k a l i s c h e n Form der Oper gefunden h a t . The myth, i n one form or a n o t h e r . I s more a l i v e than ever b e f o r e .  today  I began t o w r i t e t h i s t h e s i s i n Vancouver  a t the c l o s e of i t s 1959 summer f e s t i v a l , the c e n t r a l event w h i c h was  G l u c k ' s opera Orfeo ed E u r i d i c e ; a t the same t i m e ,  the r i v a l Canadian f e s t i v a l i n S t r a t f o r d , O n t a r i o , was s e n t i n g Offenbach's  Orpheus i n the Underworld.  pre-  E a r l y In the  w r i t i n g , the f i l m s o c i e t y on the campus of t h i s u n i v e r s i t y h e l d as i t s i n i t i a l p r e s e n t a t i o n a s c r e e n i n g of Cocteau's  of  vi  s u r r e a l i s t i c f i l m Orphee;  t h r e e more c i n e m a t i c  treatments  of the myth, M a r c e l Camus' Orfeu Negro, Tennessee Williams.' The F u g i t i v e K i n d , and Cocteau's Le_ Testament d' Orphee, have j u s t been r e l e a s e d . Orpheus was  The  Stravinsky-Balanchine  ballet  r e c e n t l y t e l e c a s t , w h i l e Jean A n o u i l h ' s p l a y  E u r y d i c e became a cause c e l e b r e when i t was  r e f u s e d a showing  on CBC-TV. An assessment of the l i t e r a t u r e of Orpheus and  Eury-  d i c e i n the Western w o r l d seems, t h e n , t i m e l y as w e l l as overdue..  T h i s d i s c u s s i o n d e a l s l a r g e l y w i t h the  classical  p e r i o d , w i t h opera, and w i t h E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e . b r i e f e x p l a n a t i o n seems n e c e s s a r y  Only a  f o r t h i s emphasis:  I  am  a c a n d i d a t e f o r a degree i n C l a s s i c s ; the myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e c a l l s the opera i m m e d i a t e l y  t o mind; I am  not  t h o r o u g h l y a c q u a i n t e d w i t h the languages of F r a n c e ,  Italy,  Germany and S p a i n , and t h e i r l i t e r a t u r e s were a v a i l a b l e t o me  i n s m a l l e r q u a n t i t y than were the E n g l i s h w r i t e r s - but,  as L . E i M a r s h a l l n o t e s , the myth of Orpheus "has more s t r o n g l y t o the E n g l i s h people  appealed  than t o the o t h e r n a t i o n s  of modern Europe." In the v a s t m a j o r i t y of c a s e s , the summaries and e v a l u a t i o n s of the v a r i o u s works t r e a t e d are based on hand i n s p e c t i o n of the b e s t a v a i l a b l e e d i t i o n s . was  first-  When t h i s  not p o s s i b l e , I have e i t h e r used a r e l i a b l e d i s c u s s i o n of  the work and noted t h i s i n a f o o t n o t e , or e l s e m e r e l y l i s t e d and dated the works.  I am e s p e c i a l l y i n d e b t e d t o the  researches  vii  of Dr. J u l i u s Wirl,. who has examined  little-known  works on  Orpheus i n t h e B r i t i s h Museum. I s h o u l d l i k e , f i n a l l y , t o thank t h e members of t h e Department  of C l a s s i c s  o f the. U n i v e r s i t y  of B r i t i s h Columbia,  p a r t i c u l a r l y G e o f f r e y B. Riddehough, Malcolm P.  McGregor,  W. Leonard Grant, and C.W.J. E l i o t , f o r t h e i r k i n d s u g g e s t i o n s and a s s i s t a n c e i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n of t h i s  thesis.  vi'ii  CONTENTS  Page  Foreword t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . L i s t of A b b r e v i a t i o n s  .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Introduction  Myth and L i t e r a t u r e  Chapter  The L i t e r a r y E v o l u t i o n of t h e Myth  I  ix  . . . . . . . .  1  6  of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e Chapter  II  The C l a s s i c a l P e r i o d  Chapter I I I  The M i d d l e Ages  Chapter  IV  The R e n a i s s a n c e  Chapter  V  v  .. i . . . . .  .  57  ..  81  . .  107  ......  151  .  The E v o l u t i o n of an A r t - f o r m  Chapter ' V I  The Romantic P e r i o d  Chapter V I I  Contemporary L i t e r a t u r e  .......  207  Conclusions  The Meaning of t h e Myth  . . . . . .  232  Bibliography  ...................  Index  . . . . . . . .  175  241 294  LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS General: A. D. anno Domini anon. anonymous B. C. before Christ •ca. circa cf. confer.; compare d. died ed. e d i t o r , e d i t e d by, e d i t i o n e. g. exempli g r a t i a esp. especially et a l . et a l i i et p a s s i m and throughout f . ., f f . the f o l l o w i n g page(s),. l i n e ( s ) fig.,, figs. figure(s) fl. floruit frag., frags.fragment(s) ibid. ibidem i. e. i d est introd. introduction by loc. c i t . , locc. c i t t . loco c i t a t o ( l o c i s c i t a t i s ) MSS. manuscripts n.d.. no date (of p u b l i c a t i o n ) no., n.os. number(s) n..p.. no p l a c e (of p u b l i c a t i o n ) op. c i t . opere c i t a t o p., pp. page(s"J pub.. published rev. revised (by.) St. Saint st.. stanza suppl. supplement s.v. sub voce tr. t r a n s l a t e d by U. University v o l . , vols.. ' volume(s) Books and AJA. AJP CJ CQ, CR CW  Periodicals: American J o u r n a l of A r c h a e o l o g y American J o u r n a l of P h i l o l o g y C l a s s i c a l Journal Classical Quarterly C l a s s i c a l Review C l a s s i c a l Weekly  X  JAFA JEGP LCL LLI MLN MLR ODGR PL PMLA PW Rom. SATF  Mitt.  . J o u r n a l of the American F o l k l o r e A s s o c i a t i o n J o u r n a l of E n g l i s h and Germanic P h i l o l o g y Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y La L e t t e r a t u r a I t a l i a n a Modern Language Notes Modern Language Review Our Debt t o Greece and Rome P a t r o l o g i a Cursus, S e r i e s L a t i n a , ed.. J.-P. Migne P u b l i c a t i o n s of the Modern Language A s s o c i a t i o n of America R e a l - E n c y c l o p a d i e der k l a s s i s c h e n A l t e r t u m s w i s s e n s c h a f t , ed. A. P a u l y , G. Wissowa, W. K r o l l M i t t e i l u n g e n des Deutschen A r c h a o l o g i s c h e I n s t i t u t S j R8mische' A b t e i l u n g S o c i e t e des a n c i e n s t e x t e s f r a n c a i s *  INTRODUCTION MYTH AND LITERATURE  Myth i s many t h i n g s .  I t has been seen "as a  p r i m i t i v e , f u m b l i n g e f f o r t t o e x p l a i n t h e w o r l d of n a t u r e ( P r a z e r ) j as a p r o d u c t i o n of p o e t i c a l f a n t a s y from p r e h i s t o r i c t i m e s , m i s u n d e r s t o o d by s u c c e e d i n g ages ( M u l l e r ) ; as a r e p o s i t o r y of a l l e g o r i c a l i n s t r u c t i o n , t o shape t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o h i s group (Durkheim); as a group dream, symptomatic of a r c h e t y p a l urges w i t h i n t h e depths o f t h e human psyche ( J u n g ) ; as t h e t r a d i t i o n a l v e h i c l e s of man's p r o f o u n d e s t i n s i g h t s (Coomaraswamy); and as God's r e v e l a t i o n t o H i s C h i l d r e n ( t h e Church)."  1  2 Myth  i s a l l t h e s e t h i n g s and more. I n a f t e r t i m e s ,  i t has become m a t e r i a l f o r t h e p o e t .  I n a sense, i t i s t h e  "'"Joseph Campbell, The Hero w i t h a Thousand Faces (New York,  1949), P. 382. 2 Myth i s here and a f t e r w a r d s used i n i t s w i d e s t sense, as a t r a d i t i o n a l s t o r y , which may attempt t o e x p l a i n phenomena (myth p r o p e r ) , o r t e l l  natural  of supposed happenings i n t h e  past (legend) or merely e n t e r t a i n ( f o l k l o r e ) .  The t h r e e f o l d  d i s t i n c t i o n so o f t e n made i s more e a s i l y a p p l i e d t o more p r i m i t i v e p e o p l e s than t o t h e Greeks, whose myths move on a l l t h r e e l e v e l s a t once.  1  2 poet  who  k e e p s myth a l i v e .  meanings, o f h i s own as  i t exists  d i s c o v e r s new  t o myth, w h i c h can be  i n h i s w r i t i n g s and,  w o r k s o f men  like  it  m i g h t be  said  at  second-hand, The  him.  Without  t o be i n the  said  and  the poet  summaries  of the  over  be  ceremony,  it  i s c o n s t a n t l y renewed i n t h e w r i t i n g s o f men  found,  method  works.  The  evidence  latter,  i n the  potential, live  s h i e s away f r o m  summarized and  the  artistic  i s incarnated.  literary;  of t h i s  flickering  study,  - i n nature,  For  "drama, t h e  i t s myths  are  reference-  finds i t s  lyric  by  as  genius.  c r e a t i o n s i n w h i c h myth, e l u s i v e  a b o u t myths.  latter  c o u r s e , we  First,  they evolve  three  facts  After  the n a t u r a l or c e r e m o n i a l  and  them, and  and  fiction nourish-  note in  in particular literature.  or p s y c h o l o g i c a l meaning which  t h e myth i s f o r g o t t e n , t h e myth becomes a  F r a n c i s Fergusson. York,  except  lives."  In p u r s u i n g the  perhaps prompted  myth,  its life  of  i n standard  s y m b i o t i c a l l y w i t h myths, n o u r i s h e d  ing t h e i r  (New  o r by r e v i e w i n g  cross-indexed,  t h e method  nowhere  i t s possible origin  subconscious;  i n the  demonstrated  in  former  again,  mythographers.  two  i n the  only  t o e n f l e s h the  g i v e n myth may  investigating  adds  to l i v e  only potential,, e x i s t i n g  m e a n i n g o f any by  over  meanings,  in  The  ways:  He  1957). p .  The  l6l.  Human Image I n D r a m a t i c  Literature  3  s t o r y , t a k e s on f e a t u r e s from l e g e n d and from t h e v a s t s t o r e of w o r l d f o l k l o r e . -  We note how Greek myths In p a r t i c u l a r  change from Homer t o t h e A t t i c t r a g e d i a n s t o Ovid and A p o l l o dorus. Second, as we move t h r o u g h l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y , t h e meaning of myth changes.-  A Greek myth may be one t h i n g f o r  the Romans and q u i t e another f o r t h e M i d d l e Ages.  I t may  f l o u r i s h o r i t may w i t h e r and d i e i n t h e R e n a i s s a n c e , i n t h e Age  o f E n l i g h t e n m e n t , i n t h e Romantic  era.  I t may be r e b o r n  w i t h an e n t i r e l y new meaning i n our own times.. i t i s a t t h e mercy of w r i t e r s who endeavor  I n a sense,  t o Catch i t , t o  p i n i t down, t o d i s p l a y i t i n t h e i r own c r e a t i o n s . T h i r d , some myths a r e so p o t e n t , so i m a g i n a t i v e , , so b e a u t i f u l t h a t t h e y make demands on t h e g e n i u s who t r i e s t o grasp them, and, t o secure t h e i r adequate e x p r e s s i o n , t h e y generate new forms o f e x p r e s s i o n .  So i t was, a t some  p o i n t i n t h e dark ages o f Greek h i s t o r y , t h a t some myth, more than l i k e l y t h e v a s t , burgeoning s t o r y of t h e T r o j a n war, demanded f o r i t s adequate  e x p r e s s i o n a new a r t i s t i c form o f  v a s t scope; so myth begot t h e e p i c .  Sometime a f t e r w a r d s , some  myth was b e i n g sung, perhaps by T h e s p i s h i m s e l f , which  cried  out f o r d i a l o g u e ; so t h e drama was born of myth.  T h i s study i s concerned w i t h one such myth.  The  s t o r y o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e e v o l v e d s l o w l y i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e of c l a s s i c a l and p o s t - c l a s s i c a l t i m e s , and i t s e v o l u t i o n can  4  be t r a c e d w i t h some c e r t a i n t y .  I t has a l s o l i v e d s y m b i o t i c a l l y  f o r t w e n t y - f i v e c e n t u r i e s w i t h t h e drama and the l y r i c , enflaming  t h e i m a g i n a t i o n of d i f f e r e n t ages i n . d i f f e r e n t ways,  and whatever meaning i t h o l d s w i t h i n i t can be demonstrated by a r e v i e w  of i t s v a r i o u s i n c a r n a t i o n s .  of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e  Finally,  the myth  i s one of the few myths w h i c h has  c r e a t e d , f o r i t s adequate e x p r e s s i o n , a new a r t - f o r m , and t h i s momentous event can be r e c o n s t r u c t e d , f o r i t came not i n some e a r l y d a r k age we know n o t h i n g o f , but i n the f u l l l i g h t of t h e R e n a i s s a n c e . . T h i s study, then,, i s p r i m a r i l y a r e v i e w Orpheus-Eurydice theme i n Western c u l t u r e .  of the  I n so f a r as i t  a t t e m p t s t o prove or demonstrate,, i t w i l l endeavor, t o t r a c e t h e e v o l u t i o n of t h e myth i n a n c i e n t  first,  literature;  second, t o e s t i m a t e the meaning t o be found i n the s u m - t o t a l of t h e myth's i n c a r n a t i o n s ; t h i r d , , t o demonstrate how, t o secure  adequate e x p r e s s i o n , the Orpheus-Eurydice myth may be  s a i d t o have g e n e r a t e d a new a r t form. Chapter I w i l l d e a l , then, w i t h the l i t e r a r y evolution.  Chapters I I - I V and V I - V I I w i l l t r a c e the myth  t h r o u g h l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y and endeavor t o . e x t r a c t t h e meaning i t has h e l d f o r s u c c e s s i v e ages.  Chapter V, c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y  p l a c e d , w i l l attempt t o show how t h e myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e c r e a t e d and c o n t i n u e s  t o l i e a t the h e a r t of an  a r t - f o r m of I t s own. A rough c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r has seemed the b e s t • manner of approach..  Hundreds of s l i g h t a l l u s i o n s t o Orpheus  5  and Eurydice,. from a u t h o r s g r e a t and s m a l l , are mentioned as i n d i c a t i v e of t r e n d s i n the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the myth.. The dozen or so s i g n i f i c a n t works are d i s c u s s e d a t g r e a t e r l e n g t h as t h e y occur i n the c h r o n o l o g i c a l scheme..  CHAPTER I THE LITERARY EVOLUTION OP THE MYTH OP ORPHEUS AND- EURYDICE  Orpheus was many t h i n g s t o the a n c i e n t w o r l d . Fundamentally  he was a g r e a t s i n g e r and l y r e - p l a y e r , and 1  t h i s i s the g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r w i t h w h i c h he i s i n v e s t e d i n a l l h i s appearances i n c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e .  By f a r the  most f r e q u e n t s t o r y t o l d o f him i s t h a t he charmed a l l n a t u r e by the power of h i s song, moving the rocks,, drawing  the  f o r e s t s a f t e r him, changing the course o f r i v e r s , e n c h a n t i n g 2 a l l the a n i m a l kingdom. P i n d a r and o t h e r s d w e l l on the  1  See  P l a t o , Ion 533b-c, Laws V I I I , 8 2 9 d - e ; Pausanias  X,30,6.  See Simonides frag... 27 ( D i e h l ) ; A e s c h y l u s , Agamemnon 1629-30; E u r i p i d e s , Medea 543, I p h i g e n i a a t A u l i s 1211-4, Bacchae 560-4, C y c l o p s 6 4 6 - 8 ; P l a t o , P r o t a g o r a s 315a; A p o l l o n i u s Rhodius 1,26-31; Diodorus  IV,25,2; Pseudo-  E r a t o s t h e n e s , C a t a s t e r i s m i 24; Conon 45; Culex 117-8; Horace, Odes 1,12,7-12;  Seneca, H e r c u l e s Oetaeus IO36-60,  Hercules  Fur ens 572-4; A p o l l o d o r u s 1 , 3 . 2 ; Athenaeus XIV .632c; >  P h i l o s t r a t u s , A p o l l o n i u s o f Tyana V I I I , 7 , 1 6 2 ; C l a u d i a n , Carmina Minora., 18,9 .  6  p a r t he p l a y e d i n t h e A r g o - e x p e d i t i o n .  Virgil  and Ovid  t e l l how he descended t o t h e u n d e r w o r l d and c a s t h i s m u s i c a l s p e l l over P l u t o and P r o s e r p i n e , over t h e shades and t h e s o u l i n torment, and t h e r e b y won back h i s b r i d e , E u r y d i c e , o n l y t o l o s e h e r by f a i l i n g t o observe t h e c o n d i t i o n s imposed by t h e gods o f t h e dead. 4 A l o s t p l a y o f Aeschylus-^5 told..of h i s dismemberment by t h e T h r a c i a n women, and l a t e r a u t h o r s have adorned t h i s s t o r y w i t h f a n t a s t i c m i r a c l e s - how h i s head c o n t i n u e d t o s i n g , and h i s l y r e t o p l a y , °" how they f l o a t e d  See P i n d a r , P y t h i a n Odes IV,176 w i t h s c h o l i a s t ; E u r i p i d e s , H y p s i p a l e f r a g s . 1 and 64; A p o l l o n i u s Ehodius 1,23-31 w i t h s c h o l i a s t , e t p a s s i m ; Orphic A r g o n a u t i c a  1270-97; Seneca,  Medea 348-60; Hyginus, Fabulae 14; V a l e r i u s P l a c c u s 470-2, 11,426-7; A p o l l o d o r u s  I,186-7,  I , 9 , l 6 and 25:.  4 Treatments of t h i s p o r t i o n of t h e myth w i l l be d i s c u s s e d in  detail. The Bassarae,  mentioned i n P s e u d o - E r a t o s t h e n e s , l o c . c i t .  See a l s o I s o c r a t e s , B u s i r i s 11,38; Gonon 45; V i r g i l ,  Georgics  IV,520-7; O v i d , Metamorphoses XI,1-43; P a u s a n i a s I X , 3 0 , 5 . F o r v a r y i n g d e t a i l s o f t h e death see P l a t o , Symposium 179d, R e p u b l i c , X,.620a.; Pseudo-Alcidamas, U l i x e s 24; Diogenes L a e r t i u s , Prologue ^See  5.  Conon, V i r g i l ,  the U n l e a r n e d 109-11.  Ovid l o c c . . c i t t . ; L u c i a n ,  Against  8  downstream and out t o sea t o t h e I s l e of Lesbos, and were e v e n t u a l l y g l o r i f i e d as s t a r s i n t h e heavens; how t h e Muses b u r l e d t h e o t h e r l i m b s near Mt. Olympus, where t o t h i s day the n i g h t i n g a l e s s i n g more s w e e t l y than i n any. o t h e r p l a c e 7  on e a r t h . So t h e s t o r i e s c l u s t e r about t h e l e g e n d a r y of t h e s i n g e r f r o m Thrace. mere m u s i c i a n .  figure  Orpheus becomes more than a  He has a c c e s s t o t h e s e c r e t s o f a l l knowledge.  Q P l a t o p l a c e s him among t h e g r e a t c u l t u r e - h e r o e s . He i s v a r i o u s l y c r e d i t e d w i t h t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of w r i t i n g and q ' • philosophy, o f p o e t r y and e s p e c i a l l y t h e d a c t y l i c hexameter,  10  of a g r i c u l t u r e ,  11  even of homosexual l o v e .  12  He  becomes a g r e a t r e f o r m e r who s p i r i t u a l i z e s t h e D i o n y s i a c  'See Hyginus, Astronomica V,3,  11,7; P h i l o s t r a t u s ,  Heroicus  A p o l l o n i u s o f Tyana, I V , 1 4 ; P r o c l u s , On t h e R e p u b l i c of  P l a t o 1,174,27. 8  See.Laws I I I , 6 7 7 d .  ^See 1 0  1 1  Pseudo-Alcidamas, l o c . c i t .  S e e M a l l i u s Theodorus, De M e t r i s I V , 1 . See  Horace, A r s P o e t i c a 3 9 1 - 3 .  12  See P h a n o c l e s ,  E r o t e s 7-10; Ovid, Metamorphoses X,83-5,  Hyginus, Astronomica  11,17.  13 14 r i t e s , - a p r i e s t and prophet whose w r i t i n g s a r e c a r e f u l l y p r e s e r v e d as t h e b a s i s o f a m y s t e r i o u s c u l t . 1  There seems t o have been l i t t l e doubt t h a t Orpheus a c t u a l l y e x i s t e d , though no one was l i k e l y t o have b e l i e v e d t h a t one man was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a l l h i s i n n o v a t i o n s . I t i s perhaps a case s i m i l a r t o t h a t o f t h e S p a r t a n L y c u r g u s : a hero o f the d i s t a n t p a s t becomes a c o n v e n i e n t s a n c t i o n f o r any i n n o v a t i o n ; o r of Homer: the works of many anonymous p o e t s become absorbed i n a g r e a t l i t e r a r y  tradition.  But whether Orpheus a c t u a l l y e x i s t e d as one man or many, whether he was t h e s u n , ^ the wind,"*" " o r an e a r t l 17 l 8 t h e human psyche, 19 o r a totemd e i t y , ' a "faded god", 0  y  13 J  S e e E u r i p i d e s ? , Rhesus 943-5; A r i s t o p h a n e s , F r o g s 1032;  P l a t o , P r o t a g o r a s 3 l 6 d , R e p u b l i c I I , 7 , 3 6 4 e ; D i o d o r u s V,64,4 e t p a s s i m ; A p o l l o d o r u s 1 , 3 , 2 ; P a u s a n i a s 11,30,2,  IX,30,4  X,7,2. l 4  S e e Horace, A r s P o e t i c a 391-3; S t r a b o V I I , frag.. 18;  Clement o f A l e x a n d r i a , Stromata 1,21,134.. - ^ A c c o r d i n g t o Max M u l l e r , Comparative Mythology  (London,  1909), .p-.: 160. ^ A c c o r d i n g t o R a l p h Abercromby, "The Hermes and Orpheus Myths", Academy 24(1883), pp. 316, 399. c o r d i n g t o E r n s t Maass, Orpheus (Munich, 1895). l 8 i scussed by W.K.C. G u t h r i e , Orpheus and Greek R e l i g i o n D  (London, 1935), PP. 53-6. c c o r d i n g t o Orphic b e l i e f s , . See R.W. Horton and V.F>. Hopper Backgrounds of European L i t e r a t u r e (New York, 1954), p. 68..  10  fox,  whether o r n o t he i n t r o d u c e d  the Orphic m y s t e r i e s and  wrote t h e poems w h i c h bear h i s name - these do n o t a f f e c t our purpose.  For the sciences  of mythology and comparative  r e l i g i o n have l i t t l e t o do w i t h the c r e a t i o n s o f p o e t s and dramatists,  " t o whom t h e s i m p l e s t elements of the myth have 21  given the greatest i n s p i r a t i o n . "  I n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of  Orpheus and Orphism, W.K.C. G u t h r i e  says i n t h i s  regard:  "His (Orpheus') s t o r y can be severed from a l l connexion'. w i t h r e l i g i o n , and moreover t h e a r t i s t i s t h i n k i n g i n e v e r y case o f h i s own c o m p o s i t i o n ,  h i s poem o r h i s vase, not of t h e 22  preservation  of a c o n s i s t e n t t r a d i t i o n . "  And t h e foremost  American a u t h o r i t y on Orphism adds: "Indeed, i t makes v e r y l i t t l e d i f f e r e n c e i n the h i s t o r y of human thought whether the g r e a t and i n f l u e n t i a l p e r s o n a l i t i e s ever a c t u a l l y e x i s t e d in  human b o d i e s .  Zoroaster,  P e r s o n a l i t i e s l i k e Zeus, Odysseus, and  and even Hamlet and Don Q u i x o t e , have been more  important i n the world or d i e d .  than m i l l i o n s o f men who have l i v e d  T h e i r r e a l i t y i s the. r e a l i t y of an i d e a , and t h e  b e s t t h a t we can know about them i s what men have thought According II  (Paris, 2 1  t o Salomon R e i n a c h , C u l t e s , Mythes e t R e l i g i o n s  1909),  PP.  85-122,  L i l y E.. M a r s h a l l , "Greek Myths i n Modern E n g l i s h  S t u d i d i F i l o l o g i a Moderna 22  Op. c i t . , p.  25.  5 (1912),  p.  205.  Poetry",  11  about them.  The r e a l i t y of Orpheus i s t o be sought i n what  men thought and s a i d about him."  J  As we t r a c e t h e e v o l u t i o n of t h e myth i n t h e Greek and Roman w o r l d , our d i s c u s s i o n w i l l be determined by what Greek and Roman w r i t e r s thought and s a i d about Orpheus-, h i s b r i d e and h i s descent i n t o Hades.  Ibycus The e a r l i e s t e x t a n t r e f e r e n c e t o Orpheus i s genera l l y thought t o be t h e fragment "famous Orpheus" ^ ^ ^ / ^ l y / o f /  of Ibycus..  0/?f$>?i/  (frag.,17)'  There may be an e a r l i e r mention i n A l c a e u s . I n  h i s e d i t i o n o f A n t h o l o g i a L y r i c a Graeca, E r n e s t D i e h l was tempted t o r e s t o r e a passage i n a. second c e n t u r y papyrus of Alcaeus thus:  24  but  i n t e r p o s e d an "ausus non sum" I n h i s f o o t n o t e .  two-word  fragment i s , , however,  Ibycus'  c e r t a i n , quoted by P r i s c i a n ,  a grammarian o f t h e s i x t h c e n t u r y A.D., t o show how t h e D o r i a n s once used t h e e n d i n g  for -  .. The two words  t e l l no s t o r y , but t h e y do a t t e s t t h e i m p o r t a n t f a c t t h a t 2 3  I v a n M. L i n f o r t h , The A r t s o f Orpheus ( B e r k e l e y ,  pp.  194l),  xii-xiii.  24 A n t h o l o g i a L y r i c a Graeca ( L e i p z i g , 1925), f r a g . 80, l i n e 8,. p. 425.  12  Orpheus was "famous o f name" as e a r l y as t h e s i x t h  century  B.C., f o r we know t h a t Ibycus was c o u r t m u s i c i a n t o t h e t y r a n t P o l y c r a t e s o f Samos  (533-522).  E a r l y Orphic w r i t i n g s The e a r l i e s t Orphic w r i t i n g s a r e a l s o a s c r i b e d t o the s i x t h c e n t u r y , and we have evidence f o r a t l e a s t f o u r A<*&/$Jc(r6'J  &S Atcfoc;  Pythagorean,  26  }  by P r o d i c u s of S a m o s ,  Herodicus  of P e r i n t h u s  27  25  Cecrops t h e  and Orpheus o f  28  Camarina..  Of t h e s e , P r o d i c u s a t l e a s t l i v e d as e a r l y as 29  the s i x t h c e n t u r y . ^  B u t we know n o t h i n g o f any o f these  poems o t h e r than t h e t i t l e s . concerned  w i t h t h e descent  They may or may not have been  o f Orpheus.  ^See Clement o f A l e x a n d r i a , Stromata 26  C  1,21,134.  .,  See i b i d i  27 See Suidas s.v. Orpheus 2  ^See  2  ^ S e e CM.. Bowra, "Orpheus and E u r y d i c e " , CQ, 4 6 ( 1 9 5 2 ) ,  pp.  ibid.  123-4..  13  E a r l y a r c h a e o l o g i c a l monuments 30 The  earliest  a r c h a e o l o g i c a l e v i d e n c e f o r Orpheus -  a s c u l p t u r e d metope f r o m t h e S i c y o n i a n t r e a s u r y a t D e l p h i i s a l s o o f t h e s i x t h century.. f r a g m e n t a r y , t h e name  A l t h o u g h t h e monument i s i s c l e a r l y d i s c e r n i b l e above one  of two m u s i c i a n s who a r e f l a n k e d by two mounted horsemen. As the background g i v e s some i n d i c a t i o n o f b e i n g a s h i p , i t may be c o n j e c t u r e d  that t h i s i s a d e p i c t i o n of the expedition  of t h e A r g o n a u t s , and t h a t t h e two horsemen a r e C a s t o r and Pollux.  I t i s o f t e n thought t h a t Orpheus' descent was t h e  subject of the l o s t fiftfc-century fresco painted a t Delphi by P o l y g n o t u s and d e s c r i b e d by P a u s a n i a s : Orpheus was shown i n Hades, h o l d i n g h i s l y r e and a w i l l o w wand, w i t h P a t r o c l u s , 32 Agax, Meleager, Marsyas and Charon grouped around him. But on D  The " l y r e p l a y e r o f P y l o s " , r e c e n t l y r e s t o r e d by P i e t de  Jong f r o m t h e fragments found i n t h e t h r o n e room, may be Orpheus i n a much e a r l i e r age. Palace  of Nestor Excavations  See C a r l W. B l e g e n , "The  o f 1955", AJP 60 (1956), p. 95  and p l a t e 41, and Mabel Lang, " P i c t u r e P u z z l e s f r o m P y l o s " , A r c h a e o l o g y 13 ( i 9 6 0 ) , p. 56.. 31 There i s a p h o t o g r a p h i n G u t h r i e , op. c i t . , p l a t e 2. 32 X , 3 0 , 6 . The w i l l o w i s Orpheus'- "golden bough",  according  t o James G. F r a z e r , The Golden Bough (London, 1913), v o l . I I , p. 294..  14  t h e r e i s no E u r y d i c e here, Indeed, n o t h i n g t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h i s i s a n y t h i n g o t h e r than a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of Orpheus a f t e r h i s death.  I n f a c t , w h i l e Orpheus the m u s i c i a n , Argonaut  m a r t y r becomes a f a i r l y common s u b j e c t f o r a r t i s t s and  and  vase  33  p a i n t e r s i n the f i f t h c e n t u r y , u o u s l y absent .  Eurydice. i s always c o n s p i c -  I t i s not u n t i l the end of the f i f t h  t h a t she appears - i n a famous monument we later.  In extant l i t e r a t u r e  descent  t o r e c l a i m her u n t i l E u r i p i d e s .  century  s h a l l discuss  t h e r e i s no r e f e r e n c e t o Orpheus'  Euripides The A l e e s t i s t e l l s a s t o r y t h a t i s almost the r e v e r s e of Orpheus :  A l c e s t i s o f f e r s t o d i e i n the p l a c e of  her husband Admetus.  I n the d r a m a t i c  !|  scene where Death him-  s e l f comes t o take h e r , Admetus a s s u r e s h i s w i f e t h a t i f he had the tongue and the song of Orpheus so as t o move Persephone and her husband he would descend t o Hades - n e i t h e r Cerberus nor Charon would p r e v e n t him - and r e s t o r e her t o f  —• "  ^  ^See,  e.g.,  J.D.  ( O x f o r d , 1942), s.v.  /\ '  *  y  ^ '  life.  — '  B e a z l e y , A t t i c R e d - F i g u r e Vase P a i n t e r s , Orpheus.  15  60-/01/,  "ft"  <?vs  if01/ x^r^rryfa/  The passage, b r i e f  as i t . i s ,  ^,  a  ^ r 357-62) .  i s fraught with  diffi-  ^4 culties. descent  I t i s objected  t h a t t h e r e i s no b a s i s f o r any  of Orpheus here; Admetus does n o t a c t u a l l y  say t h a t  Orpheus descended t o Hades, o n l y t h a t he h i m s e l f would be r e a d y t o do s o , i f he had t h e eloquence o f Orpheus. cryptic  The  Orphic poems a s i d e , l i t e r a r y r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus up  t o t h i s p o i n t concern  themselves w i t h h i s consummate m u s i c i a n -  s h i p and h i s p e r s u a s i v e eloquence. of A e s c h y l u s ,  A e g i s t h u s , i n t h e Agamemnon  b e r a t e s t h e chorus f o r h a v i n g Of jfet  (fe  yAujffpit/  Ty*  6><tYr/fit-is  (1629),  and Simonides, i n t h r e e memorable l i n e s , g i v e s t h e c l a s s i c p i c t u r e of t h e F r a n c i s c a n Orpheus, e n c h a n t i n g h i s music: /(f*ve*S  ^Jof  k^^oi/To  < * /fc^f  a l l nature w i t h  .' <//r' </.o/J<AS ( F r a g . 2 7 ) .  There i s a p o s s i b i l i t y , t h e n , t h a t t h i s i s a l l Admetus had i n mind, and t h a t h i s r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e underworld have no b e a r i n g on Orpheus, b u t o n l y on t h e imminent death of  - See Jane H a r r i s o n , Prolegomena t o t h e Study of Greek J  R e l i g i o n (Cambridge 1 9 0 8 ) , pp. 6 0 1 - 5 .  16  h i s w i f e and the problem of how her...  he would s e t about r e s c u i n g  I t i s p o s s i b l e , i n s h o r t , t h a t the e n t i r e s t o r y of  Orpheus and E u r y d i c e arose f r o m the m i s c o n s t r u i n g of a somewhat mock-heroic passage i n E u r i p i d e s , a i d e d by c u r r e n t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of Orpheus i n a r t , w h i c h indeed show him i n g f o r the d e n i z e n s of Hades, but may  perform-  o n l y mean t h a t a f t e r  h i s death he c o n t i n u e d t o s i n g and t o p l a y .  We  r e c a l l that  S o c r a t e s expected t o meet him when he a r r i v e d among the 35 .dead..  T h i s may  be a l l t h e r e i s t o the e a r l y t r a d i t i o n .  I t i s d i f f i c u l t , , however, t o accept any such t h e o r y , f o r s e v e r a l reasons.  Admetus seems t o be r e f e r r i n g t o a  well-known s t o r y r a t h e r than i n d u l g i n g i n f a n c i f u l s p e c u l a t i o n ; the monument w h i c h f i r s t i n t r o d u c e s E u r y d i c e i s r o u g h l y contemporary w i t h the A l c e s t i s ; a few y e a r s l a t e r P l a t o , i n the Symposium ( l 7 9 d ) , t r e a t s the descent mon  of Orpheus as com-  knowledge... The r e a l d i f f i c u l t y i n the passage from the A l c e s t i s  i s t h a t i t seems t o i n d i c a t e t h a t Orpheus was  completely  c e s s f u l i n r e g a i n i n g h i s Eurydice..  Admetus  i n mentioning  Otherwise  the s t o r y i s v e r y weak i n d e e d .  1  suc-  point  He wants t o  i m p l y t h a t , g i v e n Orpheus' powers, he would r e s t o r e A l c e s t i s even as Orpheus once r e s t o r e d E u r y d i c e .  I f the s t o r y of  Orpheus' weakness and e v e n t u a l l o s s of E u r y d i c e was we  current,  s h o u l d expect E u r i p i d e s t o have Admetus " r e f e r not t o See P l a t o , Apology 4 l a .  1 7  Cerberus and Charon, whom Orpheus subdued, b u t t o t h e d i s obedience w h i c h r u i n e d him, and c l a i m t h a t he h i m s e l f not be so f e e b l e . "  J  would  I t seems r a t h e r t h a t t h e s t o r y o f  Orpheus and t h e u n d e r w o r l d , as i t f i r s t e x i s t e d i n t h e c l a s s i cal  age o f Greece, was one o f s u c c e s s , a t r i u m p h over t h e  f o r c e s o f d e a t h , a t r a g i - c o m e d y somewhat a k i n t o t h e A l c e s t i s story i t s e l f .  We know t h a t t h e f o u r t h - c e n t u r y  A n t i p h a n e s t r i e d h i s hand a t an Orpheus  comedian  ; the "successful"  v e r s i o n of t h e s t o r y may have been h i s subje.ct. e a r l i e r Orpheus by t h e f i f t h - c e n t u r y t r a g e d i a n  There was an Aristias,  but t h i s p r o b a b l y d e a l t w i t h t h e d e a t h of Orpheus, as d i d t h e l o s t Bassarae o f A e s c h y l u s . ^  The death o f Orpheus i s a  r i c h l y s y m b o l i c s u b j e c t f o r t r a g e d y ; h i s descent seems t o be viewed almost as comedy.. It  seems b e s t t o r e g a r d t h e passage i n t h e A l c e s t i s  as r e f e r r i n g n o t m e r e l y t o a descent b u t t o a s u c c e s s f u l descent.  The s c h o l i a s t on t h e passage mentions E u r y d i c e by  name and s t a t e s t h a t Orpheus brought h e r out of Hades:  36  C.M. Bowra, op. c i t . , 4 6 ( 1 9 5 2 ) ,  p..  1 1 9 -  See J.M. Edmonds, The Fragments of A t t i c Comedy 1 9 5 7 ) ,  o  vol.  2,  p.  2 5 0 .  o  See August Nauck, T r a g i c o r u m Graecorum Fragmenta 1 8 5 6 ) , 3 9  (Leyden,  p.  5 6 2 .  S e e i b i d . , p. 7 .  (Leipzig,  aKof-^v  ^V^/^/vi/ ^|  357).  AHTOV (^jn A l c e s t i n ,  I n f a c t we must w a i t more than f o u r c e n t u r i e s b e f o r e we  find  any remains i n l i t e r a t u r e w h i c h i n d i c a t e t h a t Orpheus l o s t Eurydice  on h i s j o u r n e y upwards t o the w o r l d of  The A t t i c  light.  relief There i s , however, one p i e c e of e v i d e n c e ,  contem-  40 porary with Euripides, have f a i l e d .  w h i c h i n d i c a t e s t h a t Orpheus might  T h i s i s a famous A t t i c r e l i e f w h i c h d e p i c t s  Orpheus, w i t h l y r e and T h r a c i a n Eurydice's  cap, removing the v e i l from  f a c e ; she l o o k s I n t o h i s eyes and l a y s her  hand on h i s s h o u l d e r , w h i l e her r i g h t hand i s f i r m l y by Hermes, the winged e s c o r t of the dead. ^According  to Beazley  (in'Bowra,  left clasped  41  -op. . c i t . , p. 121,  note l ) ,  the r e l i e f cannot be dated more e x a c t l y than between 430 400 Rom. 420  B.C..  and  Heinz G8tze, "Die A t t i s c h e n D r e i f i g u r e n r e l i e f s " ,  M i t t . 53(1938), p..243, i n v e s t i g a t i n g the s t y l e ,  suggests  as a t e r m i n u s p o s t quern.  4l There are c o p i e s i n the Museo N a z i o n a l e L o u v r e , and i n the V i l l a A l b a n i i n Rome.  i n N a p l e s , i n the  There i s a l s o a  fragment of the Hermes i n the P a l a t i n e Museum i n Rome. Gotze g i v e s photographs of t h e s e , op. c i t . , p l a t e s 32 and 33. N a p l e s copy  The  i s a l s o reproduced i n G u t h r i e , op_. c i t . , p l a t e  3.  19  The  i n s c r i p t i o n s over t h e heads o f t h e f i g u r e s i n 42  the N a p l e s copy make t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n q u i t e c e r t a i n ,  hut  t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e debate as t o what p o i n t i n t h e s t o r y i s illustrated.  There i s a p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t , as t h e s t o r y of  Orpheus' second l o s s o f E u r y d i c e i s n o t found i n f i f t h - c e n t u r y l i t e r a t u r e , t h e r e l i e f d e p i c t s t h e moment when E u r y d i c e goes- o f f t o Hades.  first  But t h i s moment i s never t r e a t e d i n  c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e ; we a r e never t o l d t h a t Orpheus bade E u r y d i c e a sad f a r e w e l l a f t e r she was b i t t e n by t h e snake. 43  And Jacques Huergon remarks t h a t i t i s Orpheus, n o t E u r y d i c e , who i s t a k i n g l e a v e and has a l r e a d y t u r n e d t o go. 44  Ernst Curtius,  a l s o i n s i s t i n g that the s t o r y of  the second l o s s o f E u r y d i c e d i d n o t e x i s t i n t h e f i f t h  century,  42  The a u t h e n t i c i t y of these i n s c r i p t i o n s , q u e s t i o n e d by Jahn, M i c h a e l i s and F u r t w a n g l e r , op. c i t . , pp.  198-200.  i s now a c c e p t e d .  See Gtttze,  I n t h e Louvre copy-the f i g u r e s a r e  i d e n t i f i e d as Amphion - A n t i o p e - Z e t u s ; b u t t h e i n s c r i p t i o n s a r e modern,, and o n l y a few p a r t i c u l a r s of t h e Amphion-myth correspond  t o t h e scene on t h e r e l i e f .  has n o t been a c c e p t e d  This  identification  s i n c e Zo&ga d i s p r o v e d i t i n 1808; see  0. Gruppe, "Orpheus" i n W.H. Roscher, L e x i c o n , v o l . 3, p.  1194.  ^ " O r p h e e e t E u r y d i c e avant V i r g i l e " , Melanges d A r c h e o l o g i e et d ' H i s t o i r e 4 9 ( 1 9 3 2 ) , P. 36. 1  44  See Gruppe, op_. c i t . , pp.  1195-6.  20 h o l d s t h a t the scene r e p r e s e n t s the moment when Orpheus has p l a y e d f o r the gods of the u n d e r w o r l d  and won  h i s Eurydice  back; thus he l e t s h i s l y r e s i n k down, w h i l e E u r y d i c e draws her v e i l a s i d e and r e v e a l s h e r s e l f t o her "bridegroom-hero. A s i d e from the obvious Orpheus who  d i f f i c u l t y t h a t i t appears t o be  i s d r a w i n g the v e i l a s i d e , t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n  t o c o n s i d e r Hermes' l e f t arm,  fails  e n c i r c l i n g Eurydice's r i g h t i n a  manner t o i n d i c a t e t h a t he i s about t o l e a d her away.  And  the a t t i t u d e of b o t h Orpheus and E u r y d i c e seems t o be one r e s i g n a t i o n and  of  farewell. 45  A t h i r d p o s s i b i l i t y , a d m i r a b l y p r e s e n t e d by Huergon, i s t h a t , f i f t h c e n t u r y or no, t h i s i s the famous moment when Orpheus, f o r g e t f u l of the gods' command, t u r n s and l o o k s upon the f a c e of E u r y d i c e ; the p a n e l shows Hermes a l r e a d y come t o e s c o r t her back t o the w o r l d p f the dead. The  objection often  r a i s e d a g a i n s t t h i s i s t h a t t h e r e i s , i n Bowra's words, "too l i t t l e d i s t r e s s f o r so t r a g i c a c a t a s t r o p h e " . ^  But i f  4  the c l a s s i c a r t i s t seems t o have s t r e s s e d the t e n d e r n e s s r e s i g n a t i o n of the moment, R a i n e r M a r i a R i l k e notes  and  that  47  "power i s t h e r e i n the t o r s o e s "  . A more c o n v i n c i n g  argu-  ment a g a i n s t t h i s t h i r d p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t , as has been 45  -\0p_. c i t . , pp.  46  47  Op . c i t . , p.  6-60. 121..  Noted i n Jane Davison  R e i d , " E u r y d i c e Recovered?",  Comparative L i t e r a t u r e 5 ( 1 9 5 3 ) , p.  217.  21  mentioned, t h e r e i s no l i t e r a r y indeed,  f o r four centuries..  support f o r i t , n o t h i n g ,  And even t h e n , no l i t e r a r y  account  i n t r o d u c e s Hermes. There a r e almost a dozen o t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n s  of t h e  scene, v a r y i n g as the i n t e r p r e t e r c o n s i d e r s the o r i g i n a l t o have been a p a r t of a f r i e z e , from the a c r o p o l i s or elsewhere 48  i n Athens, or a grave-marker.  Michaelis,  doubting the  a u t h e n t i c i t y of t h e i n s c r i p t i o n s on the N a p l e s copy, argues t h a t t h e f i g u r e s a r e n o t m y t h i c a l c h a r a c t e r s , but r a t h e r idealized representations  of the dead t h e y commemorate, and  49  Jahn  J  e x p l a i n s t h e a c t i o n as d e p i c t i n g t h e d e s i r e of t h e  l i v i n g t o l o o k once more upon t h e dead.  More r e c e n t l y . , how-  e v e r , t h e i n s c r i p t i o n s have been t a k e n as genuine:  Heinz  Go'Vzer'' " has attempted t o show t h a t the r e l i e f i s one of a 0  s e r i e s of f o u r t h r e e - f i g u r e r e l i e f s , t h e o t h e r s Medea and t h e daughters of P e l i a s , H e r a c l e s Hesperides,  representing  and t h e  and Theseus, P i r i t h o u s and H e r a c l e s .  The Orpheus-  r e l i e f may w e l l b e l o n g i n t h i s s e r i e s ; c e r t a i n l y  the composi-  t i o n and e x e c u t i o n  of a l l f o u r p a n e l s , even i n t h e c o p i e s , a r e  strikingly similar. problems.  But t h i s does n o t s o l v e any i n t e r p r e t a t i v e  Homer Thompson, i n an attempt t o demonstrate how  Gtitze's s e r i e s can be f i t t e d t o t h e p a r a p e t of t h e a l t a r of 48 49  See  ^See 5  °0p_.  Gruppe, op_. c i t . , pp. 1 1 9 5 - 7 . ibid. c i t . , pp.  189-280.  22  p i t y a t Athens,  51  suggests t h a t the f o u r p a n e l s a r e t h e m a t i -  c a l l y r e l a t e d , t h a t each i n c i d e n t " i l l u s t r a t e s a p i t e o u s . 5P  s i t u a t i o n i n d u c e d by a r e v e r s a l of f o r t u n e " . not make i t c l e a r how t h e H e s p e r i d e s - p a n e l  But he does  i s a piteous  s i t u a t i o n , or how t h e Medea and P i r i t h o u s - p a n e l s a r e r e v e r s a l s of f o r t u n e .  As f o r Orpheus, Thompson makes no defense f o r h i s  assuming t h a t t h e moment when "he g l a n c e d back and l o s t h i s CO  beloved  forever"  would be known i n f i f t y - c e n t u r y Athens. 54 A c t u a l l y , as Zuntz p o i n t s o u t , i t i s u n l i k e l y that the a l t a r i n q u e s t i o n i s the a l t a r of p i t y , and p i t y i s h a r d l y a c h a r a c t e r 55 i s t i c theme f o r a f i f t h - c e n t u r y A t h e n i a n a r t i s t .  v  But t h e r e is  r e a l l y no c o m p e l l i n g r e a s o n why f o u r s t y l i s t i c a l l y r e l a t e d p a n e l s must be t h e m a t i c a l l y r e l a t e d as w e l l . 51  " T h e A l t a r of P i t y i n t h e A t h e n i a n Agora",  21(1952), 52  pp.  Hesperia  47-82.  O p . c i t . , p. 69.  -^Op. c i t . , p. 68. 54  pp.  " T h e A l t a r of Mercy", C l a s s i c a e t M e d i a e v a l i a , 71-85.  14(1953),  'v  more l i k e l y r e l a t i o n s h i p , i f one must be found, may be sought i n some d e a t h - m o t i f :  two of t h e p a n e l s a r e concerned  w i t h d e s c e n t s t o the u n d e r w o r l d ; t h e t w e l f t h l a b o r of H e r a c l e s i s o f t e n thought of as such (see H.J. Rose, A Handbook of Greek Mythology, [London, 1 9 5 8 ] p. 2 1 4 ) ; d e a t h i s imminent i n the Medea-panel.  23  Thus t h e r e a r e no r e a s o n s w h i c h compel us t o accept any of t h e many t h e o r i e s .  The p r e s e n t  consensus of o p i n i o n ,  however, a c c e p t s Huergon's.view - t h a t the r e l i e f d e p i c t s the backward l o o k of Orpheus and the second l o s s of E u r y d i c e . I f t h i s I s t r u e , then t h e r e a r e two v e r s i o n s of the s t o r y as e a r l y as t h e f i f t h c e n t u r y t one a l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n  found  i n E u r i p i d e s , w h e r e i n Orpheus I s s u c c e s s f u l i n b r i n g i n g back h i s w i f e from the dead] the o t h e r a t r a d i t i o n found i n the A t t i c r e l i e f and e v e n t u a l l y i n l a t e r l i t e r a t u r e , w h e r e i n Orpheus l o o k e d upon, h i s w i f e and l o s t h e r .  Plato The second treatment r a i s e s some new d i f f i c u l t i e s .  of the s t o r y i n l i t e r a t u r e I n a way, i t combines the  happy w i t h t h e unhappy e n d i n g i n what s t r i k e s modern as a most unhappy t h i r d v e r s i o n .  T h i s i s the b r i e f passage  i n P l a t o ' s Symposium where Phaedrus i s s p e a k i n g b e i n g s t r o n g e r than death.  readers  about l o v e  I n some I n s t a n c e s , he argues,  the gods of the u n d e r w o r l d have a c t u a l l y been so moved by the power of l o v e t h a t t h e y have r e l e a s e d c e r t a i n s o u l s from Hades.  Alcestis  i s a s h i n i n g example.  B u t , as f o r  Orpheus, Ofde^-  eft- row  J^r^Ci s./r//F6/nfs.i/ /(/Jou,  fatT/f^tt- Jt/ fat//'&( 7 yi yui/^////of r  &f  -y?/C£i/  i  <fe O <J  24  AX /^.ufpL T8\,  ' 4/6*71/  ' " /<- ' /I o<<//~oy &//6 £/60*1/  1  j  ^atrs-roi/  et^r* ' 2  *ff#  yws/<rPv  >  c2/7v'  '  ycis&a-^/  (179).  To anyone who has ever been touched by t h e s t o r y o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e ,  this i shighly unsatisfactory.  Instead  of overcoming Hades by t h e power o f h i s l o v e and h i s music, Orpheus "produces a v e r y bad i m p r e s s i o n on t h e gods; i n t h e i r o p i n i o n he i s a p o o r - s p i r i t e d c r e a t u r e , a l y r e - p l a y e r t o be; i n s t e a d of d y i n g  as one might expect  courageously f o r h i s  l o v e , he has moved heaven and e a r t h t o g e t i n t o Hades a l i v e . C o n s e q u e n t l y t h e y do n o t g i v e him h i s w i f e , b u t o n l y show.him a phantom o f her.  He r e t u r n s t o t h e w o r l d w i t h o u t h a v i n g  a c c o m p l i s h e d h i s purpose, and t h e whole d i s c r e d i t a b l e i n c i d e n t was  t h e cause o f t h e g o d s  death."  1  punishing  him w i t h an i g n o m i n i o u s  5 6  Though Phaedrus' f e l l o w banqueters  apparently  a c c e p t e d h i s v e r s i o n as orthodox, t h e tendency today i s t o regard  P l a t o ' s v e r s i o n as a minor example of h i s own p r i v a t e  myth-making, t o say t h a t P l a t o merely t i n k e r e d w i t h t h e myth, i n f l u e n c e d perhaps by h i s own s u s p i c i o n of music and m u s i c i a n s and  by S t e s i c h o r u s  1  p o p u l a r v e r s i o n o f t h e s t o r y o f Troy,  L i n f o r t h , op. c i t . , p. 1 9 .  w i t h i t s phantom Helen. passage  G u t h r i e r e f u s e s t o c o n s i d e r .the  s e r i o u s l y because f o r h i m t h e Symposium i s "a d i a l o g u e  f u l l o f f a n c i e s which i t would be absurd t o r e g a r d as s i m p l y t a k e n over from e x i s t i n g mythology".-^  -Others d i s m i s s i t f o r  the s i m p l e reason t h a t i t i s b a r r e n of progeny.  We s h a l l have t o r e t u r n t o P l a t o and t o t h e r e l i e f later.  The next f i v e a u t h o r s who t o u c h on t h e s t o r y w r i t e as  i f n e i t h e r ever e x i s t e d ; they are a l l i n the E u r i p i d e a n "comic"  tradition.  Isocrates Isocrates i s the f i r s t  of these..  In. t h e B u s i r i s  he c r i t i c i s e s t h e s o p h i s t P o l y c r a t e s f o r w r i t i n g an encomium on t h e b r u t a l B u s i r i s , who used t o devour shipwrecked  sailors,  k i l l i n g l i v i n g men b e f o r e t h e i r time.. I s o c r a t e s c o n t r a s t s B u s i r i s w i t h A e o l u s , who used t o send t h e shipwrecked  safely  back t o sea, and Orpheus, who used t o b r i n g t h e dead back from Hades: 65  A,<fo<j  -This  7(Bl/(£>frS  efusy/f-l/  (XI, 8 ) .  The use of an i m p e r f e c t v e r b and a p l u r a l o b j e c t here suggest t h a t Orpheus made a r e g u l a r p r a c t i c e o f r e s t o r ing  t h e dead.  But on o n l y one o c c a s i o n i s A e o l u s known t o  have sent s a i l o r s back t o sea; so we may suppose t h a t o n l y once d i d Orpheus b r i n g the dead back t o l i f e .  Isocrates i s  g e n e r a l i z i n g , as encomiasts a r e wont t o do. But t h e impress i o n i s g i v e n t h a t Orpheus was s u c c e s s f u l i n what he d i d . Op . c i t . , p. 3 1 .  26  Palaephatus (pseudo-Heraclitus) ascribed to a cer-  Fragments of a  t a i n P a l a e p h a t u s and p r o b a b l y d a t i n g t o the l a t e  fourth  c e n t u r y , g i v e r a t i o n a l i z e d a c c o u n t s of v a r i o u s myths, among them the d e s c e n t s of H e r a c l e s and Orpheus:  However u n s a t i s f a c t o r y t h i s i s as an e x p l a n a t i o n , i t c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s t h a t the a u t h o r thought of E u r y d i c e as s u c c e s s f u l l y restored to l i f e .  Hermesianax We pass now  t o the A l e x a n d r i a n s .  The s t o r y . g e t s  i t s f u l l e s t t r e a t m e n t thus f a r i n a fragment from the Leontlum. of Hermesianax, Deipnosophistae.  p r e s e r v e d i n the t h i r t e e n t h book of Hermesianax s 1  Athenaeus  work appears t o have been a  c a t a l o g u e of amorous s t o r i e s i n w h i c h l o v e r s e v e n t u a l l y meet w i t h punishment;  58,  P.  • i t was d e d i c a t e d t o the c o u r t e s a n Leontium^  Quoted from K o n r a t Z i e g l e r , ."Orpheus", PW 1309.  18(1939),  1  27  presumably w i t h t h e p l e a t h a t , i f t h e famous p e o p l e i n t h e c a t a l o g u e were s m i t t e n w i t h l o v e ' s arrows, s u r e l y t h e w r i t e r may be f o r g i v e n h i s p a s s i o n . Orpheus i s t h e f i r s t l o v e r d i s c u s s e d i n t h e l o n g fragment.-  H i s s e c t i o n may be quoted i n f u l l .  /////&6V  •  6l/C7<* l/s^X^S  £/?\tufgi/ A^fcuV  o<~\\'  /f'C'/c  /cu/tM-  Offers, /7co/Cv/0l/  /Ui/7o/ouf ?'  6l/&6l/ 'Atfioffyiv  >  ftfi/  (^favyy  fiAe/tfio'w  {*<//'£<  tfoi/sJ^i/.  p.oi/0 SvoTof  /Ct fa?t  ^l^i/ifV/?v  /7 \ '  <f6  /TKU^  (9eo<sS •  o<jt>fo><rs  ^Kyi/i  ^u/"c/~  -  '  ?  /~£ Qo oo ft C i/° v,  ^ty/A'ouf  j^-UfaC  >  j/co/utu-yi;  <//f '  Jtfooi/  tf/d^fai/  cl 6/7/ jUext/ois  cf  T.U6f*.l(Trov  > t 6:1/ /7i/ft  A'P-vyi  /UC'/SAUJV  er\<q  /7(-i &6c<  G/\/C£/j(- 6/S  sS/COTji/  c")(cj/".evt<Ji/,  /eo/u*  U  c/c  61/ /7^L J' b uju<</  yvc-/7e/<r6l/  A^/V  )  ^i/^/cfaS fi/o'rou  (xill,597b-c).  I t i s n o t o n l y t h e presence of Charon and Cerberus that places t h i s i n the Euripidean t r a d i t i o n ; the i n i t i a l tAi/xyot ei/ y  and t h e f i n a l  #d>/-//£/ <f(-i/  c l e a r l y suggest t h a t  Orpheus was s u c c e s s f u l . . The a u t h o r seems never t o have seen the A t t i c r e l i e f , n o r t o have read t h e Symposium; h i s Orpheus dares t o sound h i s l y r e a c r o s s t h e l a w l e s s , r a v i n g Cocytus, and bears up under t h e g l a n c e of t e r r i b l e C e r b e r u s .  28  Hermesianax I s t h e o n l y a u t h o r t o g i v e a v a r i a n t name f o r Orpheus' w i f e . ,,  She i s t h e T h r a c i a n A g r i o p e , "she  50  of t h e w i l d f a c e . ^  I t i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s was t h e  o r i g i n a l name of Orpheus - w i f e . l  We know o f a nymph named  A g r i o p e who l i v e d i n Thrace and was t h e mother o f Thamyris.^^ There a r e a good dozen E u r y d i c e s i n Greek mythology, b u t no a u t h o r , u n l e s s we a c c e p t P a l a e p h a t u s as genuine, a p p l i e s t h e name t o Orpheus  1  w i f e u n t i l t h e second  c e n t u r y B.C.^  1  62  Gruppe  suggests t h a t i t was adapted from t h e C y p r i a , where  Aeneas' w i f e , whose ghost fades away i n h e r husband's embrace, i s c a l l e d n o t Creusa b u t E u r y d i c e . not mentioned a g a i n .  A t any r a t e , A g r i o p e i s  The name E u r y d i c e appears i n our next  a u t h o r , Moschus, and from then on i s s o l i d l y r o o t e d i n t h e tradition  o f t h e myth. .  -'"zoe'ga amends  Afyosf-*?  , "she of t h e gleaming f a c e " .  ^°See A p o l l o d o r u s 1,3,3 and P a u s a n i a s  IV,33,3.  ^ A - t h i r d - c e n t u r y vase a t t a c h e s t h e name t o Orpheus' w i f e ; see August W i n k l e r , "Die D a r s t e l l u n g d e r U n t e r w e l t " , B r e s l a u e r P h i l o l o g i s c h e Abhandlung  5(1888),  pp.  treatment o f t h e problem  o f t h e o r i g i n o f t h e name i n view o f  27-30.  F o r a thorough  the a r c h a e o l o g i c a l e v i d e n c e , see Huergon, ojo^ c i t . , pp. 1 3 - 2 7 and  5^-6.  pp_. c i t . , p.  1162.  29 Moschus The p a s t o r a l p o e t Moschus may a l s o be p l a c e d i n t h e "successful" t r a d i t i o n . Bion,  I n t h e E p i t a p h i o s f o r t h e departed  he l o n g s t o descend t o Hades, as Orpheus and o t h e r s  had done, t o see h i s comrade once more:  flAour&os- ( i n , 1 1 5 - 8 ) .  :  And he b i d s t h e shade o f B i o n p l a y a S i c i l i a n a i r ( f o r Persephone i s a S i c i l i a n and l o v e s music),, and so w i n h i s way back t o t h e upper w o r l d .  F o r even as Persephone gave Orpheus  back h i s E u r y d i c e , so s h a l l she r e s t o r e B i o n t o his. n a t i v e hills:  cr&  3/<"*- /ftyrfet ron  c^fe<r, \s ( 1 1 1 , 1 2 3 - 5 ) .  •^The poem i s o f t e n a t t r i b u t e d t o Moschus and i s c e r t a i n l y by some s e c o n d - c e n t u r y d i s c i p l e o f B i o n .  30.  Diodorus S i c u l u s Next i n time i s D i o d o r u s , who d e a l s w i t h Orpheus i n t h e f o u r t h book of h i s L i b r a r y o f H i s t o r y . A f t e r mentioni n g t h e hero's b i r t h , p a r e n t a g e , m u s i c a l prowess, l e a r n i n g and s e r v i c e aboard t h e Argo, D i o d o r u s c o n t i n u e s : AU.'  i  . i ' Oft7<  yxe^  ?  -  /CU  ' i fyCAJ(<£. Tot/  <7<foo  Tfys  fiol/>?v tffifctt  (fr %c*>j  ^oyteA /s/i  6/7r eye,*  A/oi/otftf  />?v /A.2f/eyt<  ^c-7^- <fo'i/7*.  />/  *<t4t i/df/scf  „ /<S/~S/?1? IS<?-/  fp^^y^  7>?u ft  cfe  i/^/Sft/1/  £ Z?  d/de/you  pfffc-  <r^ s  /<*< c7"yjffrjyqtTsd.  y^y  •  i  efoAftife,  C-/7[  s('(/7~eo> /£ XCA 6 o 7+) A?v/ens  /vc/ysyai/  i /ffOi  rtc7av  t7c/yfi<? 1/ y~u i/(< //(K /Y<7fb< 77A  {7~/oo<f  y*o<6>o,\oyovts  y_  6%  /&•<•  $uo~> i/7j t/ /Ke7~oi/oy+*trs.c  (IV, 25,4).  The r e f e r e n c e t o Dionysus i s welcome t o those who see t h e myth 64  as an a d a p t a t i o n o f t h e Dionysus-Semele s t o r y . Important f o r o u r purposes i s t h a t a g a i n t h i s i s t h e E u r i p i d e a n 65  " s u c c e s s f u l " v e r s i o n . Bowra t h i n k s i t non-committal, but D i o d o r u s , when he g e t s thus f a r i n t o the s t o r y , p l a i n l y D  considers I t f i n i s h e d : ./J^e/s ft^cro^e&ot  J' /tZAIV  e/re)  f7£y\  e/fi  fbi/  Offers  Jet  /-ly^/cAe^-  64  X^^O*ptv,  per*-  (ibid.).  r  Jane H a r r i s o n , op_. c i t . , p. 6 0 3 . E o r a summary of t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n see Gruppe, " E u r y d i k e " , i n Roscher, op. c i t . , v o l . 1, p. 1 4 2 1 . 65 ^Op. c i t . , p. 120, note 1.  31 Orphic.  "Argonautica" I t i s impossible  t o date the A r g o n a u t i c a  ascribed  t o Orpheus w i t h any c e r t a i n t y , though I t seems t o d e r i v e from A p o l l o n i u s Rhodius and was i n t u r n used by V i r g i l i n the Ae-neid.  I t t o o seems t o I n d i c a t e t h a t Orpheus was  f u l i n regaining h i s wife.  "Orpheus" p r o m i s e s t o r e v e a l the  s e c r e t s of the u n d e r w o r l d , and  •yi/n$r£f>)  /T/<rui/of  success-  J</$Jf->7,  says:  dd  tyvr*  ^oyo/o  Thus from E u r i p i d e s t o the end of the f i r s t we have c o n s i d e r a b l e  (4o-42).  century  e v i d e n c e f o r a v e r s i o n o f the s t o r y t h a t  d i d n o t s u r v i v e Graeco-Roman  t i m e s - t h a t Orpheus was  f u l .not o n l y i n w i n n i n g E u r y d i c e  success-  from the powers o f death,  but i n r e s t o r i n g h e r t o l i f e as w e l l .  32 " L o s t A l e x a n d r i a n poem" A f t e r Diodorus and the Orphic " A r g o n a u t i c a " , we do not r e a d o f t h e descent o f Orpheus i n l i t e r a t u r e u n t i l t h e f o u r t h Georgic, of V i r g i l and the p s e u d o - V i r g i l i a n C u l e x . b o t h of t h e s e , t h e s t o r y has been f u r t h e r developed:  In  on the  j o u r n e y t o the w o r l d above, Orpheus i s u n e q u a l . t o t h e c o n d i t i o n s imposed upon him by t h e gods of the u n d e r w o r l d , and he l o s e s E u r y d i c e a second t i m e .  Many s t r i k i n g  similarities  between t h e two poems i n d i c a t e , n o t so much i d e n t i c a l a u t h o r s h i p ( t h a t i s l a r g e l y d i s c o u n t e d on s t y l i s t i c grounds), but  66 a common s o u r c e .  P a r t i c u l a r l y n o t a b l e i s the s y m m e t r i c a l  67 arrangement  of b o t h poems, more than v a g u e l y A l e x a n d r i a n i n  appearance.  I t i s l i k e l y t h a t , a t some time i n the H e l l e n i s t i c  p e r i o d , a poet t o l d t h e v e r s i o n o f the s t o r y which i s f a m i l i a r  68 to us today."  Bowra  demonstrates  how V i r g i l and Ovid, i n  t e l l i n g the s t o r y , worked i n d e p e n d e n t l y of one another,, u s i n g the same H e l l e n i s t i c poem as a model, and suggests N i c a n d e r and Euphorion as p o s s i b l e a u t h o r s .  Philetas,  But the i m p o r t a n t  f a c t i s t h a t t h e famous v e r s i o n of t h e s t o r y , which may date back i n a r t t o the f i f t h c e n t u r y , has a t l a s t appeared i n l i t66 erature.  The E u r i p i d e a n v e r s i o n , , however, g i v e s evidence  See e s p e c i a l l y D.L. Drew,. Culex: Sources and t h e i r b e a r i n g on t h e problem 6  6  ^To  of a u t h o r s h i p , pp. 75 9.  be a n a l y z e d i n Chapter I I .  ^0p.. c i t . , pp..113-8 and 125-6.  _  33  of d y i n g hard: i t reappears  i n t h r e e more a u t h o r s , each •  s e p a r a t e d from t h e o t h e r by a generation..  We s h a l l c o n s i d e r  them as t h e y occur i n our c h r o n o l o g i c a l sequence.  The  "Culex" In t h i s poem from t h e Appendix V e r g i l i a n a , the  phantom gnat t e l l s  o f t h e s o u l s he has seen i n Hades, and  r e p e a t s the s t o r y he heard from E u r y d i c e s l i p s . 1  This  account makes s e v e r a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o the t r a d i t i o n of the myth: i t i s Persephone who e f f e c t s t h e r e s t o r a t i o n of E u r y d i c e ; b o t h l o v e r s a r e informed of t h e c o n d i t i o n ;  Eurydice  p l a y s h e r p a r t w e l l , k e e p i n g h e r eyes on t h e path,, not d i s t r a c t i n g h e r husband by s p e a k i n g t o him; i t i s Orpheus who fails,  suddenly  overcome w i t h p a s s i o n , o s c u l a c a r a petens  (293) .  A d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e l i t e r a r y q u a l i t y and s i g n i f i cance of the Culex must be r e s e r v e d f o r the next  chapter.  34  Virgil The t o l d i n the  myth of Orpheus and  Eurydice i s b e a u t i f u l l y  c l o s i n g p o r t i o n of the f o u r t h G e o r g i c of  Virgil.  More d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s famous t r e a t m e n t of the w i l l a l s o be g i v e n  story  i n the next c h a p t e r . , Here l e t i t o n l y  be  s a i d t h a t t h i s of course i s the t r a g i c v e r s i o n , t h a t Orpheus f a i l s because he immemor and bution  i s s e i z e d by s u b i t a dementia (488); he i s  v i c t u s animi (491);  V i r g i l ' s outstanding  t o the t r a d i t i o n i s h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n of the  god  A r i s t a e u s , whose advances E u r y d i c e was  was  b i t t e n by the  l o c a t e s the  snake.  By  contri-  shepherd-  f l e e i n g when  she  introducing this figure, V i r g i l  s t o r y i n Thrace, near Mount Rhodope.  He makes  o t h e r g e o g r a p h i c c o n t r i b u t i o n s : the e n t r a n c e t o Hades i s a t Taenarus; the e x i t , a c c o r d i n g  t o the b e s t I t a l i a n  tradition,,  i s a t Lake A v e r n u s . Virgil i n the  also gives passing  s i x t h book of the  mention t o the  descent  Aeneid:  s i p o t u i t manis a c c e r s e r e c o n i u g i s Orpheus Threicia fretus cithara fidibusque canoris (VI,119-20), and  T h r a c i a n Orpheus and  h i s mother C a l l i o p e a are  69  t o i n the  Eclogues.  111,46; IV,55-7;  VI,30.  referred  35  Horace V i r g i l ' s contemporary Horace never t e l l s the s t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i n d e t a i l , but i n one addresses  of the Odes he  the l y r e t h a t charmed Charon, Cerberus and  the  tormented s o u l s i n Hades: c e s s i t immanis t i b i i a n i t o r aulae  blandienti  l u r i d a e , quamvis f u r i a l e centum muniunt angues caput aestuatque s p i r i t u s t a e t e r saniesque manat ore t r i l i n g u i . quin et I x i o n Tityosque v o l t u r i s i t i n v i t o , s t e t i t urna paulum s i c c a , dum g r a t o Danai p u e l l a s carmine mulces ( I I I , 1 1 , 1 5 - 2 4 ) . Horace then goes on t o t e l l , , not of E u r y d i c e , but of Hypermnestra. In  another  Ode,  when Horace laments t h a t no  musical  power can b r i n g Q u i n t i l i u s V a r u s back t o l i f e , , he h i n t s a t the s t o r y of the  descent;  quid? s i T h r e i c i o b l a n d i u s Orpheo a u d i t a m moderere a r b o r i b u s f i d e m , num vanae r e d e a t s a n g u i s i m a g i n i , quam v i r g a semel h o r r i d a non  l e n i s precibus fata recludere  nigro compulerit Mercurius gregi? In  n e i t h e r poem are we  (1,24,13-8).  t o l d t h a t Orpheus l o s t E u r y d i c e  after  w i n n i n g h e r by the power of h i s song, but the f a c t t h a t V i r g i l ' s G e o r g i c was  a l r e a d y p u b l i s h e d , as w e l l as the sentiment  of the  36  second passage here quoted, seems t o p l a c e Horace i n the 70 tragic tradition.  Con on The mythographer  Conon, whose N a r r a t l o n e s were  p r e s e r v e d i n P h o t i u s , p r o b a b l y s h o u l d come n e x t , as he d e d i c a t e d h i s work t o A r c h e l a u s P h i l o p a t e r , . who r u l e d over Cappadocia from 36 t o 17 B.C..  Most of Conon's account o f  Orpheus i s concerned w i t h t h e hero's d e a t h , but he devotes a c o n c i s e sentence t o t h e s t o r y o f the d e s c e n t : f^rt&jcc;  cfc-  u^i &/r  C/O^CL.  I t i s t h e t r a g i c version.. Georgic: h i s  For  cj^evou  'Arcfou  /(<<rJ,/$oc  (yon  Conon's seems t o f o l l o w the f o u r t h  r e c a l l s V i r g i l ' s immemor.  r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus the m u s i c i a n i n Horace, see  Odes 1,12,7-12 and A r s P o e t i c a , 391-3-  37  Manilius I t may seem u n l i k e l y t h a t anyone would r e v e r t t o the "happy e n d i n g " a f t e r V i r g i l ' s f o u r t h G e o r g i c , but t h e Augustan poet M a n i l i u s appears t o have t h e o l d E u r i p i d e a n v e r s i o n i n mind when he speaks o f Orpheus b r i n g i n g s l e e p t o the b e a s t s , s e n s a t i o n t o t h e r o c k s and p l a n t s , e t D i t i lacrumas e t m o r t i denique f i n e m  (V,328).  L e s s f i n a l than t h e f i n e m i n t h i s passage, but more E u r i p i d e a n than V i r g i l i a n i s an e a r l i e r r e f e r e n c e t o t h e d e s c e n t : e t L y r a d i d u c t i s p e r caelum c o r n i b u s i n t e r s i d e r a c o n s p i c i t u r , qua quondam c e p e r a t Orpheus omne quod a t t i g e r a t c a n t u , manesque p e r i p s o s f e c i t i t e r domuitque i n f e r n a s carmine l e g e s ( I , 3 2 4 - 7 ) .  Ovid W i t h Ovid we a r e f i r m l y i n t h e main t r a d i t i o n . the s e v e n t y - e i g h t  But  l i n e s w h i c h b e g i n t h e t e n t h book of t h e  Metamorphoses a r e crammed w i t h new, i m a g i n a t i v e  details:  A r i s t a e u s i s n o t mentioned; i n s t e a d Hymen s e r v e s t o connect the myth w i t h t h e r e s t of t h e poem, and E u r y d i c e  i s strolling  w i t h a band o f nymphs when she s t e p s on t h e snake; t h e words of Orpheus' song b e f o r e P l u t o a r e g i v e n , and t h e s t o c k u n d e r world f i g u r e s - Tantalus, Sisyphus,  I x i o n , T i t y u s and. t h e  Danaids - a r e i n t r o d u c e d i n d e t a i l , and f o r e v e r a f t e r a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e s t o r y ; Orpheus asks t h a t E u r y d i c e ' s t h r e a d be u n r a v e l l e d , and a new reason  i s given f o r h i s  life-  38  failure: h i e , ne d e f i c e r e t , metuens avidusque f l e x i t amans o c u l o s (X,56-7) •  videndi  Though t h e p a s s i o n of t h e Culex i s here, Orpheus a l s o appears t o have doubted P l u t o ' s word. The descending  Orpheus i s a l s o mentioned i n t h e  Tristia: b i s amissa coniuge moestus ( I V , 1 , 1 7 ) , and  i n t h e A r s A m a t o r i a , where he has power Tartareosque  over  l a c u s , tergeminumque canem ( i l l , 3 2 1 - 2 ) .  We s h a l l have more t o say about Ovid's use of t h e myth i n t h e next  chapter.^  Seneca The myth i s o u t l i n e d i n two c h o r a l passages i n Seneca.  I n t h e Hercules, Fur ens t h e chorus, a w a i t i n g t h e  a r r i v a l of H e r c u l e s from Hades, a r e c o n f i d e n t t h a t he s h o u l d be a b l e t o overcome t h e lower kingdom by s t r e n g t h i f Orpheus was a b l e t o do so by song: Quae v i n c i p o t u i t r e g i a  carmine,  haec v i n c i p o t u i t r e g i a v i r i b u s  (590-1).  Orpheus, however, l o s e s E u r y d i c e i n the s t o r y t h e chorus and t h i s i s due t o the i m p a t i e n c e  tells,  of h i s p a s s i o n :  ' F o r o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus i n Ovid, see Metamorphoses XI,1-66;  III,3,41.  Amores 111,9,21-2; E p i s t u l a e , ex Ponto 11,9,53 and  39  o d i t v e r u s amor nec p a t i t u r moras: munus dum p r o p e r a t c e r n e r e , p e r d i d i t In  (588-9).  the H e r c u l e s Oetaeus Seneca I s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y  philosophical.  As the end n e a r s f o r H e r c u l e s the  chorus  s i n g t h a t the song of Orpheus, Aeternum f i e r i n i h i l i s t r u e , and prove i t "by t e l l i n g The u n d e r w o r l d Charon, who enchanted  Orpheus  1  (1035),  s t o r y . o n c e more.  f i g u r e s are d e a l t w i t h a g a i n , most n o t a b l y  f o r g e t s t o row, w h i l e h i s b o a t , as i f i t too were  by the song, comes t o shore n u l l o r e m i g i o  (107^).  The gods are overcome,, and the F a t e s b e g i n t o s p i n the t h r e a d of Eurydice-'-s l i f e anew.  But n o t h i n g escapes death;  . . . dum r e s p i c i t immemor nec credens s i b i r e d d i t a m Orpheus E u r y d i c e n s e q u i , cantus praemia p e r d i d i t ( 1 0 8 5 - 8 ) . Orpheus t u r n s because, as i n Ovid, he i s not c o n v i n c e d t h a t 72 E u r y d i c e i s r e a l l y f o l l o w i n g him.  ' F o r o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus i n Seneca's t r a g e d i e s , see Medea  228-9,  3^8-60  and  625-33.  40 Lucan Seneca's nephew Lucan wrote a t r a g e d y on t h e descent of Orpheus, t h e o u t l i n e of w h i c h can be r e c o n s t r u c t e d from f r a g m e n t s ^ i n S e r v i u s , t h e L i b e r 1  and Aldhelmus. armatus. 74  Monstrorum  E u r y d i c e i s wounded by a hydra a n g u i s  Orpheus descends l i k e H e r c u l e s ,75 and, as a  r e s u l t of h i s s i n g i n g , nunc p l e n a s posuere c o l o s e t stamina Parcae multaque d i l a t i s haeserunt s a e c u l a f i l l s . 7 6 But Orpheus l o s e s E u r y d i c e , much t o t h e j o y of Hades: ...gaudent a l u c e r e l i c t a m E u r y d i c e h i t e r u m s p e r a n t e s Orphea manes.  7  7  The shades a p p a r e n t l y hope t o be charmed by Orpheus' once more.  music  When t h e t r a g i c hero r e t u r n s t o t h e upper w o r l d , rj  fauni silvicolae'  O  come t o hear h i s lament, and he enchants 79  even t h e p a n t h e r a s  1 y  on t h e banks o f Strymon.  Lucan a l s o r e f e r s t o t h e descent i n t h e B e H u m Civile: Cerberos Orpheo l e n i v i t s i b i l a c a n t u ( I X , 6 4 3 ) . 7S ' ^ C o l l e c t e d in. J.P. P o s t g a t e , Corpus Poetarum L a t i n o r u m (London,. 1905), p. 145. 7 4  L i b e r Monstrorum  75servius,  III,3.  I n Aeneidos VI,392.  ^ A l d h e l m u s , p_e_ M e t r i s 283. f ^ S e r v i u s , In_ Georgicon IV, 492, 7  ®Liber Monstrorum  7 9  I b i d . , . 1.1,8.  1,6.  41  Statius I n S t a t i u s ' Thebaic!., when t h e augur Amphiaraus appears b e f o r e P l u t o i n t h e u n d e r w o r l d ,  t h e L o r d o f Hades  r u e f u l l y r e c a l l s t h e v i s i t s o f P i r i t h o u s , Theseus, H e r c u l e s i  and e s p e c i a l l y Orpheus:  -  <  O d r y s i i s e t i a m pudet heul p a t u i s s e q u e r e l l i s T a r t a r a : v i d i egomet blanda i n t e r carmina t u r p e s Eumenidum l a c r i m a s i t e r a t a q u e pensa Sororum; me quoque - sed durae m e l i o r v i o l e n t i a l e g i s (VIII,57-60).  '  P l u t o i s ashamed t h a t he was moved t o p i t y Orpheus, but c o n s o l e s h i m s e l f t h a t he, i n t h e end, won t h e v i c t o r y .  80  Apollodorus The myth i s c o n c i s e l y n a r r a t e d i n the d u l l but orthodox e n c y c l o p e d i a of mythology compiled by t h e o t h e r w i s e unknown A p o l l o d o r u s :  ... Of 06 A\/ P'OVS  ft  /c~7i dei/Jfc< . <y/7o d/.i/o</tr^C  y(/t////(o$ rfu/duj J^^^(/if7fS  /Accfbu /if  (AeAwi/ fi/Syr'tV 0yL .  s(7o  uf^euf  y f a f t * • /A? is /wrf/rf^^  o0eo S  /for  yoryi/  6> <fe i//fGc7)(£yo  yyo/gvofeyoS stcsfou  ty/ft  TciuTo  l  f  <Z/(  y7o/if CT£/1/^ J*is ^irj  ifc-, y/F <rru't/ t  ^f^k  6rufvd,/C>jr  fjA  £/7, cryy*f^ yy^y #  i  eft-  &s  oA/CMis  6/7i6~/f<70irS  77 c% /7kA~/y w76ry/6y>6l/  £t9fa<r-.  (1,3,2).  F o r o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus i n S t a t i u s , see S i l v a e II,7,40; V,l,23-8;  3 , l 6 - 8 ; 5,53-5; Thebaid V,343-5.  42 A p o l l o d o r u s f o l l o w s Ovid i n h i s e x p l a n a t i o n of the t r a g i c story:  Orpheus i s  at/7t o~ fu;  v  .  Our l a s t group of a u t h o r s are not l i t e r a r y Romans but t r a v e l e d and s o p h i s t i c a t e d Greeks.  I n one way  another, they c o n t r a d i c t V i r g i l ' s t r a g i c  of  story.  Pseudo-Plutarch  In  one of the works a s c r i b e d t o P l u t a r c h , De  Numinis V i n d i c t a , the a u t h o r mentions  Sera  o n l y t h a t Orpheus went  seeking h i s wife: f^i/  In  nyuyvji/  />/  yot/oi/zcac,  yeryt/  •  (22,566c).  a n o t h e r , the A m a t o r i u s , he n o t e s t h a t Hades was  vanquished  by l o v e i n the t h r e e cases of A l c e s t i s , P r o t e s i l a u s  and  Eurydice:  Inasmuch as A l c e s t i s was r e s t o r e d l i v i n g t o Admetus, and P r o t e s i l a u s and Laodamia were u n i t e d f i r s t I n l i f e then i n d e a t h , we may  and  conclude t h a t the p s e u d o - P l u t a r c h  r e f e r s t o some form of the s t o r y i n which E u r y d i c e i s r e s t o r e d t o Orpheus, and l o v e triumphs over d e a t h . seems t o f a l l  i n w i t h the E u r i p i d e a n r a t h e r than the  This  43  V i r g i l i a n t r a d i t i o n , though from t h e b r i e f a l l u s i o n i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o be c e r t a i n .  Pausanias P a u s a n i a s r a t i o n a l i z e s t h e myth: among t h e u n t r u t h s t h a t t h e Greeks b e l i e v e about Orpheus i s t h e s t o r y 6 \ @6t\/ ^CMV  <fc- /'pit  /•(U/'c-J  es  i^eC'U  7ov 7*7? 1/  A'CTT^/ yw^/C*  rfis/'ov rf/SOv  TTsfk  1, ~vL ( I X , 3 0 , 4) .  A c t u a l l y , P a u s a n i a s e x p l a i n s , Orpheus was a v e r y  skillful  poet who came t o h o l d g r e a t power over h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s because he c o u l d cure d i s e a s e and was b e l i e v e d t o know e f f i c a c i o u s formulae f o r a v e r t i n g d i v i n e wrath.  When h i s  w i f e d i e d he went t o Aornum i n T h e s p r o t i s t o c o n s u l t t h e oracle there.  He f e l t t h a t E u r y d i c e ' s  ghost was f o l l o w i n g  him, but when he t u r n e d he c o u l d see n o t h i n g , whereupon he k i l l e d himself f o r g r i e f .  A t l e a s t t h i s i s the common way  of i n t e r p r e t i n g P a u s a n i a s  words:  foi.  i/c/fv ^(fsL  eft-  ot  1  £/7('CT  <7<cf~ov £y/fo  / ^ > / c^u/ud/'/c>j c,  A"//"*] ) 1  c/ou  yfis(-<r 67^/  ^  6)  44 Lucian Our l a s t of t h e D i a l o g u e s  8l  author i s L u c i a n of Samosata.  I n one  of t h e Dead, P r o t e s i l a u s asks P l u t o f o r  p e r m i s s i o n t o v i s i t h i s w i f e i n t h e w o r l d above, so as t o persuade h e r t o come down t o Hades and l i v e w i t h him t h e r e . When P l u t o o b j e c t s t h a t t h e r e i s no p r e c e d e n t f o r t h i s O uoe  yt/ove  //UJ/70/6  - P r o t e s i l a u s reminds him: yT/i/tcfvft  0/*L>yty-Tj /AOU  AX/cyicrr/u-  (XXIII,2).  L u c i a n seems t o r e g a r d t h e O r p h e u s - s t o r y as a s u c c e s s f u l one..  I t i s t r u e t h a t P r o t e s i l a u s was g i v e n  o n l y t h r e e hours w i t h Laodamia, b u t i n h i s p l e a he a s s o c i a t e s •Eurydice w i t h A l c e s t i s > who was f u l l y r e s t o r e d . i m p o s s i b l e t o be s u r e .  Again, i t i s  B u t i t seems t h a t t h i s l a s t  reference  t o t h e s t o r y r e v e r t s t o t h e v e r y f i r s t we have, and bears w i t n e s s t o t h e continuance  of t h e E u r i p i d e a n t r a d i t i o n of  a " s u c c e s s f u l " Orpheus.  The account In Hyginus (Pabulae  164) was a c t u a l l y w r i t t e n  by P u l g e n t i u s i n the s i x t h c e n t u r y , and i n c l u d e d i n t h e e d i t i o n of Hyginus p u b l i s h e d a t B a s e l i n 1535. See t h e e d i t i o n , of H.J. Rose (Leyden,. 1 9 3 4 ) , p . 1 1 5 .  4 In t r a c i n g the e v o l u t i o n of the myth i n a n c i e n t t i m e s , we note t h a t the f a m i l i a r of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e may  " t r a g i c " form of the s t o r y  date back as f a r as the  fifth-  c e n t u r y A t t i c r e l i e f , but t h a t i n e x t a n t l i t e r a t u r e i t does not appear u n t i l the f i r s t Culex.  c e n t u r y B.C.,  w i t h V i r g i l and  the  Then i t becomes the s t a n d a r d v e r s i o n , and appears  i n Conon, Ovid, Seneca>. Lucan, S t a t i u s and A p o l l o d o r u s , w h i l e P a u s a n i a s , .in a t t e m p t i n g t o e x p l a i n away the s t o r y , t e s t i f i e s t o i t s prominence i n h i s day. We form as w e l l ,  note' t h a t t h e r e i s a "comic" or " s u c c e s s f u l " one w h i c h was  the s t a n d a r d v e r s i o n i n f i f t h  and f o u r t h c e n t u r y Greece, but w h i c h y i e l d e d t o the o t h e r t r a d i t i o n i n H e l l e n i s t i c and Roman t i m e s .  We may  place  E u r i p i d e s , I s o c r a t e s , P a l a e p h a t u s , Hermesianax> Moschus, Diodorus  and the Orphic A r g o n a u t i c a i n t h i s  tradition.  In l a t e r t i m e s , i t i s found, p o s s i b l y , i n M a n i l i u s , and then not a g a i n u n t i l the p s e u d o - P l u t a r c h and L u c i a n . F i n a l l y , t h e r e i s a s e p a r a t e v e r s i o n found  only  i n P l a t o ' s Symposium. A c h r o n o l o g i c a l l i s t i n g of the e v i d e n c e ,  grouped  a c c o r d i n g t o the t r a d i t i o n s , , p r e s e n t s a r a t h e r s t r a n g e appearance:  5  46  "Tragic" 5 t h B.C.  form  "Comic" form  Other  forms  (Attic relief) Euripides Plato  4th  B.C.  Isocrates Palaephatus  3rd  B..C.  Hermesianax  2nd  B.C.  Moschus  1st  B.C.  Diodorus Argonautica Culex "Virgil Horace Conon  1st  A.D.  2nd  A.D.  Gvid Seneca Lucan Statius Apollodorus Pausanias  Manilius  Pseudo-Plutarch Lucian  The c u r i o u s appearance with Plato traditionless,  p r e s e n t e d by t h i s scheme -  the A t t i c r e l i e f s e p a r a t e d by cen-  t u r i e s from the C u l e x , and the " t r a g i c " form s u c c e e d i n g and a l l but r e p l a c i n g the "comic" - i m m e d i a t e l y suggests t h a t the a c c e p t e d t h e o r y of two s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . e x i s t i n g  traditions  f o r t h i s myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i s i t s e l f a myth, and prompts us t o re-examine  P l a t o and the r e l i e f i n the l i g h t  not of l a t e r but of e a r l i e r e v i d e n c e .  47  The f i r s t r e f e r e n c e s to. Orpheus mention g r e a t s i n g e r w i t h s t r a n g e powers over n a t u r e . was  soon extended.  Hades may  o n l y the  But t h i s i d e a  We noted t h a t s t o r i e s of a descent t o  date back as f a r as the s i x t h c e n t u r y .  Certainly  i n the f i f t h i t was g e n e r a l l y h e l d t h a t Orpheus had t o Hades t o p l a y f o r the dead and t h e i r gods.  descended  Polygnotus  1  f r e s c o t e l l s us t h i s much, and such a s t o r y i s o f t e n t o l d of the founder of a r e l i g i o u s c u l t w h i c h c l a i m s knowledge of  the a f t e r l i f e ;  i t s s e c r e t s are then s a n c t i o n e d as h a v i n g  come from the . l i p s of the founder h i m s e l f , r e t u r n e d from the dead t o r e v e a l them. yet  But i n the f i f t h c e n t u r y t h e r e i s as  no c o n j u g a l motive f o r Orpheus' d e s c e n t .  observes " I t may be t a k e n as an axiom i n Greek 82 t h a t p a s s i o n a t e l o v e r s are always l a t e " ,  Jane H a r r i s o n mythology  and i n d e e d i t i s  not t i l l E u r i p i d e s > or even P l a t o , t h a t Orpheus the l o v e r appears, w h i l e we w a i t f o u r more c e n t u r i e s b e f o r e he becomes a tragic  lover. By the l a t e f i f t h c e n t u r y , when we are  c e r t a i n the A t t i c r e l i e f was  fairly  e x e c u t e d , t h e r e were s e v e r a l  c u r r e n t t a l e s of d e s c e n t s t o and r e s c u e s from Hades. Some of these are complete v i c t o r i e s over Hades: Dionysus b r a v e s the w r a t h of Death t o t a k e h i s mother Semele t o  Op. c i t . , p.  603.  48  heaven; H e r a c l e s r e s c u e s A l c e s t i s ' -  3  and c a r r i e s off.  84  Cerberus. concession  I n o t h e r , i n most cases older,, s t o r i e s , some i s g i v e n t o t h e r i g h t s of Hades over t h e dead:  -Heracles i s a b l e t o r e c l a i m Theseus, but P i r i t h o u s must remain below; Persephone, P o l y d e u c e s and Adonis spend h a l f the y e a r i n Hades; P r o t e s i l a u s i s a l l o w e d o n l y t h r e e hours above, and Odysseus does not descend, but o n l y commands a view o f t h e u n d e r w o r l d  as he i n t e r v i e w s some o f i t s i n h a b i t -  ants. The  only underworld-story  comparable t o t h e  " t r a g i c " form o f t h e Orpheus myth, w i t h a r e v e r s a l due t o human f r a i l t y and, i n f a c t , t h e same c u r i o s i t y o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Orpheus, i s t h e episode  i n t h e s t o r y of Cupid  and Psyche where Venus g i v e s t h e h e r o i n e a box and sends her o f f t o t h e w o r l d of t h e dead t o b r i n g back some of P r o s e r p i n e ' s beauty; on t h e r e t u r n j o u r n e y , Psyche can not r e s i s t t a k i n g a f u r t i v e l o o k a t t h e charm and i s o v e r come w i t h l e t h a l s l e e p .  T h i s s t o r y i s o f course q u i t e l a t e ,  found o n l y i n A p u l e i u s . T h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . of descent-myths i n t o t h e e a r l y s u c c e s s - s t o r y , the s t i l l e a r l i e r compromise-solution  and t h e  O o  I n e a r l y v e r s i o n s ( P h r y n i c u s and E u r i p i d e s ) he m e r e l y w a i t s a t t h e tomb t o f i g h t w i t h Death: l a t e r  (Apollodorus)  he descends.. 84  A complete v i c t o r y , as i t i s E u r y s t h e u s , asks t h a t Cerberus be r e s t o r e d .  n o t Hades, who  49 l a t e r o m a n t i c t r a g e d y suggests t h a t one myth, t h e most famous of them a l l , r e c u r r i n g as i t does from t h e f i f t h  century  t h r o u g h t h e l a t e Roman empire, may have e v o l v e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h i s p a t t e r n - from a myth i n w h i c h Hades o n l y compromises,. t o a s t o r y of triumphant  s u c c e s s , t o a r o m a n t i c t a l e of  t r a g i c f a i l u r e p i v o t i n g on human weakness.. myths attempt  F o r man's e a r l y  t o e x p l a i n n a t u r e and t h e mystery of. l i f e and  death; l a t e r he g a i n s c o n f i d e n c e i n h i m s e l f ; s t i l l  l a t e r he  85 romanticizes,  and, we might add, as h i s c u l t u r e d i e s , he  r a t i o n a l i z e s and lampoons. W i t h t h e Orpheus-myth we have t h e e a r l y t r i u m p h a l v e r s i o n ( E u r i p i d e s ) , the r o m a n t i c - t r a g i c v e r s i o n ( V i r g i l ) , , the l a t e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n (Lucian).  ( P a u s a n i a s ) , and t h e lampoon  What we have f a i l e d t o l o o k f o r i s t h e f i r s t  where some compromise i s made w i t h Hades.  stage,  The most common  compromise-story i s t h e e x p l a n a t i o n of t h e pageant of t h e y e a r , i n w h i c h Hades a l l o w s the dead t o r e t u r n t o e a r t h f o r a time and t h e w o r l d i s g i v e n b o t h summer and w i n t e r months. It  i s p o s s i b l e t o imagine  the Orpheus-myth wherein  t h a t t h e r e e x i s t e d a v e r s i o n of t h e hero was a l l o w e d t o take h i s  w i f e t o t h e upper w o r l d f o r a s p e c i f i e d t i m e , a t t h e end o f 86 w h i c h he was t o r e l i n q u i s h h e r .  Bowra  had attempted t o  show t h a t t h e A t t i c r e l i e f can be i n t e r p r e t e d i n p r e c i s e l y t h i s way.. He c i t e s t h e s t o r y o f P r o t e s i l a u s as a p a r a l l e l , 85 ^Thus t h e d i v i s i o n , made by F r a z e r and o t h e r s , of myth i n t o myth p r o p e r , l e g e n d , and f o l k l o r e . 8 6  0 p . c i t . , . pp. .121-2.  50  r e m i n d i n g us t h a t P l u t a r c h a s s o c i a t e s t h e two s t o r i e s . ' 88  But he p r e f e r s  t o i n s e r t t h i s compromise-story between t h e  "comic" and " t r a g i c " t r a d i t i o n s where t h e r e i s no room f o r i t chronologically. I t i s e a s i e r t o imagine a compromise s t o r y somewhat a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f Odyssey X I .  OrpheusBoth.Odysseus  and Orpheus t r a d i t i o n a l l y descended t o Hades t o d i s c o v e r i t s secrets.  Odysseus used magic t o f o r c e Hades t o h i s w i l l ,  and he was g r a n t e d a v i s i o n and an o p p o r t u n i t y t o speak t o the g r e a t men who l i v e d below, e s p e c i a l l y t o T i r e s i a s , who knew h i s f u t u r e .  Orpheus overcame t h e u n d e r w o r l d by v i r t u e  of h i s music, w h i c h was magic of a s o r t , and Orphic l i t e r a t u r e a s s u r e s us he was g r a n t e d a v i s i o n .  Why n o t , then a s t o r y  w h i c h g i v e s h i m a v i s i o n - and o n l y a v i s i o n - o f h i s w i f e ? She i s n o t g i v e n him t o t a k e back; she i s o n l y shown t o him. We r e c a l l now t h a t t h e o r i g i n a l name o f Orpheus' w i f e was, i n a p o s s i b l e r e n d e r i n g , Af°"V face".  - "she of t h e g l e a m i n g  We r e c a l l t o o t h a t P l a t o ' s phantom does n o t r e t u r n  to the world i s sent back  j  she i s shown ( cfe'%p< r/df) t o Orpheus, and he c^/eA^i  .  T h i s i s p r e c i s e l y t h e scene we have  But i n e x p l i c a b l y n o t m e n t i o n i n g L u c i a n .  And i f E u r y -  d i c e was t h e o r i g i n a l name f o r t h e queen o f t h e u n d e r w o r l d , as Robert Graves s u g g e s t s , I n The Greek Myths (Harmondsworth, 1955),  v o l . 1, p. 128, h e r a s c e n t w i t h Orpheus may be a v a r -  i a n t o f t h e myth o f Persephone. 00  I n The Greek E x p e r i e n c e (New York, 1 9 5 9 ) . PP. 1 3 2 - 3 .  51  In the A t t i c r e l i e f .  Orpheus has f i n i s h e d s i n g i n g ; he drops  h i s l y r e and t u r n s t o l o o k i n t o the f a c e of E u r y d i c e , i s brought t o him by Hermes.  who  I t i s o n l y a momentary con-  c e s s i o n , and the psychopompos has a f i r m h o l d on E u r y d i c e , now t h e b r i d e of d e a t h .  The hero t e n d e r l y brushes a s i d e t h e  v e i l and she g i v e s him a s o r r o w f u l g r e e t i n g .  Thus d i d the  g r e a t Orpheus l e a r n t h e s e c r e t s of the a f t e r - l i f e .  Unless  some e a r l y fragment of Orphic  literature  t u r n s up t o c o n f i r m t h i s , i t i s a t b e s t a v e r y t e n t a t i v e suggestion.  But l e t us r e c a l l t h e o n l y e x i s t i n g  Orphic  t e x t t h a t mentions the s t o r y : c*-\\c<- cfi- (Tot. /<o<7'e\£'^\  Tifiertfvi  fft'fi/vos  cf'  UCT/cfoy  ifar'  rfloxo/o  ^J'  ivo^f^,  ( A r g o n a u t i c a 40-42) .  I t i s p r o b a b l y q u i t e l a t e , but i t i s i n t h e mainstream of Orphic t r a d i t i o n and i t f i t s the compromise s t o r y v e r y w e l l . The most famous of t h e Orphic t a b l e t s , from P e t e l i a , E l e u t h e r n a i , T h u r i i and Rome ( v a r y i n g from the f o u r t h c e n t u r y B.C. t o t h e second A.D.), " d e s c r i b e t h e a r r i v a l of the s o u l a t a p l a c e i n Hades where i t i s g i v e n a d r i n k from the w e l l of Memory,, and g r e e t s and i s welcomed by the guardians  of t h e w e l l , as t h e y appear t o be.  No doubt  the Descent i n t o Hades, w h i c h t r e a t e d of Orpheus' s e a r c h  52  for  Eurydice,. handled some of t h i s m a t e r i a l . " ^  i n the l o s t Descent E u r y d i c e s 1  o n l y r o l e was  And. perhaps  t o welcome  Orpheus on h i s a r r i v a l .  We  may  in l a t e r times. Orpheus who  now  s k e t c h a p o s s i b l e e v o l u t i o n of the myth  Once E u r y d i c e  i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the  l e a r n e d the s e c r e t s of the a f t e r - l i f e ,  mystic  the  v a r i o u s rescue-myths prompt the f u r t h e r e l a b o r a t i o n t h a t , i n addition to  '-his b e i n g p e r m i t t e d t o see h i s w i f e In Hades,  Orpheus was  a c t u a l l y granted permission  l i f e w i t h , hirru  The  of Admetus may  or may  t o t a k e her back t o  speech w h i c h E u r i p i d e s p u t s i n the mouth not say t h i s , but the O r p h e u s - s t o r y i s  a t l e a s t connected w i t h t h a t of A l c e s t i s , and w r i t e r s from the f o u r t h c e n t u r y t o the f i r s t  c o n s i s t e n t l y regard  the  myth as a s o r t of A l c e s t i s - s t o r y , w i t h a happy e n d i n g . r e f e r e n c e s are more f r e q u e n t now  The  because Orpheus' descent i s  no l o n g e r a s s o c i a t e d w i t h myths known o n l y t o i n i t i a t e s ; i t has become a f a m i l i a r t a l e of  rescue.  I n l a t e H e l l e n i s t i c and e a r l y Roman times the myth undergoes a n o t h e r change.  The A t t i c r e l i e f w h i c h o r i g i n a l l y  d e p i c t e d Orpheus l e a r n i n g the s e c r e t s of the dead now in  c o p i e s i n v a r i o u s p a r t s of the w o r l d , and  i s everywhere  °^H.J.. Rose, A Handbook of Greek L i t e r a t u r e (New p. 7 3 ,  n. 5 4 .  op., cit..,. pp.  F o r t r a n s l a t i o n s of the t a b l e t s see 172-4.  exists  York, 1 9 3 4 ) , Guthrie,  53 s u b j e c t t o new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a t t h e v e r y time o f t h e i n f l u x of those r o m a n t i c and f o l k t a l e elements I n l i t e r a t u r e w h i c h gave us t h e s t o r y o f Cupid and Psyche. d e p a r t w h i l e Orpheus removes h e r v e i l ,  I f E u r y d i c e must s u r e l y i t i s because  Orpheus has won h e r back under t h e c o n d i t i o n t h a t he would not l o o k upon h e r .  T h i s t a b u a g a i n s t l o o k i n g back,  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a j o u r n e y t o t h e w o r l d o f t h e dead, i s a wide-spread  f o l k - m o t i f t h a t i s found i n t h e Old Testament  ( L o t ' s w i f e ) , i n Japan ( i z a n a g i ) , i n v a r i o u s A s i a t i c r a c e s , i n t h e South Sea i s l a n d s , and, e s p e c i a l l y , i n l i t e r a l l y hundreds o f v e r s i o n s , among t h e I n d i a n s of N o r t h  America.  A g l a n c e i n t o S t i t h Thompson's..: i n d e x o r any f a i r - s i z d d world-mythology w i l l the f i n a l  i m m e d i a t e l y bear out t h e f a c t t h a t  " t r a g i c " Orpheus s t o r y i s one o f t h e u n i v e r s a l  folk-stories.  That a myth d e a l i n g w i t h a husband's r e s c u e  of h i s w i f e f r o m t h e dead would e v e n t u a l l y be r e m o d e l l e d a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f Weltmarchen was almost i n e v i t a b l e , once the Graeco-Roman w o r l d e s t a b l i s h e d c o n t a c t w i t h t h e f o l k t a l e s and legends o f d i s t a n t l a n d s .  In this  connection,  G u t h r i e s a y s : "The element of t a b u might seem a t f i r s t t o argue a p r i m i t i v e o r i g i n f o r t h i s p a r t of t h e s t o r y , b u t not o n l y d i d t h e b e l i e f i n i n j u n c t i o n s o f t h i s s o r t never die  out; i t had a v i g o r o u s r e c r u d e s c e n c e  H e l l e n i s t i c and Graeco-Roman ages..  i n the s u p e r s t i t i o u s  The s t o r y o f f a i l u r e  t h r o u g h l o o k i n g back, t h e r e f o r e , may w e l l be an a d d i t i o n by no means u n i v e r s a l l y adopted u n t i l A l e x a n d r i a n t i m e s , i f  54  not  invented  by the A l e x a n d r i a n s .  I t was  at a l l events a  s t o r y w e l l s u i t e d f o r e x p l o i t a t i o n i n the r o m a n t i c  and  p a t h e t i c s p i r i t w h i c h t h e y were the f i r s t t o b r i n g i n t o literary  favour."^^ The  f i n a l stage i n the e v o l u t i o n of the myth i n  C l a s s i c a l t i m e s i s the rough t r e a t m e n t i t r e c e i v e s at hands of s k e p t i c s and u n b e l i e v e r s .  P a u s a n i a s , not  the  knowing  t h a t he i s d e a l i n g w i t h a s t o r y known a l l over the w o r l d , a t t e m p t s t o e x p l a i n i t away.as a h a l l u c i n a t o r y e x p e r i e n c e of the h i s t o r i c a l Orpheus, w h i l e L u c i a n P l u t a r c h bend i t t o s u i t t h e i r own  I t i s p o s s i b l e now  and  the pseudo-  s o p h i s t i c a t e d purposes..  t o re-group our a u t h o r s a c c o r d -  i n g t o the changes the myth underwent. 1.  Orpheus i s a_ famous m u s i c i a n w i t h power over a l l n a t u r e [ e a r l i e s t references)  2. Orpheus descends t o Hades and  learns.its  secrets  ("Polygnotus f r e s c o ; e a r l y Orphic A V / ^ /3*0-&/<. ) Orpheus i s g r a n t e d a_ v i s i o n of h i s w i f e i n Hades ("the A t t i c r e l i e f ; P l a t o . T h i s i s a compromise s t o r y s i m i l a r t o Odyssey XI) 1  3.  4.  9  °0p.  Orpheus wins E u r y d i c e , w i t h n o c o n d i t i o n a t t a c h e d ( E u r i p i d e s , I s o c r a t e s , P a l a e p h a t u s , Hermesianax, Moschus, D i o d o r u s , A r g o n a u t i c a , Manilius... T h i s i s a " s u c c e s s f u l " s t o r y s i m i l a r t o the Alcestis) -  c i t . , p.  31  55 5. Orpheus l o o k s upon E u r y d i c e and l o s e s h e r ( l o s t A l e x a n d r i a n poem, Culex, V i r g i l , Horace, Conon, Ovid, Seneca, Lucan, S t a t i u s , Apollodorus. T h i s i s a romantic s t o r y s i m i l a r t o Cupid and Psyche) 6.  Orpheus' story, i s r a t i o n a l i z e d or' t r e a t e d l i g h t l y ("Pausanias, p s e u d o - P l u t a r c h , Lucian)  The  s t o r y o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e  s a i d t o be p a r t l e g e n d  can t h u s be  ( f o r i t began w i t h t h e l e g e n d a r y ,  q u a s i - h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e of Orpheus), p a r t myth ( f o r i t seems to  f o l l o w t h e g e n e r a l l i n e s of v a r i o u s sun o r v e g e t a t i o n  myths), p a r t f o l k l o r e ( f o r i t was e v e n t u a l l y combined w i t h one  of t h e most p o p u l a r  s t o r i e s of the w o r l d ) .  It i s hardly correct to c a l l i t , i n i t s familiar v e r s i o n , a Greek myth. i s t i c times.  We do n o t r e a d of i t u n t i l H e l l e n -  Some d e t a i l s - t h e t r a g e d y  o f t h e wedding  night,- t h e r o m a n t i c i z i n g of Hades and i t s d e n i z e n s  - are  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y H e l l e n i s t i c ; others, p a r t i c u l a r l y the punishment o f c u r i o s i t y , b e l o n g t o t h e whole w o r l d . myth was never developed by t h e A t h e n i a n  The  d r a m a t i s t s , though  i t might have p r o v i d e d s u i t a b l e m a t e r i a l , f o r E u r i p i d e s i n particular..  I t s main l i n k w i t h t h e g r e a t age o f Greece i s  a Roman copy, and t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h a t remains a puzzle. The has e v o l v e d  Important t h i n g i s , however, t h a t t h e myth  - a complete, s a t i s f y i n g s t o r y d e a l i n g w i t h  l i f e and death, w i t h d i v i n e j u s t i c e , w i t h l o v e and i t s  56  p r o p e r c o n t r o l , w i t h t h e a l l - p e r v a d i n g power of music, w i t h the mystery o f t h e w o r l d beyond.  I t has become p o t e n t  m a t e r i a l f o r a r t i s t i c treatment. I t now becomes our concern t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e meaning of those t r e a t m e n t s .  CHAPTER I I THE CLASSICAL PERIOD  Orpheus s y m b o l i z e s , i n a l l t h e myths  connected  w i t h him, t h e m y s t e r i o u s power of music; i n t h e myth of t h e descent he I s a l o v e r as w e l l , and he comes f a c e t o f a c e w i t h death.  The t h r e e themes o f l o v e , death and music which g i v e t h e descent-myth i t s u n u s u a l r i c h n e s s a r e f i r s t i n t o c o n f l i c t i n t h e Culex.  brought  When t h e poet beholds E u r y d i c e  among t h e o t h e r s o u l s i n Hades, he a p o s t r o p h i s e s h e r , and sounds one o f t h e p e r e n n i a l Orpheus themes - t h a t t h e r e i s no c h e a t i n g death, f o r a l l t h e courage  a man may show i n  the f a c e o f i t : q u i d m i s e r a E u r y d i c e t a n t o maerore r e c e s t i ? poenane r e s p e c t u s e t nunc manet Orpheos i n t e ? audax i l l e quidem, q u i mitem Cerberon umquam c r e d i d i t a u t u l l i D i t i s p l a c a b i l e numen, nec t i m u i t P h l e g e t h o n t a furentem a r d e n t i b u s u n d i s , nec maesta o b t e n t a D i t i s f e r r u g i n e regna ecfossasque domos ac T a r t a r a nocte c r u e n t a o b s i t a nec f a c i l i s l t D i t i s , s i n e I u d i c e , sedes, i u d i c e , q u i v i t a e p o s t mortem v i n d i c a t a c t a (268-76). A second s e m i n a l theme i s then s t a t e d - t h e wondrous power o f music, which h o l d s sway over b e a s t , r i v e r ,  57  forest  58 and moon: sed f o r t u n a v a l e n s audacem f e c e r a t a n t e . iam r a p i d ! s t e t e r a n t amnes e t t u r b a f e r a r u m b l a n d a voce sequax regionem i n s i d e r a t O r p h e i ; iamque imam v i r i d i r a d i c e m moverat a l t e quercus humo, t s t e t e r u n t amnest, s i l v a e q u e sonorae sponte sua cantus r a p i e b a n t c o r t i c e a v a r a . l a b e n t i s b i i u g i s e t i a m p e r s i d e r a Luna p r e s s i t equos: e t t u c u r r e n t i s , menstrua v i r g o , a u d i t u r a l y r a m t e n u i s t i n o c t e r e l i c t a (277-85). The t a l e reaches a peak of i n t e n s i t y as music conquers even death: haec eadem p o t u i t D i t i s t e v i n c e r e c o n i u n x , Eurydicenque u l t r o ducendam reddere (286-87). But d e a t h i s i n e x o r a b l e , and e f f e c t s i t s w i l l not over music, f o r i t i s p o w e r l e s s t h e r e , but over love: non f a s , non e r a t t i n v i t a m d i v a e t e x o r a b i l e . m o r t i s . i l i a quidem nimium manis e x p e r t a severos praeceptum s i g n a b a t i t e r , nec r e t t u l i t i n t u s lumina nec d i v a e c o r r u p i t munera l i n g u a , sed t u c r u d e l i s , c r u d e l i s t u magis, Orpheu.. o s c u l a c a r a p e t e n s . r u p . i s t i i u s s a deorum (287-93). A f i n a l theme i s now woven i n t o the poem - the problem of the c o n t r o l of p a s s i o n , and the n o b i l i t y of human l o v e , even i n d e f e a t : dignus amor v e n i a , gratum, s i T a r t a r a n o s s e n t , peccatum; meminisse g r a v e s t (294-5). D e s p i t e the harshness of i t s language, the Culex sounds and s c o r e s i t s t h r e e themes i n a most a r t i s t i c fashion.  I t s s t o r y seems t o t r a v e l upward t o a c l i m a x ,  then downward u n t i l a t the c l o s e i t has come f u l l . c i r c l e .  59  2)  3) death hound by music  r  love uses music  4)  death uses love  l ) love hound by death  We  first  see E u r y d i c e bound by  backward l o o k ; death, pass his  attempts  The  t o do  as one  But  the laws  e x a c t e d by m u s i c  begins  i t s downward m o t i o n .  v i c t i m by v i r t u e  and we  hear  see how  music  of death are f i x e d ,  must be  revoked.  Death  to death.  eternal  Orpheus; We  Fortuna.  The  and  poem  over the now  i s able to reclaim i t s  o f i t s 'power o v e r love-..  the passion-swayed  words, t o the  he  length  has power  The  l a y s down a r e k e p t by E u r y d i c e , b u t p r o v e  loses  in  this  a t some  of the elemental f o r c e s ,  c l i m a x i s r e a c h e d as we  l o v e he  who  We  o v e r a l l n a t u r e , a power t h a t i s  pardon  for  o f Orpheus t h e l o v e r ,  through music,  personified  death i t s e l f ;  it  Orpheus'  at death a s p i r e s t o r e c l a i m h i s b r i d e ;  o f t h e power o f m u s i c even  of  i t seems, i s s t r o n g e r t h a n l o v e .  then t o a d e s c r i p t i o n anger  d e a t h because  conditions t o o much  i n the v e r y e x p r e s s i o n of  return,  i n the l a s t  sorrowing Eurydice, love  three  i n the g r i p  of  death. No  classical writer  has  grasped the  themes i n t h e myth and woven them t o g e t h e r so  universal artistically  6o  as the a u t h o r of the Culex has done.  I f h i s poem has not  the c l a s s i c p e r f e c t i o n of V i r g i l ' s f o u r t h G e o r g i c or the urbane n a r r a t i v e s k i l l of Ovid's a c c o u n t . i n the Metamorphoses, i t does seem t o have the deepest awareness the v a r i o u s l e v e l s of the s t o r y .  of  I t a l s o has the b e s t  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n : b r i e f as the t r e a t m e n t i s , b o t h Orpheus and E u r y d i c e remain i n the memory, he f o r r i s i n g i n godl i k e f u r y a g a i n s t the f o r c e s of d e a t h and f o r f a l l i n g v i c t i m , i n an e x c e s s of human p a s s i o n , t o h i s enemy; she f o r her u n a v a i l i n g f i d e l i t y t o the laws imposed and f o r the e t e r n i t y of sorrow she must endure.  The l o c u s c l a s s i c u s f o r the s t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i n a n c i e n t , perhaps i n any l i t e r a t u r e , i s the f o u r t h G e o r g l c of V i r g i l .  The s i g n i f i c a n c e of the myth  here i s , however, q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from t h a t of the C u l e x . I t i n v a r i a b l y comes as a s u r p r i s e , i f n o t a d i s appointment, f o r those who p i c k up V i r g i l a f t e r r e a d i n g B u l f i n c h or h e a r i n g G l u c k t o d i s c o v e r t h a t the f i f t y  lines  V i r g i l devotes t o Orpheus a r e f i t t e d i n t o i n the l a r g e r s t o r y of A r i s t a e u s the shepherd-god, and t h a t t h i s  whole  seems t o be somewhat a r b i t r a r i l y s t i t c h e d on t o - a l a r g e r poem d e a l i n g w i t h the c a r e o f bees.  We a r e t o l d by S e r v i u s  t h a t an encomium on G a l l u s w h i c h was i n t e n d e d t o c o n c l u d e the poem was  suppressed by V i r g i l when h i s f e l l o w - p o e t  61 f e l l from i m p e r i a l f a v o r , and t h e A r i s t a e u s - O r p h e u s p i e c e substituted: Sane sciendum, ut. supra d i x i m u s , u l t i m a m partem h u i u s l i b r i esse mutatam: nam l a u d e s G a l l i h a b u i t l o c u s i l l e , q u i nunc Orphei c o n t i n e t f a b u l a m , quae i n s e r t a e s t , postquam i r a t o August© G a l l u s o c c i s u s e s t ( i n G e o r g i c o n , I V , l ) . and a g a i n : f u i t autem ( G a l l u s ) amicus V e r g i l i i adeo, u t q u a r t u s g e o r g i c o r u m a medio usque ad f i n e m e i u s l a u d e s t e n e r e t : quas p o s t e a i u b e n t e Augusto i n A r i s t a e i fabulam commutavit ( i n Bucolicon X , l ) . There a r e reasons f o r d o u b t i n g S e r v i u s ; we need not go i n t o them h e r e . the  1  But we must, i n o r d e r t o grasp  meaning t h e myth had f o r V i r g i l , d e c i d e whether  Orpheus b e l o n g s i n t h i s c o n t e x t .  Many c r i t i c s ,  citing  S e r v i u s , have argued t h a t t h e Greek myth has no s i g n i f i c a n c e at "the  t h e c o n c l u s i o n of f o u r books on I t a l i a n husbandry, l i n k s are purely formal",  that  t h a t V i r g i l was w o r k i n g  on book V I o f t h e A e n e i d when G a l l u s was d i s g r a c e d , and. n a t u r a l l y s u b s t i t u t e d an u n d e r w o r l d - s t o r y i n p l a c e o f t h e  There i s an e x c e l l e n t summary of t h e l i t e r a t u r e on the  s u b j e c t , and a case a g a i n s t S e r v i u s , i n George E..  Duckworth,  " V e r g i l ' s G e o r g i e s and t h e Laudes G a l l l " ,  AJP 80 (1959), PP. 225-37. E.A. Havelock, " V i r g i l ' s Road t o Xanadu, ( l ) The poet of t h e O r p h e u s - f a n t a s y " , Phoenix l ( l 9 ^ 6 ) , p..5.  former ending.  S e l l a r has even gone so f a r as t o say-  t h a t the A r i s t a e u s - O r p h e u s a d d i t i o n i s "an undoubted on the a r t i s t i c p e r f e c t i o n of the w o r k " .  blot  4  The answer t o t h i s c r i t i c i s m i s V i r g i l ' s  long-  s t a n d i n g r e p u t a t i o n f o r b e i n g a c a r e f u l and consummate artist..  Even i n the e p i c poem w h i c h never r e c e i v e d h i s  f i n i s h i n g touches he i s always i n the l i t e r a r y r a t h e r than the o r a l t r a d i t i o n , i.e.., he i s never a rhapsode, a s t i t c h e r - t o g e t h e r of poems. p o l i s h e d work.  And the G e o r g i c s a r e h i s most  Whether o r i g i n a l l y composed as i t stands  or c a r e f u l l y i n s e r t e d l a t e r , the Orpheus s t o r y belongs i n .the l a r g e r c o n t e x t of the G e o r g i c s and d e r i v e s i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e from them.  T h i s s h o u l d become c l e a r a f t e r we have  i n s p e c t e d the poem.  V i r g i l ' s account of bee-keeping c o n c l u d e s a t l i n e 3 1 5 w i t h the c u r i o u s statement t h a t l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s of bees w i l l i s s u e from the b o d i e s of dead c a t t l e .  Then  b e g i n s the q u a i n t t a l e of A r i s t a e u s , whose bees were touched w i t h i n f e c t i o n and d i e d .  He had r e c o u r s e i n t e a r s  t o h i s mother, the goddess Cyrene, who floor.  l i v e d on the ocean  She t o l d him t h a t o n l y P r o t e u s , the o l d man  'A.. C a r t a u l t , mentioned i n Duckworth, 'W..Y. S e l l a r , V i r g i l  (Oxford,  1 8 9 7 ) ,  of the  op_. c i t . , p. 2 3 4 . p.  188."*..  sea,  eould d i s c l o s e  t o him  the cause  A r i s t a e u s had t o outwit the cunning to  of his loss.  o l d w i z a r d , who t r i e d  evade him b y a s s u m i n g v a r i o u s d i s g u i s e s .  revealed  the s e c r e t :  the l o s s  o f h i s bees because  brought  about  t h e gods have p u n i s h e d  the deaths  f l e e i n g h i s advances t h a t  he h a s ,  however  F i n a l l y he Aristaeus with unwittingly,  o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e . she  trod  So  on t h e f a t a l  I t was  serpent:  i l i a quidem, dum t e f u g e r e t p e r f l u m i n a p r a e c e p s , immanem a n t e p e d e s hydrum m o r i t u r a p u e l l a servantem r i p a s a l t a non v i d i t i n h e r b a . a t c h o r u s a e q u a l i s Dryadum c l a m o r e supremos implerunt m o n t i s j f l e r u n t Rhodopeiae a r c e s a l t a q u e Pangaea e t R h e s i M a v o r t i a t e l l u s a t q u e Getae a t q u e H e b r u s e t A c t i a s O r i t h y i a (457-63). Orpheus b e w a i l e d h i s l o s s a n d d e s c e n d e d : i p s e c a v a s o l a n s aegrum t e s t u d i n e amorem t e , d u l c l s c o n i u n x , t e s o l o i n l i t o r e secum, te v e n i e n t e d i e , t e decedente canebat. Taenarias etiam fauces, a l t a ostia D i t i s , et c a l i g a n t e m n i g r a f o r m i d i n e lucum i n g r e s s u s , manisque a d i i t regemque tremendum n e s c i a q u e humanis p r e c i b u s m a n s u e s c e r e c o r d a (464-70) The  shadowy f o r m s o f H e l l  surged around  him:  a t c a n t u commotae E r e b i de s e d i b u s i m i s umbrae i b a n t t e n u e s s i m u l a c r a q u e l u c e c a r e n t u m , quam m u l t a I n f o l i i s a v i u m s e m i l i a c o n d u n t , v e s p e r u b i a u t h i b e r n u s a g i t de m o n t i b u s Imber, matres atque v i r i defunctaque c o r p o r a v i t a magnanimum heroum, p u e r i i n n u p t a e q u e p u e l l a e , i m p o s i t i q u e r o g i s i u v e n e s a n t e o r a p a r e n t u m (471-7), and were h e l d  s p e l l b o u n d by h i s  song:  quos c i r c u m l i m u s n i g e r e t d e f o r m i s h a r u n d o C o c y t i t a r d a q u e p a l u s i n a m a b i l i s unda a l l i g a t e t novies Styx i n t e r f u s a c o e r c e t . q u i n i p s a e s t u p u e r e domus a t q u e i n t i m a L e t i T a r t a r a caeruleosque implexae c r i n i b u s anguis Eumenides, t e n u i t q u e I n h i a n s t r i a Cerberus o r a , a t q u e I x i o n i i v e n t o r o t a c o n s t i t i t o r b i s (478-84).  64  But h i s v i c t o r y was  short-lived:  iamque pedem r e f e r e n s casus e v a s e r a t omnis, r e d d i t a q u e E u r y d i c e superas v e n i e b a t ad auras pone sequens (namque hanc dederat P r o s e r p i n a legem), cum s u b i t a incautum dementia c e p i t amantem, ignoscenda quidem, s c i r e n t s i i g n o s c e r e Manes: r e s t i t i t , Eurydicenque suam iam l u c e sub i p s a immemor heuJ. v i c t u s q u e a n i m i r e s p e x i t (485-91). H e l l reclaimed i t s spellbound v i c t i m : i b i omnis e f f u s u s l a b o r atque i m m i t i s r u p t a t y r a n n i f p e d e r a , t e r q u e f r a g o r s t a g n i s a u d i t u s Averni.* i l i a 'quis e t me i n q u i t 'miseram e t t e p e r d i d i t , Orpheu, q u i s t a n t u s f u r o r ? en i t e r u m c r u d e l i a r e t r o f a t a v o c a n t , c o n d i t q u e n a t a n t i a lumina somnus. iamque v a l e : . f e r o r i n g e n t i c i r c u m d a t a nocte i n v a l i d a s q u e t i b i tendens, heu non t u a , palmas' (491-8). 1  A l r e a d y her shadowy form was in  d r i f t i n g back a c r o s s the mere  Charon's boat: d i x i t e t ex o c u l i s s u b i t o , ceu fumus i n auras commixtus t e n u i s , f u g i t d i v e r s a , neque i l i u m prensantem nequiquam umbras e t multa volentem : d i c e r e p r a e t e r e a v i d i t j nec p o r t i t o r O r e l amplius obiectam passus t r a n s i r e paludem... q u i d f a e e r e t ? quo se r a p t a b i s coniuge f e r r e t ? quo f l e t u manis,. quae numina voce moveret? i l i a quidem S t y g i a nabat iam f r i g i d a cumba (499-506).  Whereupon Qrpheus ascended, and b e w a i l e d h i s l o s t E u r y d i c e for till  seven f u l l months on a l o n e l y n o r t h e r n c l i f f he was  t o r n l i m b from l i m b by C i c o n i a n matrons,  f l u n g i n t o the windswept Hebrus h i s severed head, c a l l i n g upon i t s "miseram E u r y d i c e n " Such was who  (507-15), who  still  (516-27).  the s t o r y P r o t e u s t o l d young A r i s t a e u s ,  then r e p a i r e d t o h i s mother a g a i n t o l e a r n how  p r o p i t i a t e Orpheus' shade.  he might  Cyrene c o u n s e l e d him t o s a c r i f i c e  f o u r b u l l s and f o u r h e i f e r s , and on the n i n t h day, I f he  65  r e t u r n e d w i t h f u n e r a l o f f e r i n g s t o Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , he would b e h o l d a s i g n of h i s f o r g i v e n e s s .  A l l this Aristaeus  d u t i f u l l y performed, and l o l ' o n the n i n t h day the  decaying  c a r c a s s e s were a l i v e w i t h swarming bees.  I t i s an a l t o g e t h e r charming e p i s o d e , an A l e x a n d r i a n e p y l l i o n a l o n g the l i n e s of the s i x t y - f o u r t h - p o e m of C a t u l l u s . The  Orpheus-section  the Culex.  Excess  bears s e v e r a l s t r i k i n g resemblances t o of p a s s i o n i s once more Orpheus'  undoing,  and a g a i n t h i s i s ignoscenda The  quidem, s c i r e n t s i i g n o s c e r e Manes ( 4 8 9 ) .  t h r e e themes .are a l l d e t e c t a b l e , and, as i n the  s e v e r a l p i v o t a l p o i n t s of the a c t i o n are o n l y  Culex,  suggested:  In n e i t h e r poem are we r e a l l y t o l d t h a t E u r y d i c e d i e d , or shown P l u t o i s s u i n g h i s o r d e r .  Rather we are p r e s e n t e d w i t h  a s e r i e s of p i c t u r e s ; i n the e a r l i e r poem these v a r y i n l e n g t h , but i n the f o u r t h G e o r g i c t h e y seem t o be c o n s c i o u s l y arranged  i n p a n e l s of a p p r o x i m a t e l y seven l i n e s each.  The  c l i m a x of b o t h O r p h e u s - s t o r i e s comes w i t h a sharp break at the f i f t h f o o t of the hexameter l i n e .  F i n a l l y , b o t h poems  are s y m m e t r i c a l l y , even s p i r a l l y , c o n s t r u c t e d .  Indeed, f o r  a l l the v e r b a l p e r f e c t i o n of the e p y l l i o n i n the f o u r t h  ^ I t s h o u l d be n o t e d , however, t h a t t h i s l i n e i s v a s t l y s u p e r i o r , s t y l i s t i c a l l y , t o the c o r r e s p o n d i n g passage i n the Culex ( 2 9 4 - 5 ) ..  66  G e o r g i c , i t s most n o t a b l e f e a t u r e • i s i t s u n d e r l y i n g s t r u c t u r e . V i r g i l has g i v e n us more than a mere e p y l l i o n .  Working  w i t h the i d e a of a s t o r y w i t h i n a s t o r y , he has  unearthed  l a y e r upon l a y e r i n the myth, and ended w i t h an  intricate  concentric structure.  I t w i l l be t o our purpose now  a n a l y z e t h i s s t r u c t u r e , i f we  to  can do so w i t h o u t d o i n g too  much v i o l e n c e t o V i r g i l .  The e p y l l i o n n e c e s s i t a t e s t r e a t i n g a s t o r y w i t h i n a s t o r y thus: A r i s t a e u s - Orpheus - A r i s t a e u s . But we s h o u l d note t h a t a s i x - l i n e e p i l o g u e completes the f o u r t h G e o r g i c and r e s t a t e s the major themes of a l l f o u r poems.  Thus the e p y l l i o n i s i t s e l f e n c l o s e d i n the  c o n t e x t of the f o u r a g r i c u l t u r a l poems.  larger  T h i s g i v e s us  the  structure: Georgics-Aristaeus-Orpheus-Aristaeus-Georgics. Moreover, w i t h i n the A r i s t a e u s - s t o r y , a s y m m e t r i c a l ment i s p l a i n l y d i s c e r n i b l e .  arrange-  A r i s t a e u s l o s e s h i s bees,  t o h i s mother Cyrene and i s sent by h e r t o Proteus..  appeals  Then we  have the Orpheus story.. P r o t e u s d i v e s i n t o the sea, A r i s t a e u s a p p e a l s a g a i n t o Cyrene and, p e r f o r m i n g the s a c r i f i c e , his  bees.  The  s t r u c t u r e may,  t h e n , be viewed as  Georgics-Aristaeus-Cyrene-Proteus-OrpheusP r o t e u s -Cyrene - A r i s t a e u s - G e o r g i c s .  regains  I t i s a c o n c e n t r i c p a t t e r n - w i t h the Orpheus s t o r y a t i t s h e a r t - and l a y e r a n s w e r i n g t o s y m m e t r i c a l  layer.  But i t  6  i s p o s s i b l e t o t r a c e the p a t t e r n s t i l l f u r t h e r , w i t h i n the central story i t s e l f .  I f we r e r e a d the poem w i t h t h i s i n  mind i t g r a d u a l l y becomes c l e a r t h a t V i r g i l his  has  constructed  O r p h e u s - s t o r y symmetrically,, i n c i d e n t a n s w e r i n g t o  Incident. The  s t o r y opens w i t h the sudden d e a t h of  Eurydice  n e a r the r i v e r bank, amid the w a i l i n g c r i e s of her companion nymphs, and  c l o s e s w i t h the v i o l e n t d e a t h of Orpheus, w h i l e  the banks of a n o t h e r r i v e r resound w i t h h i s c r i e s of "Eurydice".  G i l b e r t Norwood, who  f i r s t saw  some of these .  d e t a i l s , adds t h a t b o t h Orpheus and E u r y d i c e meet t h e i r f a t e "owing t o r e j e c t i o n of l o v e " . each i n death was  I t i s t o u c h i n g t o note t h a t  f a i t h f u l t o the  After Eurydice s 1  death,  other. Orpheus b r e a k s i n t o lamen-  t a t i o n , then descends alone t o the lower world.. b e f o r e h i s own  Later,  death, he ascends a l o n g from the u n d e r w o r l d  and resumes h i s  lamentation.  Between these I n c i d e n t s l i e s  the descent  itself,  An almost e q u a l l y e l a b o r a t e arrangement i s t o be found i n C a t u l l u s 68b:  Allius-Lesbia-Laodamia-Troy-fraterna  mors-Troy-  Laodamia-Lesbia-Allius. 7  G i l b e r t Norwood "Notes: V e r g i l , G e o r g i c s  (1941) p.  354.  IV,453-27", CJ  36  68  and i t i s even p o s s i b l e t o t r a c e a s y m m e t r i c a l p a t t e r n f o r the  events i n t h e lower w o r l d .  emphasizing thematic m a t e r i a l .  Norwood has g i v e n a s t r u c t u r e More s t r i k i n g s t i l l  i s the  s e r i e s o f s e v e n - l i n e p i c t u r e s , w h i c h seem t o answer each t o each. ing  Thus l i n e s 471-7 d e s c r i b e t h e c o u n t l e s s shades  advanc-  t o hear Orpheus s i n g , and t h e p r e v a i l i n g mood i s one o f  pathos.  V i r g i l borrows some o f t h e most s e a r c h i n g l i n e s  from h i s . A e n e i d f o r t h i s c o n t e x t .  T h i s p i c t u r e i s answered  by t h e p a t h e t i c p i c t u r e of t h e shade o f E u r y d i c e r e t r e a t i n g f r o m t h e grasp o f Orpheus i n l i n e s 499-505, where a n o t h e r scene from t h e Aeneid i s v i v i d l y r e c a l l e d . F u r t h e r , w h i l e t h e power o f music over death i s t h e theme o f t h e p i c t u r e i n l i n e s 478-84, t h e answering p a n e l shows t h e power o f death over l o v e .  I n t h e one, H e l l i s  e n t h r a l l e d ; i n t h e o t h e r , i t e x a c t s i t s vengeance. W i t h i n t h e s e two scenes, w h i c h serve t o r e p r e s e n t the  b a s i c themes o f t h e Orpheus-myth, i s enacted.the  story i t s e l f ,  t h e h e a r t o f t h e whole s t r u c t u r e .  tragic  This i s  a g a i n a s e v e n - l i n e p i c t u r e , b r e a k i n g o f f , w i t h an a r t f u l l y dramatic e f f e c t , i n the c r u c i a l f i f t h foot of i t s l a s t  line.  ^ V i r s ; i l had a l r e a d y demonstrated h i s s k i l l i n c o n s t r u c t i n g p a t t e r n - r e p e t i t i o n i n t h e f i f t h E c l o g u e , i n which t h e speech of  Mopsus answers t h e speech of Menaleas t h u s : l i n e s 56-9  answer l i n e s 20-3; 60-4, 24-8; 65-71, 29-35; 72-5,36-9; 76-80, 40-4. symmetrical.  The arrangement  i s p a r a l l e l , however, n o t  69 We may attempt  t o r e p r e s e n t t h e whole  symmetrical  a r r a n g e m e n t / w h i c h i s i t s e l f almost a descent and a s c e n t , t h u s : 1. 281-316  Georgic proper; t r a n s i t i o n t o the epyllion  2.. 317-319  A r i s t a e u s l o s e s h i s bees  3. 320-418  Cyrene a d v i s e s him  4. 4l8-456  he c a p t u r e s P r o t e u s , who t e l l s t h e s t o r y o f Orpheus  5. 457-463  E u r y d i c e ' s death near a r i v e r f o r r e j e c t e d love', amid l a m e n t a t i o n ; g e o g r a p h i c a l names (7 l i n e s )  6. 464-470  Orpheus' lament and descent t o Hades (7 l i n e s )  — 7. 471-477  t h e shades approach; p a t h o s ; t h e Aeneid (7 l i n e s )  8. 478-484  Hell i s enthralled death (7 l i n e s )  9. 485-491  t h e t r a g e d y o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (7 l i n e s , b r e a k i n g o f f so as t o commence t h e a s c e n d i n g movement)  - music's power over  10.  492-498  H e l l e x a c t s i t s vengeance - death's power over l o v e (7 l i n e s )  •11.  499-'506  t h e shade o f E u r y d i c e r e t r e a t s ; the Aeneid (8 l i n e s )  pathos;  12. 507-515  Orpheus' ascent from Hades and lament (9 l i n e s )  13. 516-527  Orpheus' death near a r i v e r f o r r e j e c t e d l o v e , amid l a m e n t a t i o n ; g e o g r a p h i c names  14. 528-529  the s t o r y f i n i s h e d , Proteus dives i n t o the sea  ~ 15-. 530-547  Cyrene's a d v i c e  —16. 548-558  A r i s t a e u s r e g a i n s h i s bees  17. 559-566  r e t u r n t o t h e s u b j e c t matter of t h e Georgics proper  T h i s s c h e m a t i z a t i o n i s perhaps a c r u e l i m p o s i t i o n on V i r g i l ' s e p y l l i o n .  That i t i s not w h o l l y  even as a scheme' i s e v i d e n c e d a l l o w f o r one  obvious  the two b i r d - s i m i l e s , titudes  satisfactory  by the f a c t t h a t i t f a i l s  answering m o t i f i n the Orpheus  to  episode  the f i r s t of w h i c h d e s c r i b e s the mul-  of shades w h i c h f l o c k t o l i s t e n t o Orpheus, the  the n i g h t i n g a l e - s a d n e s s of Orpheus' song a f t e r he has h i s E u r y d i c e a second time.s t r u c t u r e i s undeniable.  other  lost  But t h a t t h e r e i s such a  Norwood, who  traces a  thematic Q  p a t t e r n , has a l r e a d y been mentioned.  Havelock,  i n an  e x t r a o r d i n a r y essay r e l a t i n g the poem t o C o l e r i d g e ' s Khan, i s s e n s i t i v e t o r e c u r r e n t Images, sounds and i a l l y g e o g r a p h i c a l names. saw  espec-  But t o f i n d the meaning V i r g i l  i n the myth, h i s Orpheus-story  any o t h e r poem, but t o the Georgic c e i v e d , or i n t o w h i c h i t was  The p a t t e r n we  Kubla  must be r e l a t e d , n o t t o f o r w h i c h i t was  con-  c a r e f u l l y worked.  have t r a c e d i s the t r a d i t i o n a l  s t o r y - w i t h i n - a - s t o r y technique  of the A l e x a n d r i a n  a r t f u l l y extended t o an u n u s u a l  degree.  c o n s i d e r e d a p a t t e r n of descent  and a s c e n t ; a descent  the q u a s i - i n s t r u c t i v e interpretative  Op.  I t may  epyllion  l e v e l of the Georgies  4-8.  from  t o the deeper  l e v e l of myth-making; a descent  c i t . , pp..  r i g h t l y be  from the  adventurous  s t o r y of A r i s t a e u s t o the more f u n d a m e n t a l l y  t r a g i c one of Orpheus; a descent which comes t o an end as Orpheus reaches Hades i t s e l f , where a r e v e r s e upward movement i s begun. Now  Smith Palmer B o v i e , i n an a r t i c l e i n the  American J o u r n a l of P h i l o l o g y , has shown t h i s v e r y  imagery  of a s c e n t - d e s c e n t t o be a dominant p a t t e r n i n a l l f o u r G e o r g i c s . Of the f o u r t h G e o r g i c In p a r t i c u l a r he i s a b l e t o say, "The  book i s a s e t p i e c e f o r the imagery of a s c e n t -  descent.  The c a r e e r of the bees d e s c r i b e s a p a r a b o l a of  f o r w a r d f l i g h t s , r e t u r n s , withdrawals. I n t o the h i v e , and the a s c e n t - d e s c e n t p a t t e r n i s c o n s t a n t l y b e i n g adapted the exposition.""'"^  V i r g i l t e l l s how  to  the a c t i v e bees swarm  f o r t h i n the s p r i n g behind t h e i r l e a d e r s (21-4) w h i l e the l o i t e r e r s are plunged i n t o the stream by the E a s t Wind (27-9); a f t e r t u n n e l i n g deep i n t o pumice stones or decayed t r e e s (42-4), t h e y f l o a t once more towards the s t a r r y sky t h r o u g h the c l e a r a i r of a summer n i g h t (58-60); a g a i n , t h e y r i s e i n b a t t l e , h i g h i n the a i r , u n t i l , m i n g l e d i n a g r e a t s w i r l i n g mass, t h e y plunge headlong, t h i c k as a r a i n of h a i l or acorns from a shaken oak  (78-81).  V i r g i l ' s Orpheus-Eurydice  s t o r y i s not out of p l a c e  i n t h i s atmosphere of a s c e n t s and d e s c e n t s .  "The  Imagery of Ascent-Descent  A J P _ 7 7 ( 1 9 5 6 ) , P. 3 5 3 .  I t belongs i n  i n V e r g i l ' s Georgics",  72'  t h e G e o r g i e s , and i t s meaning i s d e d u c i b l e from i t s form and c o n t e x t .  I t i s t o be sought w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o b o t h  the A r i s t a e u s - s t o r y and t h e l a r g e r c o n t e x t o f t h e G e o r g i c s i n which i t appears-.. The A r i s t a e u s - O r p h e u s  epyllion i s not.instructive,  f o r the " f a c t " which serves t o introduce i t ,  t h a t bees a r e  generated from t h e b o d i e s of s l a i n oxen, would w i n scant c r e d i t i n V i r g i l ' s day. Nor i s t h e e p y l l i o n merely  decorat-  i v e , f o r such l e n g t h y d e c o r a t i o n a f t e r almost two thousand l i n e s o f c a r e f u l l y p l a n n e d i n s t r u c t i o n would be i n t o l e r a b l e . Rather, i t i s i n t e r p r e t a t i v e . .  V i r g i l has g i v e n t h e r e a d e r  hundreds o f f a c t s about t h e f a r m e r ' s l i f e and work; now he g i v e s him, n o t a m o r a l , as a m e d i e v a l poet might do, b u t a myth..  The s o p h i s t i c a t e d Roman r e a d e r may have been as b a f f l e d  by t h i s as t h e modern r e a d e r sometimes I s . means mere- l i t e r a r y adornment..  Myth f o r b o t h  But V i r g i l was w r i t i n g f o r  the r e a d e r who was a l i v e t o the v a l u e o f myth as an e x p r e s s i o n of u n i v e r s a l t r u t h , as t h e A e n e i d bears o u t . H i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e Orpheus-myth becomes c l e a r i f we keep the whole c o n t e x t o f t h e G e o r g i c s In mind, and see t h e f i g u r e s as u n i v e r s a l t y p e s . A r i s t a e u s i s the u n i v e r s a l farmer. by heaven w i t h t h e goods of t h i s w o r l d .  He i s b l e s s e d  A t t i m e s he meets  w i t h d i f f i c u l t i e s , even c a t a s t r o p h e s w h i c h t h r e a t e n h i s livelihood.  But he has d i v i n e h e l p of w h i c h t o a v a i l h i m s e l f ,  and he i s a b l e t h r o u g h human i n g e n u i t y t o adapt h i m s e l f t o  the changing  seasons, bend Nature t o h i s - w i l l and wrest i t s  secret's from i t . Beneath t h i s success l i e s the t r a g i c f a i l u r e Orpheus.  of  T h i s i s the h e a r t of the I n t e r p r e t a t i v e s t o r y ;  i t i s c a r e f u l l y p r e p a r e d a t some l e n g t h , and,  once i t i s  t o l d , the r e m a i n i n g d e t a i l s f a l l r a p i d l y i n t o p l a c e . i s not the w o r k e r ; he i s the u n i v e r s a l a r t i s t who  Orpheus  knows l i f e  at  a deeper l e v e l and i n f a c t comes f a c e t o f a c e w i t h d e a t h .  In  a m a t e r i a l sense, the farmer i s c l o s e t o r e a l i t y  and  comes t o know many of i t s s e c r e t s , but the a r t i s t i n h i s work e x p l o r e s the v e r y meaning of l i f e and l o v e . r e s t of men,  Moreover the  the c i v i l i z e d w o r l d , depend on h i s a c t i v i t y .  The b e a u t y t h a t .eludes the embrace of the o r d i n a r y man his  is  b r i d e , and i t i s h i s b u s i n e s s t o seek t h a t beauty even  from the g r e a t s u p e r n a t u r a l w o r l d w h i c h c l a i m s i t . he i s o n l y p a r t l y s u c c e s s f u l . H i s a r t g i v e s him  In t h i s  great  power, but he i s a f t e r a l l human and cannot hope t o h o l d beauty w i t h i n h i s grasp f o r e v e r ; with failure. any man, and  The a r t i s t ' s l i f e i s touched  But he comes c l o s e r t o beauty and t r u t h than  and o t h e r men  b u i l d t h e i r s u c c e s s e s on h i s success  failure. F a i l u r e f o r V i r g i l i s i m p l i c i t i n every  for  success:  the b r e e d i n g of bees, t h e r e must be s l a u g h t e r and  sacri-  f i c e ; the voyage t o I t a l y i s strewn w i t h the t r a g e d i e s of P r i a m , Dido, even P a l i n u r u s ; the b u i l d i n g of Rome r e q u i r e s t h a t Turnus, N i s u s and E u r y a l u s and c o u n t l e s s o t h e r s be  slain.  74 But i n t h e wake o f t r a g e d y come peace, o r d e r , p r o s p e r i t y . Orpheus' t r a g e d y , w h i c h was i n d i r e c t l y caused by A r i s t a e u s ,  1  y o u t h f u l p a s s i o n , f i r s t brought t h e young farmer c l o s e t o sorrow, but h i s r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s t r a g e d y e n a b l e d him t o s p r i n g w i t h c o n f i d e n c e t o h i s own r e s c u e .  To be t r u l y  s u c c e s s f u l , E v e r y m a n - A r i s t a e u s must acknowledge the  h i s debt t o  n o b l e r Orpheus, who i s t h e r e a l symbol of c i v i l i z a t i o n ,  whose descent i s t h e r e a l adventure o f t h e human s p i r i t . Thus i n d i r e c t l y does V i r g i l i m p l y t h a t t h e Orpheuss t o r y i s h i s own, t h a t - t h i s i s h i s defence f o r w r i t i n g a poem on a g r i c u l t u r e - as an a r t i s t he i s a t t h e h e a r t o f a l l culture, a l l c i v i l i z a t i o n .  Ovid p r o v i d e s t h e n e a t , p r e t t y t r e a t m e n t of t h e myth t h a t we expect from him. Where V i r g i l gave us a s e r i e s of e x q u i s i t e s t i l l s ,  Ovid g i v e s t h e whole f i l m ,  rapidly  paced, n i c e l y c o l o r e d , complete w i t h d i a l o g u e . Hymen i s i n v i t e d t o Orpheus' wedding, but t h e omens a r e bad: he b r i n g s no r e j o i c i n g , no l a u g h i n g f a c e s ; h i s t o r c h s p u t t e r s out and i t s smoke b l i n d s t h e eyes o f t h e guests.  Then, d u r i n g t h e c e l e b r a t i o n s , t h e b r i d e i s b i t t e n  by a snake and d i e s . How f r e s h , how i n g e n i o u s a r e t h e s e d e t a i l s !  Indeed,  as t h e n a r r a t i v e proceeds t h e r e a r e many charming new t o u c h e s . Orpheus dares, ( l e t P l a t o note t h e e s t ausus) t o descend t o Hades, and Ovid dares t o g i v e us t h e v e r y song he sang. Only .  a f t e r we  have f i n i s h e d l i s t e n i n g do we n o t i c e t h a t  have l i s t e n e d too. . . T a n t a l u s and the daughters- of B e l e u s . i s s i t t i n g upon i t . the Eumenides.. f r e s h wound.. journey  Ixion, Tityus  1  others  vultures,  S i s y p h u s has h a l t e d h i s stone  and  Tears are s t r e a m i n g down the cheeks of  Then E u r y d i c e  i s l e d f o r t h , l i m p i n g from her  P l u t o ' s commands, are imposed and  the upward  begins: c a r p i t u r a d c l i v i s per muta s i l e n t i a trames, arduus, o b s c u r u s , c a l i g i n e densus opaca (53 5^) -  and  Orpheus, t o r e a s s u r e  b e h i n d him, one  t u r n s , and  himself that his bride i s s t i l l  l o s e s her f o r e v e r .  l o n e l y word " v a l e " , and  She  speaks the  d r i f t s backward, downward t o  resume her p l a c e i n the w o r l d  of the dead.  Wilmon Brewer, i n h i s g e n e r a l l y h e l p f u l s u r v e y of 12 the  i n f l u e n c e of the Metamorphoses,  of new  d e t a i l s the dozens  f e a t u r e s Ovid has managed t o i n c o r p o r a t e  into his  s t o r y w i t h o u t f l y i n g i n the f a c e of V i r g i l ' s famous account. But not a l l of these are on the same l e v e l of How  excellence.  d u l l i t i s of Ovid t o say: quam s a t i s ad superas postquam Rhodopeius auras d e f l e v i t v a t e s , ne non t e m p t a r e t et umbras, ad Styga T a e n a r i a e s t ausus descendere p o r t a (11-13),  ''"Lines R i l k e was t o p a r a p h r a s e w i t h t e r r i f y i n g e f f e c t twenty c e n t u r i e s l a t e r . 1  " 0 v i d s Metamorphoses i n European C u l t u r e N.H., 194T), v o l . 2, pp. 3H-5. L 2  1  (Francestown,  How  i r r i t a t i n g o f Orpheus t o remark, i n h i s song, v i c i t Amor, supera deus h i e bene notus i n ora e s t ; an s i t e t h i e , d u b i t o (26-7).  I n f a c t , a l t h o u g h Ovid deserves c r e d i t f o r a t t e m p t i n g t o g i v e us Orpheus' song, and a l t h o u g h h i s h o l d i n g o f f mention o f the o l d c l i c h e s  3  about I x i o n and T a n t a l u s and the r e s t  u n t i l a f t e r we have heard the song i s a most t e l l i n g the song i t s e l f i s not c o n v i n c i n g .  effect,  I t i s constructed  like  a m i n i a t u r e o r a t i o n , w i t h arguments n e a t l y m a r s h a l l e d  in  order-, w i t h p a s s i o n r e s t r i c t e d t o the a p p r o p r i a t e p l a c e s , w i t h the i n e v i t a b l e noble r e s o l v e a t the c l o s e . he compares the stunned Orpheus ( u s i n g the  And l a t e r  inevitable  s t u p u i t ) t o the u n i d e n t i f i e d man who t u r n e d t o stone when he l o o k e d on Cerberus,  t o Olenus and t o Lethaea,  t o stone, the one f o r l o v e , the o t h e r f o r p r i d e .  a l s o turned These  p e d a n t i c c r o s s - r e f e r e n c e s have no b e a r i n g on the Orpheusmyth, and as s i m i l e s they are f a r i n f e r i o r t o V i r g i l ' s e x c e l l e n t n i g h t i n g a l e I n the c o r r e s p o n d i n g p l a c e i n h i s version. In s h o r t , Ovid's treatment  i s blessed with his  customary v i r t u e s and marred by h i s customary v i c e s . The Orpheus-myth i s no mere, no l e s s meaningful  than any  other  -"Already found i n V i r g i l ' s a c c o u n t ; i n Horace Odes 11,13,29-36-and 111,11,17-29; i n P r o p e r t i u s IV,11,23-6, and  elsewhere.  myth.  I t i s apt m a t e r i a l f o r a c l e v e r and g i f t e d poet t o  use as he p l e a s e s .  Orpheus has no p e r s o n a l i t y : a t one  and  the same time he i s s a t e d w i t h mourning i n the upper w o r l d and dares t o descend t o Hades.  He r e p r e s e n t s n o t h i n g .  But  many p r e t t y t h i n g s can be s a i d of him, and n o t h i n g need be taken too  seriously.  Prom Seneca, S t a t i u s and the fragments of Lucan, we  can deduce a. S t o i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the myth.  mention how  A l l three  the F a t e s must r e - s p i n the t h r e a d of E u r y d i c e ' s  l i f e , and the p h i l o s o p h i c musings i n Seneca's H e r c u l e s Oetaeus, a.eternum f i e r i n i h i l are c e r t a i n l y S t o i c i n f l a v o r .  (1035), A f t e r Orpheus' s t o r y i s t o l d ,  the chorus i n f o r m us t h a t ever a f t e r the burden of h i s song was:  T h i s seems t r u e d e s p i t e Wade C. Stephens who, d o c t o r a l t h e s i s w r i t t e n a t P r i n c e t o n i n 1957,  in a  r e l a t e s Ovid's  account t o the Orphic t r a d i t i o n and h o l d s t h a t Book X, i t s themes of the b e l i e f i n p e r s o n a l i m m o r t a l i t y and  the  supremacy' of l o v e ( e x p r e s s e d b o t h i n Orpheus' descent the song he s i n g s ) i s the key t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g  how  Metamorphoses i t s e l f marks a t u r n i n g p o i n t i n the p r e t a t i o n of mythology.  with  and  the inter-  78  Leges i n superos d a t a s et q u i tempora d i g e r i t q u a t t u o r p r a e c i p i t e s deus anni disposuit v i c e s ; n u l l i non a v i d i c o l u s P a r c a s stamina n e c t e r e : quod natum e s t , p o t e r i t m o r i  (1093-9)•  Even the gods are bound by l a w s , and no m o r t a l escapes d e a t h . These are r e a l l y the themes of the Culex r e i t e r ated.  S t a t i u s i s even more r e m i n i s c e n t : O d r y s i i s e t i a m pudet heuj p a t u i s s e q u e r e l l i s T a r t a r a : v i d i egomet b l a n d a i n t e r car.mina t u r p e s Eumenidum l a c r i m a s i t e r a t a q u e pensa Sororum; me quoque - sed durae m e l i o r v i o l e n t i a l e g i s (Thebaid V I I I , 5 7 - 6 0 ) . 15  The commentator, L a c t a n t i u s . P l a c i d u s , ^ a s s u r e s us t h a t l e g i s here r e f e r s t o P l u t o ' s c o n d i t i o n , w h i c h i s m e l i o r , s t r o n g e r than l o v e ; the god h i m s e l f admits t h a t he was come by'the power of music, t h a t even the P a t e s wept  overinter  b l a n d a carmina. Thus, i n the end, i t i s the Culex w h i c h  crystal-  l i z e s the meaning of the myth f o r Greek and Roman, poet p h i l o s o p h e r , S t o i c and S c e p t i c .  and  B o r r o w i n g from the s e p a r a t e  s t r a n d s of E u r i p i d e s and P l a t o and the o t h e r s , i t s t a t e s c l e a r l y the c o n f l i c t i n g themes of l o v e , d e a t h and music i n the  myth.  I t i s t h i s t r e a t m e n t and these themes w h i c h con-  t i n u e i n the l a t e r a u t h o r s .  I f i t seems h a r d l y c r e d i b l e  a poem i n o t h e r r e s p e c t s q u i t e unremarkable  that  s h o u l d serve as a  p a t t e r n f o r l a t e r p o e t s , perhaps the f a c t of the m a t t e r i s Commentarius i n L i b r u m V I I , 6 0 .  79  t h a t t h e passage i n t h e Culex d e a l i n g w i t h Orpheus i s a l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n of t h e l o s t A l e x a n d r i a n poem w h i c h f i r s t t o l d of t h e second l o s s of E u r y d i c e , t h a t l a t e r poets were u s i n g , n o t t h e C u l e x , but t h e A l e x a n d r i a n o r i g i n a l . .  This 16  may w e l l be t h e reason  f o r the "curious i n f e l i c i t y "  most c r i t i c s f i n d i n t h e Culex  -which  - that i t i s a l i t e r a l trans-  l a t i o n from H e l l e n i s t i c Greek. Ovid's s t o r y i s w e l l - t o l d , b u t f o r a l l i t s w e a l t h of d e t a i l ,  i t adds n o t h i n g t o t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e  myth, w h i l e t h e S t o i c s seem t o have imposed a meaning on i t . Virgil  stands a l o n e .  a f t e r a l l , be h i s own.  He uses t h e C u l e x ; i t may,  But he touches o n l y b r i e f l y on i t s  themes, t r a n s c e n d i n g them t o make Orpheus i n h i s own image, i d e n t i f y i n g t h e m y t h i c a l f i g u r e w i t h . h i m s e l f as M i l t o n , R i l k e and Cocteau were t o do l a t e r .  I t i s i r o n i c , perhaps  d i s a p p o i n t i n g , t h a t i n the great c l a s s i c a l v e r s i o n of the myth, i t s b a s i c themes a r e n o t e x p l o r e d ; t h e s t o r y i s s t y l i z e d , i t s meaning i s s a c r i f i c e d t o produce an Orpheusf i g u r e , t h e u n i v e r s a l poet and a r t i s t , it  the c i v i l i z e r .  i s t h i s f i g u r e , not the l o v e r , that i s , a f t e r  Orpheus of t h e a n c i e n t w o r l d .  all,the  V i r g i l has g i v e n him t o us  more p o w e r f u l l y , but more s u b t l y , than any o t h e r and  G u t h r i e p r o b a b l y d i d n o t even have V i r g i l  author,  i n mind when  he summed up t h e a n c i e n t Orpheus, but i t i s V i r g i l ' s 'W.R. H a r d i e ,  "The C u l e x " ,  But  C_Q_ l 4 ( 1 9 2 0 ) , p. 3 7 .  Orpheus  8o  t h a t we t h i n k of when we r e a d h i s summary: "The  i n f l u e n c e o f Orpheus was always on t h e  s i d e of c i v i l i z a t i o n and t h e a r t s of peace... He taught men...the a r t s of a g r i c u l t u r e and i n t h i s , way i n c l i n e d t h e i r n a t u r e s towards peace and g e n t l e ness.  Themistios...writes  'Even t h e i n i t i a t i o n s and  r i t e s of Orpheus were not unconnected w i t h the a r t of husbandry.  That i s i n f a c t t h e e x p l a n a t i o n of  the myth when i t d e s c r i b e s him as charming and s o f t e n i n g t h e h e a r t s of a l l .  The c u l t i v a t e d f r u i t s w h i c h  husbandry o f f e r s us have a c i v i l i z i n g e f f e c t on human n a t u r e i n g e n e r a l and on the h a b i t s o f b e a s t s ; and t h e animal p a s s i o n s i n our h e a r t s i t e x c i s e s 17 and r e n d e r s harmless'."  Op. c i t . , pp. 40-41.  CHAPTER I I I THE MIDDLE AGES  Orpheus s u r v i v e d the c o l l a p s e of the a n c i e n t w o r l d w i t h conspicuous ease.  As e a r l y as 225 he appears w i t h  C h r i s t and Abraham i n the L a r a r i u m o f the emperor Severus Alexander;"'"  the f i g u r e of Orpheus charming the b e a s t s i s  one of the few m o t i f s from c l a s s i c a l mythology w h i c h r e c u r w i t h any frequency  i n the catacombs and s a r c o p h a g i , where i t  2 becomes i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the Good Shepherd;  another d e v i c e ,  the f i s h , a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Orpheus as the v i c t o r over  death,  becomes a w i d e s p r e a d C h r i s t i a n symbol. The F a t h e r s of the Church r e f e r f r e q u e n t l y t o Orpheus. U s u a l l y i t i s the Orphic poet who i s meant; but E u s e b i u s mentions the m y t h i c a l Orpheus who charmed the beasts;  4  and Clement of A l e x a n d r i a , i n condemning Orpheus  See H i s t o r i a Augusta, Severus A l e x a n d e r ,  29,2.  See G u t h r i e , op_. c i t . , pp. 264-7 and f i g s .  l8a-c.  •o  "'See J e s s i e L. Weston, From R i t u a l t o Romance (Cambridge, 1920), p. 120.  B u t t h e r e may be no more c o n n e c t i o n  between  t h i s symbol and Orpheus than the v e r b a l s i m i l a r i t y between Orpheus and orphos, the sea-perch, comedian A l e x i s .  whence a pun by the A t t i c  See Edmonds, op_. c i t . , v o l . 2, p. 427.  4 O r a t i o n i n p r a i s e of_ C o n s t a n t i n e  81  14,5.  82 and Amphion as d e c e i v e r s , and e x t o l l i n g C h r i s t as t h e heav e n l y m u s i c i a n who tames savage men and makes i n a n i m a t e n a t u r e s come t o l i f e , marks t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a l o n g - l i v e d 5 t r a d i t i o n w h i c h a s s o c i a t e s C h r i s t and Orpheus.  The E u r y d i c e - s t o r y s u r v i v e d c h i e f l y because i t was g i v e n b r i e f b u t c l a s s i c t r e a t m e n t by one o f t h e g r e a t minds i n t h e h i s t o r y o f European thought, one w h i c h b e s t r i d e s t h e c l a s s i c a l and medieval", p e r i o d s . A n i c i u s M a n l i u s S e v e r i n u s B o e t h i u s ( c . 480-524) was "the l a s t o f t h e Romans whom Cato o r T u l l y c o u l d have acknowledged f o r t h e i r 6  countrymen"  and " f o r a thousand y e a r s one o f t h e most  i n f l u e n t i a l w r i t e r s i n Europe". The  H i s most famous work,  Consolation of Philosophy, I s a powerful synthesis of  Greek thought, Roman e x p r e s s i o n and C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s i n a l t e r n a t i n g p r o s e ( a p p r o x i m a t i n g t h a t o f C i c e r o ) and p o e t r y (modeled a f t e r  Seneca).  Among t h e most famous o f t h e p o e t i c passages i s t h e s t o r y o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e w h i c h c l o s e s Book I I I . B o e t h i u s h a s b e e n d e s c r i b i n g t h e summum bonum, and now, l e s t h i s r e a d e r ^ E x h o r t a t i o n t o t h e Heathen 1,4. 6  Edward Gibbon, XXXIVj  p.  The D e c l i n e and F a l l o f t h e Roman Empire,  i n The Modern L i b r a r y e d i t i o n (New York, n.d.), v o l . 2,  468.  ^ G i l b e r t H i g h e t , The C l a s s i c a l T r a d i t i o n (New York, 1957), p. 41.  83 be tempted t o l o o k back on l e s s sublime m a t t e r s , he adds a t a l e of warning: F e l i x qui potuit boni Fontem v i s e r e l u c i d u m , F e l i x qui potuit gravis Terrae s o l v e r e v i n c u l a . Quondam f u n e r a c o n u i g i s V a t e s T h r e i c i u s gemens Postquam f l e b i l i b u s modis S i l v a s currere mobiles, Amnes s t a r e c o e g e r a t , Iunxitque intrepidum latus Saevis cerva l e o n i b u s , Nec visum t i m u i t l e p u s Iam c a n t u p l a c i d u m canem, Cum f l a g r a n t i o r i n t i m a Fervor p e c t o r i s ureret, Nec q u i cuncta subegerant M u l c e r e n t dominum modi, I n m i t e s superos querens •Infernas a d i i t domos. I l l i c blanda sonantibus C h o r d i s carmina temperans Q u i d q u i d p r a e c i p u i s deae Matrix f o n t i b u s hauserat, Quod l u c t u s dabat impotens, Quod l u c t u m geminans amor, D e f l e t Taenara commovens E t d u l c i veniam p r e c e Hmbrarum dominos r o g a t . S t u p e t tergeminus novo' Captus carmine i a n i t o r , Quae sontes a g i t a n t metu U l t r i c e s s c e l e r u m deae Iam maestae l a c r i m i s madent. Non I x i o n i u m caput Velox p r a e c i p i t a t rota E t longa s i t e p e r d i t u s Spernit flumina Tantalus. V u l t u r dum s a t u r e s t modis, Non t r a x i t T i t y i i e c u r . Tandem, 'Vincimur,' a r b i t e r Umbrarum miserans a i t , Donamus comitem v i r o Emptam carmine coniugem. Sed l e x dona c o e r c e a t , Ne, dum T a r t a r a l i q u e r i t , Fas s i t lumina f l e c t e r e . ' Quis legem det amantibus? Maior l e x amor e s t s i b i . . 1  Heu,  n o c t i s prope t e r m i n o s  84 •Orpheus Eurydicem suam Vidit, perdidit, occidit. The famous m o r a l i s ' t h e n added: Vos haec f a b u l a r e s p i c i t Quicumque i n superum diem Mentem ducere q u a e r i t i s . . Nam q u i Tartareum i n specus V i c t u s lumina f l e x e r i t , Quid'quid praecipuum t r a h i t Perd.it, dum v i d e t i n f e r o s ( l l l , m e t r u m 1 2 ) . Though Boethius' moral i s somewhat m i s a p p l i e d 1  for  Orpheus h a r d l y t u r n e d t o l o o k hack on the H e l l he had  l e f t b e h i n d - i t proved t o have a s t r o n g a p p e a l f o r a t h o u s and y e a r s t o come. new age.  W i t h Boethius-' Orpheus we e n t e r i n t o a  Orpheus i s no l o n g e r the c i v i l i z e r ; he i s the  c e n t r a l f i g u r e of a f a s c i n a t i n g story,, and a s t o r y w h i c h w i l l admit of many i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s .  The a l l e g o r i z i n g of c l a s s i c a l myth, so p o p u l a r i n t h e ' M i d d l e Ages, began as e a r l y as the s i x t h c e n t u r y w i t h the  grammarian. F u l g e n t i u s .  I n h i s Mythology, the Muse  ' C a l l i o p e r e v e a l s t o him the t r u e sense of the famous myths of  antiquity.  The O r p h e u s - s t o r y i s modeled a f t e r  but t o l d i n the b r i e f e s t , . p l a i n e s t l a n g u a g e . the  Virgil,  Then f o l l o w s  allegory: Haec i g i t u r . f a b u l a a r t l s e s t musicae d e s i g n a t i o . . Orpheus enim d i c i t u r o r e a f o n e , i d e s t optima vox, E u r i d l c e v e r o p r o f u n d a d i i u d i c a t i o (111,10,731-3)..  E v e r y a r t , P u l g e n t i u s c o n t i n u e s , i s comprised of a p r i m a r y and a secondary a r t . W i t h music the p r i m a r y a r t I s  85  p e r s u a s i v e - t h e e f f e c t u s tonorum v i r t u s q u e verborumj i n t h e myth t h i s m y s t e r i o u s power o f music i s embodied, I n E u r y d i c e . The secondary a r t of music i s s c i e n t i f i c - t h e armonia ptongorum,  sistematum e t diastematum; i n t h e myth t h i s  t h e o r e t i c a l s i d e o f music is. embodied i n Orpheus.  Thus t h e  l o v e of Orpheus f o r E u r y d i c e becomes t h e d e l i g h t o f t h e optima vox - t h e t a l e n t e d and t r a i n e d m u s i c i a n - i n t h e I n t e r n a l s e c r e t s o f t h e a r t o f music, so as t o sound t h e m y s t i c a l power o f t h e words.  But t h e more t h i s h i g h e r ,  m y s t e r i o u s a r t o f music i s p u r s u e d , even by t h e b e s t men ( A r i s t a e u s ) , t h e more she eludes, them.  Rational  investigation  (the s e r p e n t ) a l l b u t d e s t r o y s h e r , and she t a k e s r e f u g e i n the s e c r e t undergrounds.  Only Orpheus, t h e vox c a n o r a ,  w i t h h i s thorough grasp of t h e a r t of music can seek h e r out and l e a d h e r back - and even he u n w i s e l y seeks t o d i s c o v e r the s e c r e t power o f h e r e f f e c t u s ; though f o r b i d d e n t o l o o k upon h e r , he t u r n s and l o s e s h e r .  F o r no one, n o t  P y t h a g o r a s h i m s e l f , can e x p l a i n t h e e f f e c t u s , t h e power of music.  The s e v e n t h - c e n t u r y a n t i q u a r i a n , I s i d o r e o f Seville, i n deriving lyra (111,22,8-9),  otffo ^  Auy&/v  (Etymologiarum  t e l l s o f Orpheus r e c e i v i n g t h e l y r e from  Mercury, and e n c h a n t i n g n a t u r e w i t h i t , b u t makes no ment i o n of Eurydice.  86  B o e t h i u s , P u l g e n t i u s and I s i d o r e l i v e d i n the v i o l e n t age of t r a n s i t i o n when L a t i n was r e f a s h i o n e d i n a p r o f u s i o n of new  languages and d i a l e c t s , was p r e s e r v e d i n  the m o n a s t e r i e s , was  developed i n the l i t u r g y of the  What Greek s u r v i v e d was  Church.  l i t t l e u n d e r s t o o d , w h i l e myth was  o f t e n p r e s e r v e d as h i s t o r i c a l f a c t - i r o n i c a l l y enough, as i n some cases a t l e a s t i t o r i g i n a t e d as such.. m a t e r i a l s f o r the new  As the raw  culture settled into place, V i r g i l ,  Horace and Ovid l a y o n l y t h i n l y b u r i e d beneath the s u r f a c e d e b r i s ; the g l o r i e s of Greece l a y deeper, and were concealed f o r centuries.  Much was  l o s t f o r e v e r , but what was  r e d i s c o v e r e d was f i r e d by the heat of new fresh i f unsophisticatedfashion.  ideals, treated in  E v e n t u a l l y the Orpheus  of a n t i q u i t y was r e b o r n i n the mazes of a l l e g o r y and the aura of romance, h a l f u n d e r s t o o d perhaps, but w i t h new  vigor  and meaning. I t i s p o s s i b l e , but not t o o l i k e l y , t h a t Orpheus' s t o r y was  told in early oral literature.  The s c a n t remains  of o l d German, S p a n i s h and I t a l i a n show no t r a c e o f him. There are two e x t a n t fragments of o l d F r e n c h which d e a l 8  w i t h Orpheus and h i s descent i n t o Hades.  One  of t h e s e ,  i n a m a n u s c r i p t from Geneva, p u t s Orpheus i n the power of the f i e n d , who  g u i d e s him down t o H e l l and causes h i s r u i n  h i s .return by making a sudden n o i s e behind him. °See George L. K i t t r e d g e , " S i r Orfeo", AJP pp. 171-202.  This i s  7(1886),  on  87  p r o b a b l y a m i s t a k e n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e t e r q u e f r a g o r of Virgil.  9  T h i s and t h e f a c t t h a t t h e two fragments  probably  date o n l y as f a r back as t h e t w e l f t h c e n t u r y seem t o i n d i c a t e a l i t e r a r y r a t h e r than an o r a l  antecedent.  I t w a s , i n E n g l a n d , of c o u r s e , t h a t t h e l a r g e s t amount of  vernacular  these times.  l i t e r a t u r e was w r i t t e n and p r e s e r v e d d u r i n g Anglo-Saxon p o e t r y c o n t a i n s s e v e r a l q u a s i -  i Orphean d e s c e n t s , such as Beowulf's  j o u r n e y t o t h e bottom o f  the s e a t o f i g h t t h e monster G r e n d e l . to B r i t a i n w i t h V i r g i l  The myth i t s e l f came  and Ovid and e s p e c i a l l y w i t h B o e t h i u s .  When t h e k i n g o f .the West Saxons, A l f r e d t h e Great  (848-901),  had s t a v e d o f f t h e Danes from h i s i s l a n d , he t r a n s l a t e d  into  the common tongue t h e f o u r books - of r e l i g i o n , of p h i l o s o p h y , of  E n g l i s h and o f Church h i s t o r y - w h i c h b e s t p r e s e r v e d t h e  t r a d i t i o n s and c u l t u r e of h i s p e o p l e .  So B o e t h i u s ' C o n s o l a -  t i o n was t r a n s l a t e d , expanded and expounded f o r n i n t h - c e n t u r y B r i t o n s , n o t w i t h t h e s c h o l a r s h i p Bede c o u l d have l a v i s h e d upon i t ( f o r a c e n t u r y of war had wrought a d e c l i n e i n l e a r n ing),  b u t w i t h t h e care of a p i o u s monarch who kept i n mind  the i n t e l l e c t u a l c a p a c i t i e s and s p i r i t u a l needs o f h i s subjects.  A l f r e d , a m u s i c i a n h i m s e l f , was t h e f i r s t t o i n t r o d u c e  Orpheus t o Anglo-Saxons - and i n a C h r i s t i a n s e t t i n g : I t happened f o r m e r l y t h a t t h e r e was a h a r p e r i n t h e c o u n t r y c a l l e d Thrace, w h i c h was i n Greece. The h a r p e r was i n c o n c e i v a b l y good. H i s name was Orpheus. He had a v e r y e x c e l l e n t w i f e who was c a l l e d E u r y d i c e . . . . Then s a i d t h e y , t h a t t h e k m i s c o n c e p t i o n t h a t can be t r a c e d even t o M o n t e v e r d i ' s Orfeo.. y  88  h a r p e r ' s w i f e s h o u l d d i e , and h e r s o u l s h o u l d be l e d t o h e l l . , . . T h e n thought he, t h a t he would seek t h e gods of h e l l , and endeavour t o s o f t e n them w i t h - h i s harp,, and p r a y t h a t t h e y would g i v e him back h i s wife....When he l o n g and l o n g had harped, then spoke t h e k i n g of t h e i n h a b i t a n t s of h e l l , and s a i d : L e t us g i v e t h e man h i s w i f e , f o r he has earned h e r by h i s h a r p i n g . He then commanded him, t h a t he s h o u l d w e l l observe t h a t he never l o o k e d backwards a f t e r he d e p a r t e d t h e n c e , and s a i d t h a t i f he l o o k e d backwards he s h o u l d l o s e t h e wife... B u t men can w i t h great d i f f i c u l t y , i f at a l l , r e s t r a i n love. Welaway! what! Orpheus then l e d h i s w i f e w i t h him, t i l l he came t o t h e boundary o f l i g h t and d a r k n e s s . Then went t h e w i f e a f t e r him. When he came f o r t h i n t o the l i g h t , then l o o k e d he backwards towards t h e w i f e . Then was she i m m e d i a t e l y l o s t t o him. - T h i s f a b l e teaches e v e r y man who d e s i r e s t o f l y t h e darkness o f h e l l , and t o come t o t h e l i g h t of t h e t r u e good, t h a t he r e g a r d n o t h i s o l d v i c e s , so t h a t he p r a c t i s e them a g a i n as f u l l y as b e f o r e he d i d . F o r whosoever w i t h f u l l w i l l t u r n s h i s mind t o t h e v i c e s w h i c h he had b e f o r e f o r s a k e n , and p r a c t i s e s them, and t h e y then f u l l y p l e a s e him, and he n e v e r t h i n k s o f f o r s a k i n g them; then l o s e s he a l l h i s former good, u n l e s s he a g a i n amend i t ( X X X V , 6 ) . 1 °  The  C h r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s n a t u r a l and  a t t r a c t i v e : where B o e t h i u s had a d v i s e d a g a i n s t l o s i n g t h e c o n s o l a t i o n s of p h i l o s o p h i c a l , t r u t h , A l f r e d advises against f a l l i n g back i n t o s i n .  T r a n s l a t e d by J.S. C a r d a l e , i n K i n g A l f r e d ' s Anglo-Saxon V e r s i o n of Boethius  (London, 1 8 2 9 ) , pp.. 2 6 1 - 5 .  W i t h t h e dawn o f t h e M i d d l e Ages, t h e c e n t e r of the w o r l d o f l e t t e r s s h i f t e d t o P r a n c e .  Orpheus was c e r -  t a i n l y well-known t o t h e C a r o l i n g i a n R e n a i s s a n c e :  Boethius  was  one of i t s f a v o r i t e t e x t b o o k s ,  was  so g r e a t t h a t t h e p e r i o d i s o f t e n c a l l e d t h e a e t a s  Vergiliana.  and V i r g i l ' s p o p u l a r i t y  I n an a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f V i r g i l ' s  Orpheus-episode, by Remigius o f A u x e r r e ,  1 1  Eurydice  t y p i f i e s earth-bound d e s i r e , enmeshed i n v i c e and unable t o r i s e even a t t h e e l o q u e n t p e r s u a s i o n  of Orpheus..  By.;the t e n t h c e n t u r y i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e s t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e  has made i t s way i n one form or  a n o t h e r t o most of t h e c o u n t r i e s o f Europe.  Thus t h e  monk Proumond complains t o t h e abbot of Tegernsee t h a t the people a r e more a t t r a c t e d t o p r o f a n e and mendacious mimes such as t h a t o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , than t o  12 d e v o t i o n a l and m e t r i c a l l y c o r r e c t works.. In t h e t w e l f t h c e n t u r y t h e r e dawned, w i t h t h e  "'""'"Recorded by t h e t h i r d V a t i c a n mythographer ( A l b e r i c u s ) . See  Kern, Orphic orum Fragment a, p. 20..  "1 ?  Froumundi Poemata XX, 36-42., i n P a t r o l o g i a e L a t i n a e , ed. J.-P.  Migne, v o l . l 4 l , p. 1300d.  90 M e d i e v a l R e n a i s s a n c e , the a e t a s O v i d i a n a . was  J  Again,  the c e n t e r from w h i c h l i t e r a r y thought was  t o the r e s t of Europe.  Prance  communicated  The Chanson de Roland i n a u g u r a t e d a  g r e a t era of romance, i n w h i c h c l a s s i c a l s u b j e c t s were t o f i n d t h e i r way back i n t o the mainstream of European l i t e r a r y tradition.  The s t o r y of Troy was r e t o l d , and Aeneas'  wanderings;  the m y t h i c a l Oedipus and the h i s t o r i c a l  Alexander  b o t h became heroes of l e n g t h y q u a s i - h i s t o r i c a l poems, and i n the' Lay of A r i s t o t l e the v e n e r a b l e p h i l o s o p h e r was t r i c k e d and c a j o l e d by an o r i e n t a l maiden.  These f a n t a s t i c  p e r v e r s i o n s , w i t h the c l a s s i c a l f i g u r e s t r i c k e d out i n medieval::, armor, are the h a r b i n g e r s of " l e Moyen-Age. . . un grand e n f a n t q u i , comme tous l e s e n f a n t s , demande sans „14 cesse qu'on l u i conte du n o u v e l l e s h i s t o i r e s .  I t was  t h i s p e r i o d w h i c h r e d i s c o v e r e d Ovid,, one of the g r e a t s t o r y t e l l e r s of the p a s t , and Orpheus - a l o n g w i t h N a r c i s s u s and A r i a d n e and the l o v e r s Pyramus and Thisbe - becomes one of the s t o c k f i g u r e s of the romance.  W i t h V i r g i l and B o e t h i u s  a l r e a d y w e l l known, not the l e a s t reason f o r Orpheus' p o p u l a r i t y i n the M i d d l e Ages i s the f a c t t h a t these t h r e e °For the terms see L.K.  Born, "Ovid and A l l e g o r y " , Speculum  9(1934), p. 363.and C h a r l e s Homer H a s k i n s , The. Renaissance the T w e l f t h Century (New  York, 1957),. p.  6.  14 A. J o l y , quoted i n K i t t r e d g e , op. c i t . , p.  183.  of  91 f a v o r i t e a u t h o r s had a l l t o l d h i s s t o r y .  Thus i n the  Flamenca, a P r o v e n c a l roman d'aventure of t h e e a r l y t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y , we r e a d t h a t the w e l l - t r a i n e d t r o u b a d o r s h o u l d s i n g , b e s i d e s the s t o r i e s o f the B i b l e and the legends of K i n g A r t h u r and Aeneas, de P l u t o con emblet sa b e l l a m o l l i e r ad Orpheu (648-9)• 15 In t h e Roman de l a Rose, Orpheus' u n n a t u r a l v i c e i s d e c r i e d . Orpheus i s a l s o a l l u d e d t o i n some v e r s i o n s o f t h e Romance of t h e Seven Sages,, a p o p u l a r c o l l e c t i o n o f t a l e s w h i c h came from the E a s t t o Prance and spread thence t o I t a l y , Sweden, Wales, E n g l a n d , the Lowlands, Germany and S p a i n ; i n l a t e r t i m e s i t i s found from I c e l a n d t o the S l a v i c 16 and Russia.. T  countries  .  The O r p h e u s - s t o r y i t s e l f was thus absorbed by France and b r o a d c a s t t o the r e s t o f a k e e n l y a t t u n e d and u n i f i e d Europe i n .several romances,  o n l y one of w h i c h , the M i d d l e  E n g l i s h S i r Orf eo,. has come down t o u s .  1 5  T h i s much admired  L i n e s . 19651-4.  16 See L a u r a A. H i b b a r d , M e d i e v a l Romance i n England (New York, 1924), pp. 174-8'.  I n the L a t i n v e r s i o n o f t h e romance,  Orpheus i s mentioned i n t h e passage quoted from Horace, A r s P o e t i c a , 391-2,. i n t h e s e c t i o n P u t e u s .  92 poem owes something t o a n t i q u i t y , but f o l l o w s V i r g i l  and  Ovid l e s s c l o s e l y than i t does any number of f o l k - t a l e s which were c r o s s i n g Europe d u r i n g the e a r l y M i d d l e Ages - s t o r i e s of j o u r n e y s t o the o t h e r w o r l d and r e t u r n s t h e r e f r o m . I r e l a n d ' s , l e g e n d of M i d e r and E t a i n , f o r i n s t a n c e , t o l d how p r i n c e s s m a r r i e d a C e l t i c k i n g , was u n t i l her m o r t a l fairy h i l l  by the  fairies  husband and h i s w a r r i o r s l a i d s i e g e t o  and r e s c u e d h e r .  W a l t e r Map,  reclaimed  a fairy  The  t w e l f t h - c e n t u r y Welshman  i n h i s De_ Nugis C u r i a Hum,  wove a R i p Van  Winkle-  l i k e story- around- the a n c i e n t B r i t i s h k i n g H e r l a , and a n o t h e r t a l e of an anonymous k i n g who dead w i f e .  I t i s l i k e l y t h a t one  told  sought and r e g a i n e d  Orpheus-myth, f o r S i r Orfeo has a C e l t i c f l a v o r : the of the dead becomes o n l y a f a i r y w o r l d , e n t e r e d  Eurydice  his  of these C e l t i c t a l e s , a l l  of w h i c h had happy e n d i n g s , merged at some p o i n t w i t h  s i d e of a h i l l ,  the  e n c h a n t i n g , y e t p o w e r f u l and  the world  t h r o u g h the  e v i l ; the  f a l l s a s l e e p under a f a i r y t r e e , and the new  new Orpheus  moves the k i n g of f a i r y l a n d t o make a r a s h p r o m i s e , w i n n i n g his  w i f e back forever-..  But d e s p i t e a l l the r o m a n t i c changes  and  a d d i t i o n s , Orpheus' c l a i m t o the s t o r y was  t h a t of h i s C e l t i c r i v a l s , and h i s name and w i f e were  stronger  than  the name of h i s  preserved. It  seems l i k e l y , too., t h a t some such C e l t i c - c l a s s i c  v e r s i o n of the myth made i t s way  t o Prance,, f o r S i r Orfeo  shows many s i g n s of o l d F r e n c h a n c e s t r y , o£ Orpheus was  and  Indeed, a l a y  p o p u l a r at the F r e n c h c o u r t s ; t h i s f a c t i s  w i t n e s s e d t h r e e times i n t h e l a t e t w e l f t h and t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s : i n the L a i de l ' E s p i n e , t h e Prose T a l e o f L a n c e l o t and i n F l o i r e e t B l a n c h e f l o r , t h e k i n g s and t h e i r r e t i n u e are moved by t h e m i n s t r e l s i n g i n g of Orpheus and h i s 17 Eurydice, The passages seem t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e poem i n q u e s t i o n was a B r e t o n l a y , w h i c h i s not s u r p r i s i n g , as t h i s 18 1  was t h e u s u a l way i n w h i c h such t a l e s come t o P r a n c e . Thus i t i s p o s s i b l e t o t r a c e a development of Orpheus' s t o r y from t h e w r i t i n g s of V i r g i l and Ovid t o a C e l t i c f o l k t a l e t o a B r e t o n l a y t o a F r e n c h romance, and, f i n a l l y , t o a Middle E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n . We have t h r e e v e r s i o n s o f t h e E n g l i s h S i r Orfeo, as i t i s c a l l e d .  The e a r l i e s t o f t h e s e , i n the f o u r t e e n t h -  c e n t u r y A u c h i n l e c k m a n u s c r i p t , may be c o n s i d e r e d t h e s t a n d a r d v e r s i o n ; t h e o t h e r two, c o n t a i n e d i n MSS. H a r l e i a n 38IO (Orpheo and H e u r o d i s ) and Ashmolean ( K i n g Orfew), a r e " M i n s t r e l v a r i a n t s of a second v e r s i o n d e r i v e d from t h e ,, i q same source as t h e A u c h i n l e c k .  The o r i g i n a l poem i s  a s c r i b e d t o the l a t e t h i r t e e n t h century. 17 •See'Sir Orfeo, e d , A . J . B l i s s , p. x x x i . 18 F o r a f u l l d i s c u s s i o n of t h e problem, see i b i d . , x x v i i x x x i x , and compare t h e romances of Marie de F r a n c e , who used as h e r sources many B r e t o n  lays.  19 ^Hibbard-, op. c i t . , p.. 195.  94  The A u c h i n l e c k S i r Orfeo opens w i t h a f i f t y - s i x  20 l i n e prologue,  in. w h i c h we are p l a i n l y t o l d t h a t t h i s i s  a v e r s i o n of an o l d B r e t o n l a y - the s t o r y of Orfeo, a noble k i n g and s k i l l f u l h a r p e r , descended from P l u t o and from who  l i v e d i n Thrace  Juno,  ( f o r so was W i n c h e s t e r y c l e p t i n those  days) w i t h h i s l o v e l y queen H e u r o d i s . The f i r s t s e c t i o n of t h e poem t e l l s of H e u r o d i s a b d u c t i o n by the f a i r i e s .  On a warm May morning  she  1  falls  a s l e e p i n her o:orchard, and a f t e r an u n u s u a l l y l o n g slumber she awakes h a l f c r a z e d - f o r a m y s t e r i o u s k i n g and a company of k n i g h t s have appeared t o her i n a dream and marked her for  taking.  Orfeo i s g r e a t l y d i s t r e s s e d , and surrounds her  w i t h h i s own men,  but t o no a v a i l - a t the a p p o i n t e d time  she suddenly v a n i s h e s : Ac j e t e amiddes hem f u l r i 3 t pe quen "was oway y - t v i ^ t (191-2) . The most s t r i k i n g and perhaps the most e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e here and, indeed, throughout the e n t i r e poem i s the c o n t r a s t between the goodness of the m o r t a l world', w i t h i t s warm human r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and the c r a w l i n g e v i l o f the o t h e r  20 The f i r s t l i n e s of the p r o l o g u e are almost i d e n t i c a l w i t h those o f the M i d d l e E n g l i s h Lay l e F r e i n e , and P o u l e t b e l i e v e s t h e y were a p a r t of the l o s t F r e n c h Orpheus ( c f . MLN- 21 [1906], pp. 46-50).  But he i s e f f e c t i v e l y answered by Guillaume  (MLN 26 [1921], pp. 458-64) and B l i s s (op_. c i t . , p . x l v i i ) .  w o r l d w h i c h reaches out t o c l a i m i t s v i c t i m .  Thus goodness,  o r d e r l i n e s s and v i r t u e predominate as Orfeo c a l l s a "parlement", a p p o i n t s a steward  t o r u l e i n h i s absence,  c l o t h e s h i m s e l f as a p i l g r i m and s e t s out t o f i n d  Heurodis;  w h i l e the e e r i e , m a g i c a l atmosphere i s a g a i n evoked as Orfeo wanders f o r t e n y e a r s throughout the f o r e s t s of f a i r y l a n d , charming the w i l d b e a s t s , then f o l l o w i n g the f a i r y h u n t e r s  -  b l o o d l e s s c r e a t u r e s whose hounds and horns can make o n l y muted sounds, who  abduct m o r t a l s but cannot k i l l them..  Some  human f i g u r e s are hunting., t o o : f o r a moment the sense of goodness and r e a l i t y r e t u r n s as Orfeo notes t h a t the l a d i e s hawking by the r i v e r are a b l e t o c a t c h and t h e i r prey.  kill  Among them i s H e u r o d i s h e r s e l f , and she  gives  him a p a t h e t i c glance b e f o r e the o t h e r s sweep her away. O r f e o . f o l l o w s them on t h r o u g h a passage i n the r o c k s t o a p a l a c e of c r y s t a l and g o l d w i t h a hundred jeweled  towers.  Here he beholds w i t h h o r r o r the unmasked e v i l of t h i s magical  w o r l d - f o r c o u n t l e s s abducted m o r t a l s are h e l d c a p t i v e ,  f i x e d i n the a t t i t u d e s of t h e i r enchantment. an entrance  Orfeo f o r c e s  i n t o the f a i r y - c o u r t , and t h e r e he p l a y s so b e a u t i -  f u l l y t h a t t h e . k i n g b i d s him name h i s own  reward.  When he  asks f o r H e u r o d i s the k i n g r e f u s e s t o keep h i s word, u n t i l Orfeo reminds  him;  'Gentil King! 3ete were i t a wele f o u l e r f>ing To here a l e s i n g of p i moupe: So, S i r , as j e seyd noupe What i c h wold a s k i haue y schold., & nedes pou most p i word h o l d . ' (463-8).  When t h e e v i l k i n g succumbs t o a p o i n t of honor t h e mounting  sense o f e v i l i s d i s s i p a t e d , and t h e r e s t of t h e s t o r y i s  p l a y e d i n W i n c h e s t e r a g a i n i n an aura o f goodness t r i u m p h a n t : though t h e c o u r t does n o t r e c o g n i z e Orfeo t h e y r e c e i v e him as a h a r p e r i n memory o f t h e l o n g l o s t . k i n g ; i n a r e c o g n i t i o n - s c e n e the f a i t h f u l n e s s of t h e steward i s t e s t e d and borne o u t ; Orfeo rewards them a l l . a n d l i v e s h a p p i l y e v e r a f t e r w i t h h i s queen.  S i r Orfeo may be r e g a r d e d .as a t r u e h e i r o f t h e Orpheus-poems o f a n t i q u i t y , f o r i t s theme i s a f t e r a l l t h e power of t r u e l o v e and music over t h e f o r c e s of e v i l . it  But  owes much more t o t h e r i c h sources of m e d i e v a l romance:  what i s u n i v e r s a l l y admired i n t h e poem i s t h e charming naivete which i n v e s t s the c l a s s i c a l s t o r y w i t h medieval t o w e r s , G o t h i c d r e s s , C e l t i c f a i r i e s and o l d E n g l i s h  customs.  I t s g r e a t e s t debt, however, i s t o t h e c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n t h e M i d d l e Ages made between good and e v i l .  For i t i s the  a r t f u l s u g g e s t i o n of these two opposing w o r l d s , w i t h t h e t h r e a t of e v i l mounting  to' a c l i m a x , then b e i n g f o r e v e r  dis-  p e r s e d , t h a t i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e a u t h o r was touched w i t h genius.  H i s t h o r o u g h l y m e d i e v a l Weltanschauung  e n a b l e d him  t o t e l l h i s s t o r y w i t h c o n v i c t i o n and l o v i n g a t t e n t i o n .  If  i t f o r b a d e h i s r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e second l o s s o f Eurydice,. so much t h e b e t t e r ; S i r Orfeo has r e v i v i f i e d , even recreated-,  97 the myth i n new  terms, and t h a t i s the i m p o r t a n t f a c t .  -The  t r a g i c e n d i n g of the myth i s u n t h i n k a b l e i n r o m a n t i c •Christendom; Orpheus' s t o r y must be a h a p p y - e v e r - a f t e r t r i u m p h of good over  evil.  There may w e l l have been an I t a l i a n S i r Orfeo, j u d g i n g from the I t a l i a n form of the name i n the E n g l i s h poem, and from the l i k e l i h o o d t h a t a famous F r e n c h l a y would m i g r a t e t o I t a l y as w e l l as t o E n g l a n d .  We may  be sure t h a t  m e d i e v a l I t a l y knew Orpheus i n one form or a n o t h e r . G e o r g i c was ige  Virgil's  c e r t a i n l y w e l l known, though the immense p r e s t -  of the "maestro e a u t o r e " r e s t e d more on h i s a v a i l a b i l i t y  as a t e x t b o o k of grammar 'and r h e t o r i c , on the r o m a n t i c A e n e i d and the " M e s s i a n i c " Eclogue than on h i s Orpheusstory.  And a l t h o u g h a c e l e b r a t e d c r i t i c can d e s c r i b e Dante  as "more f o r t u n a t e than Orpheus" f o r he " r e l e a s e d out of the s t r u g g l i n g n i g h t of i m p u l s e s an i d e a l shape, the h e a v e n l y 21 Beatrice",  i t i s the l e a r n e d Orpheus, not the Orpheus  who  l o s t E u r y d i c e , t h a t we meet i n the Limbo of the I n f e r n o . F o r the age knew no Greek and w i t h i t s s t r o n g and v i b r a n t f a i t h i n C h r i s t i a n i t y had no need f o r Greek myth.  I n the  I t a l y of the t w e l f t h and t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s - the t i m e s of the g r e a t F l o r e n t i n e , S t . F r a n c i s and S t . Thomas Aquinas, K a r l V o s s l e r , M e d i e v a l C u l t u r e (New p.  318.  York, 1929), Vol.. 1,  98 G i o t t o and the c o u n t l e s s  anonymous w r i t e r s and a r t i s t s - •  when the - slow p r o c e s s of c i v i l i z a t i o n was suddenly and the knowledge and expanded,  accelerated  o f L a t i n and o t h e r d i s c i p l i n e s deepened  the d r i v i n g f o r c e was not a d e s i r e t o emulate  a n t i q u i t y - t h a t was t o come soon enough - but t o p e n e t r a t e t o the u n i v e r s a l s , the t r u e , good and b e a u t i f u l , i n l i f e belief.  and  When t h i s i d e a l was t u r n e d on c l a s s i c myth, the  i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t was a l l e g o r y .  Always a p o p u l a r l i t e r a r y  form i n the C h r i s t i a n e r a , a l l e g o r y became i n the t w e l f t h and t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s expression",  22  "the u n i v e r s a l v e h i c l e of p i o u s  "the bone, muscle, and n e r v e s of  2^  medieval l i t e r a t u r e " ,  J  serious  and one of i t s g r e a t source-books  24 was  Ovid.  Of the many a l l e g o r i e s d e r i v e d  from h i s account  of the s t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , those i n the Ovide M o r a l i s e , p r o b a b l y w r i t t e n by C h r e t i e n  Legouais Saint-Maure,  s h o u l d be o u t l i n e d as b e i n g p a r t i c u l a r l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e influential. Henry Osborn T a y l o r ,  and  The M e d i e v a l Mind (Cambridge, Mass.,  1959), vol.. 2, p. 395. 2S Douglas Bush, Mythology and the R e n a i s s a n c e T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h P o e t r y (New York, 1957), p. 15.  24 V i r g i l was a c c e p t e d e a r l y as a C h r i s t i a n p r o p h e t ; Ovid appeared b e l a t e d l y as a s a i n t and m a r t y r who wrote p o e t r y for  a moral purpose: a V i e de Saint. Ovide M a r t y r was  i n P a r i s i n 1667.  written  99 In  the account  of the myth i t s e l f ,  Ovide M o r a l i s e  f o l l o w s Ovid i n almost a l l i t s d e t a i l s , but d i v e r g e s n o t a b l y in  i n t r o d u c i n g A r i s t a e u s ( l i n e s 1-195)-  Then i s g i v e n  (196-219) the " h i s t o r i c a l sens" of the s t o r y : Orpheus, a f t e r l o s i n g E u r y d i c e , t u r n e d t o u n n a t u r a l l o v e , thus l o s i n g b o t h body and s o u l .  Two  separate a l l e g o r i e s f o l l o w *  The  first  (220-443), v e r y d e t a i l e d and e l a b o r a t e , b e g i n s : Par Orpheus p u i s d r o i t e m e n t N o t e r r e g n a b l e entendement, E t p a r E u r i d i c e sa fame La s e n s u a l i t e de 1' ame. Ces deus choses p a r mariage Sont j o i n t e s en 1 'umain l i g n a g e (220-5)* While Orpheus and E u r y d i c e thus s i g n i f y two p a r t s of the s o u l , A r i s t a e u s I s " n o t e r v e r t u de b i e n v i v r e " (228)  and  the s e r p e n t " m o r t e l v i c e " (242).  foolishly  S e n s u a l i t y , having  s e p a r a t e d h e r s e l f from r e a s o n , runs b a r e f o o t t h r o u g h  the  g r a s s of w o r l d l y d e l i g h t s , r e s i s t i n g the advances of v i r t u e , until,  f a l l i n g i n t o m o r t a l s i n , she b r i n g s the s o u l down  i n t o darkness.  The r i v e r s and the tormented  f i g u r e s of  Hades are then g i v e n a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s .  At  last  the r a t i o n a l p a r t of the s o u l attempts t o t u r n s e n s u a l i t y from i t s s i n f u l p a t h , and the sound of i t s harp i s a movement of  grace.  S e n s u a l i t y i s moved and begins t o f o l l o w ,  when reason g i v e s way  but  and l o o k s back upon s e n s u a l i t y the  soul i s lost forever: Et p i r e est l ' e r r e u r desreniere Que l a premeraine ne f u (435-6).  100  The t h i r d a l l e g o r y (444-577) makes no attempt t o f o l l o w t h e o u t l i n e s o f t h e myth, but views i t as i l l u s t r a t i v e , i n various details,  of c r e a t i o n , the f a l l , t h e I n c a r n a -  tion-, t h e Redemption and the f i n a l damnation of t h e o b s t i n a t e soul.  Ovide M o r a l i s e was n e i t h e r t h e f i r s t n o r the l a s t of t h e a l l e g o r i c a l t r e a t m e n t s o f t h e Metamorphoses, and the v e r y names of t h e a u t h o r s o f some o t h e r v e r s i o n s - A r n o u l d'Orleans  (fl_..ca;i. 1175), John o f G a r l a n d (ca_. 1234), A l f o n s o  e l S a b i o (ca_. 1270), P e t e r B e r c u i r e (ca_.; 1342), G i o v a n n i d e l V i r g i l i o , Robert H o l k o t and Thomas Wal.eys(l4th c e n t u r y ) show how widespread  t h e p r a c t i c e was.  Thus Ovid's  Orpheus  c r o s s e d and r e - c r o s s e d Europe, i n t e r p r e t e d anew f o r p h i l o s ophers, d o c t o r s , p r e a c h e r s , nuns, tradesmen and s c h o o l boys.  Dante uses Orpheus t o i l l u s t r a t e t h e v e r y n o t i o n of 25  allegory:  i n a c l a s s i c passage i n the C o n v i v i o ,  he demon-  s t r a t e s v a r i o u s a l l e g o r i c a l p r a c t i c e s by t r a c i n g d i f f e r e n t meanings i n Ovid's account  o f Orpheus taming t h e b e a s t s . And  the dean o f f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y l e t t e r s , Guillaume de Machaut, r a i s e d t h e Orpheus-Eurydice respectability  allegory t o true l i t e r a r y  when he r e t o l d and i n t e r p r e t e d t h e myth i n  T r a t t a t o . Secondo, 1,2.  101 his  C o n f o r t d'ami, addressed t o C h a r l e s o f N a v a r r e .  26  Another i n f l u e n t i a l F r e n c h v e r s i o n o f t h e myth i s i n L e p i s t r e Othea a_ H e c t o r , by C h r i s t i n e de P i s a n .  Here i t  i s one o f a hundred h i s t o r i e s , each o f w h i c h i s t o l d i n .a q u a t r a i n , then used t o i l l u s t r a t e some c h i v a l r i c v i r t u e , and finally allegorized. Orpheus'  The v i r t u e a k n i g h t may l e a r n from  descent i s t h e v i r t u e o f prudence, t o seek n o t t h e  i m p o s s i b l e ; t h e moral t o be drawn i s t h a t man ought n o t p r e s u m p t u o u s l y t o a s k God f o r e x t r a o r d i n a r y f a v o r s , f o r 27 t h e s e may be h a r m f u l t o h i s s o u l . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t w h i l e t h e r i s i n g c u l t u r e o f the West was a l l e g o r i z i n g t h e Orpheus-myth, t h e B y z a n t i n e polymath Joanne T z e t z e s was r a t i o n a l i z i n g i t . I n the  C h i l i a d e s we r e a d t h a t E u r y d i c e was n o t r e a l l y dead, b u t  o n l y i n a s o r t o f t r a n c e from w h i c h Orpheus awakened h e r by  28 his  singing.  26 L i n e s 2277-2674-. . Machaut a l s o uses t h e myth i n h i s P r o l o g u e 135-46, and i n t h e P i t de l a Harpe. 27 'LXX: Texte 1-7,  Glose and A l l e g o r i e .  In i t s English  t r a n s l a t i o n t h e E p i s t r e was c a l l e d A L y t i l B i b e l l o f Knyghthod.  28 11,54,847, summarized PW I 8 ( l 9 3 9 ) , . p. 1310.  1,12,305-16.  i n Konrat Z i e g l e r ,  "Orpheus",  T z e t z e s a l s o r e f e r s t o Orpheus i n  102 Unmoralized  Ovid found a k i n d r e d s p i r i t i n E n g l a n d  i n G e o f f r e y Chaucer, and d e e p l y i n f l u e n c e d much of h i s work. The  r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus i n Chaucer a r e few-, however, and  most o f these of  - i n The Book of t h e Duchess (568), The House  Fame ( i l l , 1 1 3 )  and  The Merchant's T a l e (1716)  b r i e f a l l u s i o n s t o Orpheus t h e s k i l l e d musician-.  - are only But t h e  heroine^ of T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e evokes t h e pathos o f t h e Eurydice story: F o r though i n e r t h e ytwyned be we tweyne, Yet i n the f e l d o f p i t e , out of peyne, That h i g h t e E l i s o s , s h a l we ben y f e e r e , As Orpheus w i t h E r u d i c e , h i s f e r e  (IV,788-91).  As we e x p e c t , t h e s t o r y i s r e t o l d i n Chaucer's Boece, a t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e C o n s o l a t i o n of P h i l o s o p h y , but i n l i t e r a l and u n d i s t i n g u i s h e d p r o s e .  Chaucer a l s o knows S i r Orfeo,  f o r t h e poem l e a v e s i t s i m p r i n t on t h e opening l i n e s of The Wyfe of B a t h ' s T a l e , w i t h i t s w a r n i n g t o women t o beware the f a i r i e s i n t h e morning hours, e s p e c i a l l y under t r e e s , and The F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e b e a r s many r e s e m b l a n c e s ; i t p u r p o r t s t o be a B r e t o n  l a y ; i t s heroine  i s approached i n a garden  by an unwelcome l o v e r ; i t s hero wins t h e l a d y back by i n s i s t i n g on a p o i n t " o f honor. Chaucer's d i s c i p l e John Lydgate,. t h e "monk of B u r y " , t e l l s t h e Orpheus-Eurydice s t o r y i n some s e v e n t y - s i x l i n e s i n h i s enormous F a l l o f P r i n c e s . H i s v e r s i o n l e a n s h e a v i l y on -Ovid f o r t h i s as f o r c o u n t l e s s o t h e r myths. without  I t i s not  charm,, e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e c e l i b a t e a u t h o r ' s  remarks on m a r r i a g e :  humorous  103 Y i f f summe husbondis hadde stonden In t h e cas Ta l o s t h e r wyves f o r a l o o k sodeyne, The! wolde (ha(ve) s u f f r e d and n a t s e i d a l i a s , But p a c i e n t l i endured a l t h e r peyne, And thanked God, t h a t broken was t h e cheyne Which hath, so longe hem i n p r i s o u n bounde, That t h e i be grace han such a fredam founde  '  In  (1,5804-10).  f i v e "other works - Temple of G l a s s (1308-9), Troybook  ( P r o l o g u e 47-53), Assembly of Gods ( 4 0 0 - 1 ) , Reson and S e n s u a l l y t e ('5604) and Albon and Amphabel —  t h e voluminous  Lydgate t e l l s o f t h e marvelous prowess o f Orpheus t h e music i a n , and i n t h e Testament he invokes h i s L o r d I e s u as Our Orpheus t h a t from c a p t i u y t e F e t t e E r u d i c e t o h i s c e l e s t i a l l t o u r (158-9). Boethius  1  C o n s o l a t i o n was t r a n s l a t e d e n t i r e l y  E n g l i s h v e r s e by Lydgate's  into  contemporary John Walton  (Johannes C a p e l l a n u s ) , w i t h even l e s s success than Chaucer's a l l prose t r a n s l a t i o n a c h i e v e d , a l t h o u g h i t s s t a n z a s on Orpheus a r e on the' whole f e l i c i t o u s . Meanwhile S i r Orfeo had passed  into oral  and was r e v i v e d as" the S h e t l a n d b a l l a d of K i n g s u r v i v i n g n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y fragments  tradition  Orfeo,  of w h i c h suggest  that  i t h a r d l y s t o o d on t h e same l e v e l as i t s s o u r c e . E u r y d i c e becomes t h e Lady I s a b e l i n t h e t w o - l i n e s t a n z a s , w h i c h s t r e s s the m u s i c i a n s h i p o f Orpheus, t w i c e n a r r a t i n g how f i r s t he p l a y e d da notes o noy an dan he p l a y e d da notes o j o y . An dan he p l a y e d da g6d gabber r e e l Dat meicht ha made a s i c k h e r t h a l e . 9 2  Quoted i n B l i s s , op. c i t . ,  pp..l-ll.  S i r Orfeo i s b e l i e v e d t o be the o n l y m e d i e v a l romance t h a t has s u r v i v e d i n p o p u l a r b a l l a d  form.  An o t h e r w i s e unknown Orpheus, kyng of P o r t i n g a l i s l i s t e d among the p o p u l a r s t o r i e s i n The  Complaynt of S c o t -  30 l a n d 1549..  Concurrent w i t h t h i s i s the work of the S c o t t i s h  B i s h o p Gavin Douglas, who  mentions Orpheus the h a r p e r i n h i s  P a l i c e of Honour ( l i n e 398), w h i l e i n the p i o u s p r o l o g u e  to  h i s famed t r a n s l a t i o n of the A e n e i d he c a l l s C h r i s t " t h a t h e v e n l i e Orpheus" ( l i n e 9)•  The  l a s t l a r g e - s c a l e t r e a t m e n t of the s t o r y of  Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i n the M i d d l e Ages i s a l s o from Scotland,, and a f a i r i n d e x t o the use and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the myth from the s i x t h t o the s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y : the Orpheus and E u r y d i c e o f " t h e S c o t t i s h Chaucer, Robert Henryson, mixes classical with fairy-tale  elements  and concludes w i t h an  a p p r o p r i a t e a l l e g o r y d e r i v e d from a t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y monk. I t i s Henryson's l o n g e s t and most e l a b o r a t e work, but not h i s b e s t , f o r the complex mythico-moral  structure  almost  d e f e a t s the g r a c e f u l music of h i s s e v e n - l i n e d rhymed s t a n z a s . The  s t o r y f o l l o w s V i r g i l and Ovid, but has many o r i g i n a l  details:  i t t a k e s Orpheus i n h i s s e a r c h f o r E u r y d i c e  through  30 ^ Recorded by D a v i d L a i n g , S e l e c t Remains of the A n c i e n t P o p u l a r and Romance P o e t r y of S c o t l a n d ( E d i n b u r g h , 1885), p.  117.  105 the s p h e r e s , where he l e a r n s t h e s e c r e t s o f m e d i e v a l music,, though Henryson h i m s e l f confesses  " I n my l y f e I cowth n e v i r  s i n g a n o i t " ( l i n e 242); i t i n f o r m s us t h a t Orpheus' song before t h e i r majesties  o f t h e u n d e r w o r l d had a bass l i n e i n  the Hypodorian, a descant i n t h e H y p o l y d i a n  mode.  The most  memorable p o r t i o n s o f t h e poem a r e Orpheus' lament f o r Eurydice,. w i t h i t s r e c u r r i n g r e f r a i n : q u h a i r a r t thow gone, my l u v e e w r i d i c e s s ?  (l43).  and t h e Dantesque v i s i o n o f a h e l l p e o p l e d w i t h t h e v i l l a i n s of a n t i q u i t y - c e s a r , herod, nero and p i l o t and mony p a l p and c a r d y n a l l (338). Henryson's poem,, b l e n d i n g as i t does t h e c l a s s i c a l form of t h e s t o r y w i t h t h e m e d i e v a l atmosphere of S i r Orfeo, marks t h e end o f t h e Orpheus-romances of t h e Middle Ages: t h e 2 4 0 - l i n e m o r a l i t a s appended might be d i s m i s s e d as an u n f o r t unate a f t e r t h o u g h t , d i d we n o t know t h a t t h i s , f o r t h e m e d i e v a l man,, i s t h e r a i s o n d'etre  o f t h e poem, and i n  Henryson s case may be thought t o c l i m a x t h e c e n t u r i e s o f I:  a l l e g o r i z i n g t o w h i c h Orpheus and E u r y d i c e were  subjected.  As an a l l e g o r y i t i s no b e t t e r , no worse than many o t h e r s : Orpheus i s r e a s o n , E u r y d i c e the s e r p e n t  affection, Aristaeus virtue,  s i n , three-headed Cerberus death i n c h i l d h o o d ,  middle and o l d age; i t i s a l l a s t o r y o f man's a f f e c t i o n f l e e i n g v i r t u e , f a l l i n g i n t o s i n , b u t almost redeemed by r e a s o n , w h i c h p r o v e s t o o weak f o r t h e t a s k .  I t seems a  v a r i a n t of t h e a l l e g o r y i n Ovide M o r a l i s e , but Henryson  106 s t a t e s (414-24) t h a t he found i t i n the commentaries on the C o n s o l a t i o n of P h i l o s o p h y w r i t t e n by the p a i n s t a k i n g and v e r s a t i l e Dominican N i c o l a s T r i v e t . of B o e t h i u s  So does the l o n g shadow  cover the O r p h e u s - t r a d i t i o n of the Middle Ages.  H a l f romance, w i t h - V i r g i l and Ovid r e c r e a t e d i n m e d i e v a l terms,, h a l f a l l e g o r y , i n an attempt t o p e n e t r a t e t o the meaning of the s t o r y ,as B o e t h i u s : once had done,. Henryson's poem marks the c l o s e of an era' of Orpheus r o m a n t i c i z e d and allegorized.  CHAPTER IV THE RENAISSANCE  Orpheus r e b o r n w i t h the Renaissance i s a new .symbol.  He i s no l o n g e r the r o m a n t i c f i g u r e who braved the  s u p e r n a t u r a l t o r e s c u e h i s b e l o v e d from d e a t h ; f o r such an Orpheus the. new e r a had l i t t l e  sympathy.  The R e n a i s s a n c e  Orpheus i s r a t h e r the embodiment of human wisdom, the  symbol  of a g r e a t c i v i l i z i n g f o r c e , w i t h power t o bend a l l the h a r s h , c o n t r a d i c t o r y elements of the u n i v e r s e t o the  humaniz-  i n g s p e l l of h i s art.. The f i g u r e of Orpheus taming the savage b e a s t s i s thus i n v e s t e d w i t h some of i t s o r i g i n a l meaning. new  1  H i s death a t the hands of the Bacchantes and the  l i f e of h i s harp and s i n g i n g head are seen as the  p e r i o d i c a t t a c k s made on human wisdom by b a r b a r i s m , and the p r o v i d e n t i a l c o n s e r v a t i o n of i t s elements i n more a p p r e c i a t i v e 2 surroundings. Orpheus the a u t h o r of the Orphic w r i t i n g s  See N a t a l i s Comes, M y t h o l o g i a e VII,14; Erasmus, Adversus B a r b a r o s 89-96; George Chapman, The Shadow of N i g h t 140-4; the masques of Ben Jonson and Thomas Campion, and  especially  the Orfeo of Angel.o P o l i z i a n o . 2 See Bacon, l o c . c i t . , John M i l t o n , L y c i d a s 56-63..  107  108  g a i n s i n importance,, and God,  i s h e l d as a p r o p h e t of the t r u e  while m y s t i c a l w r i t e r s continue  C h r i s t , the  "new  The  t o a s s o c i a t e him  Orpheus".  E u r y d i c e - s t o r y was  too r o m a n t i c ,  t r a g i c t o support  the w e i g h t of t h i s symbolism.  E n g l a n d , where we  s h a l l begin  t h r i v e as i t had  i n the M i d d l e Ages.  s i m p l y out of sympathy w i t h i t . i s convinced  too p e r s o n a l l y In R e n a i s s a n c e  our d i s c u s s i o n ^ i t d i d not  the tremendous l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i o n  w r i t e r who  with  This i s true despite  of the age; w r i t e r s were  When i t i s used by a g r e a t  of the new 'Orphean symbolism -  Chapman or M i l t o n - i t comes t o l i f e w i t h s t r i k i n g beauty. But too o f t e n i t i s used as a mere l i t e r a r y adornment, w i t h little men  who  o r i g i n a l i t y and  still  l e s s t a s t e , a t the c a p r i c e of  a v a i l e d themselves of a w e a l t h of m y t h o l o g i c a l  but c o u l d no l o n g e r a l l e g o r i z e or r o m a n t i c i z e and the a b i l i t y t o m a n i p u l a t e symbols. the a c c u m u l a t i o n  The  lore,  lacked  inevitable result i s  of symbols, most of them c l a s s i c a l — a s i n 4  one  J  of Thomas Watson's sonnets,  w h i c h a l l u d e s not o n l y t o  S e e W a l t e r R a l e i g h , H i s t o r y of the W o r l d I ; M i c h a e l  D r a y t o n , n o t e s t o P o l y o l b i o n , song 1; C h r i s t ' s V i c t o r i e and E l Divino 4  Triumph 5 9 , 7 , 6 - 8 ; - C a l d e r o n  Orfeo.  Sonnet 3 0 ,  Giles Fletcher,  esp. l i n e s 13-14-.  de l a Barca,.  109 Orpheus and E u r y d i c e and C e r b e r u s , but t o Hero and Pyramus and T h i s b e , Haemon and A n t i g o n e as w e l l .  Leander, When Watson  r e f e r s t o Orpheus i n Amintas, f o r h i s P h y l l i s (31-2), the hero i s s i n g i n g "neere the E l i z i a n s p r i n g s " , but the emphasis i s on the ready symbol of the s i n g i n g , not on the t r a g i c  story  of the u n d e r w o r l d . - Orpheus' harp and song s h o u l d be e x c e l l e n t symbols of the power of human wisdom, but w i t h Drummond of Hawthornden,  5  Barnabe Barnes,  6 R i c h a r d B a r n e f i e l d 7 and  o  John D a v i e s  t h e y are a t most a r t i f i c i a l t a g s , though  D a v i e s ' g u s t y humour redeems him i n h i s In Philonem,where E n g l i s h Orpheus " t o the v u l g a r s i n g s an Ale-house  an  story"  ( l i n e 8) and draws a P o r t e r , an O y s t e r - w i f e , a C u t - p u r s e , a Countrey c l y e n t , a C o n s t a b l e and a whore t o l i s t e n t o him. But t h e r e i s no E u r y d i c e i n t h i s u n d e r w o r l d ,  W i l l i a m Bark-  s t e a d p r e f e r s , i n t r e a t i n g t h e Orpheus of Ovid, t o t e l l s t o r y of Myrrha, expanding Ovid's 220 l i n e s t o almost  the 900.  In John Skelton's- G a r l a n d of L a u r e l l Orpheus, the T r a c i e n e , herped. m e l e d y o u s l y and the r e f e r e n c e s i n M i c h a e l D r a y t o n  9  (272),  and S i r P h i l i p  ^Sonnet t o W i l l i a m A l e x a n d e r , i n Commendatory V e r s e s , 13-14. ^ P a r t h e n o p h i l and Parthenophe, Sonnet 52,1-12. 7  T h e P r a i s e of Lady P e c u n i a , 217-9.  o  Orchestra  80,1,  ^Sonnets 45,12-4; Shepheards t o H i m s e l f and h i s Harp.  G a r l a n d ; Eclogue 4,69;  Ode  110  Sidney *" 1  1  a r e l i k e w i s e concerned  w i t h Orpheus' m u s i c a l  skill,  though t h e E u r y d i c e - s t o r y i s b r i e f l y a l l u d e d t o i n Thomas Nashe's p r e f a c e t o t h e f i r s t e d i t i o n o f A s t r o p h e l and S t e l l a . Orpheus was u n d e r s t a n d a b l y g r e a t m u s i c i a n s o f t h e day.  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the  P u r c e l l ' s songs were c o l l e c t e d  under t h e t i t l e Orpheus B r l t t a n l c u s , and W i l l i a m Byrd's "Come w o e f u l Orpheus w i t h t h y charming l y r e " c a l l e d  forth  f r o m t h e c o m p i l e r t h e d e l i g h t f u l comment t h a t t h i s Orpheus "not o n l y moved i n a n i m a t e n a t u r e , but even p l a y e d so w e l l , t h a t he moved O l d N i c k " .  1 1  Words o f wisdom were g i v e n t o  the a s p i r i n g m u s i c i a n i n Roger R a w l i n s ' t r a n s l a t i o n  Cassius 12  of Parma, h i s Orpheus, by A n t o n i u s T h y l e s s i u s 1^  (1587).  Three o t h e r c u r i o u s v e r s i o n s o f t h e myth ^ b e l o n g t o t h e same p e r i o d : A Womans Woorth,. defended a g a i n s t a l l t h e men In t h e w o r l d ( 1 5 9 9 ) ,  a t r a n s l a t i o n by Anthony Gibson from t h e  F r e n c h o f t h e C h e v a l i e r de l ' E s c a l e ; Of Loves c o m p l a i n t ; w i t h t h e l e g e n d o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (anon.., 1597), and Orpheus h i s j o u r n e y t o h e l l and h i s music t o t h e ghosts' ('1595), s i g n e d R.B-. 1 0  Sonnets;  T h i s l a s t poem f o l l o w s Ovid and t e l l s t h e  Defense of Poesy; T h i r d Song 1-2;  Two P a s t o r e l s  12-3. 1 1  Q u o t e d i n J u l i u s W i r l , "Orpheus i n d e r E n g l i s c h e n L i t e r a -  t u r e " , Wiener B e i t r a g e z u r E n g l i s c h e n P h i l o l o g i e p. 48. 12 L i s t e d i n Bush, op, c i t . , p. 307. 1 3  L i s t e d i b i d . , p p . 309, 311,  312.  4o(l9l4),  Ill s t o r y w i t h a minimum o f ornament: Orpheus' homely  complaint  b e f o r e t h e monarchs o f Hades i s : For my E u r y d i c e was dead ^ B e f o r e I c o u l d e n j o y h e r bed.. Somewhat s i m i l a r t r e a t m e n t W i l l i a m .Warner s A l b i o n ' s England, 1  i s g i v e n t h e myth i n  but Warner has t h e s t o r y  wrong: Orpheus i s t h e husband o f P r o s e r p i n e , whom he wins from P l u t o because h i s music makes h e r l a u g h j i t i s Cerberus who d e t e c t s t h e backward g l a n c e and shuts Orpheus out o f Hades once f o r a l l .  15  To come t o t h e g r e a t w r i t e r s , Thomas More, a l l u d e s t o t h e myth i n a L a t i n epigram..  A d v i s i n g Candidus t o choose  a w i f e who I s s k i l l e d i n t h e a r t s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n , he says: Talem o l i m ego putem Et v a t i s Orphei F u i s s e coniugem. Nec unquam ab i n f e r i s C u r a s s e t improbo Lahore foeminam R e f e r r e r u s t l c a m (Epigram  125,74-80).  Edmund Spenser's b e s t c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e l i t e r a t u r e o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i s an e f f e c t i v e c o u p l e t i n Quoted i n W i r l , op_. c i t . , p. 63.  Charles  "Greenes F u n e r a l l s , 159^, and N i c h o l a s B r e t o n " ,  Crawford, Studies  i n P h i l o l o g y , e x t r a s e r i e s (May, 1929)., p. 26, g i v e s N i c h o l a s B r e t o n c r e d i t f o r t h i s poem. 15  I,6,35-85.  112 An Hymne of Love w h i c h s h o u l d o b l i t e r a t e f o r e v e r the memory of P l a t o ' s w e a k l i n g Orpheus: Orpheus d a r i n g t o prouoke the y r e Of damned f i e n d s , t o get h i s l o v e r e t y r e  (234-5).  Another f i n e r e f e r e n c e t o the myth i s i n The Ruines of Time: And t h e y , f o r p i t y of the sad wayement, Which Orpheus f o r E u r y d i c e d i d make, Her back againe t o l i f e sent f o r h i s sake E l s e w h e r e , Spenser i s d i s a p p o i n t i n g . the  (390-2).  The o n l y a l l u s i o n t o  r e c o v e r y of E u r y d i c e i n T h e . F a e r i e Queene i s a b r i e f  16 quote from The Shepheardes E u r y d i c e i n the Daphnaida  Calender.  The r e f e r e n c e t o  (464) i n e x p l i c a b l y  connects her  w i t h Demeter.  Then t h e r e i s Spenser's i n d i f f e r e n t  translation  of the Culex..  The 4 l 4 L a t i n l i n e s are expanded t o 688;  Dan Orpheus and L a d i e E u r y d i c e have l o s t t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t i e s ; the themes of l o v e , d e a t h and music so memorably s k e t c h e d i n the L a t i n poem are submerged i n the rhymed s t a n z a s of a busy E l i z a b e t h a n poet who e n t i r e l y omits the crucial  line: Non e r a t f i n v i t a m d i v a e t e x o r a b i l e m o r t i s (Culex  -,  288).  W h i l e Spenser c o n c e n t r a t e s on the Culex>  7  Ll  Robert  B u r t o n quote.s two l i n e s from V i r g i l ' s f o u r t h G e o r g i c i n "^Compare The F a e r i e Queene IV,10,58,4 and October 28-31. 17 For  Orpheus the Argonaut and m u s i c i a n i n Spenser, see  the F a e r i e Queene 111,2,1; A m o r e t t i 44,1-4; Epitha1amion R u i n e s of Rome 25,1; Ruines of Time 333,607..  16;  113  The  Anatomy of M e l a n c h o l y . F r a n c i s Bacon sees the myth as a l l e g o r y , but a  R e n a i s s a n c e a l l e g o r y of human wisdom: S e n t e n t i a f a b u l a e ea v i d e t u r e s s e . Duplex e s t Orphei C a n t i o : a l t e r a ad p l a c a n d o s Manes; a l t e r a ad t r a h e n d a s f e r a s et s y l v a s . P r i o r ad natural-em p h i l o s o p h i a m , p o s t e r i o r ad moralem et c i v i l e m aptlssime r e f e r t u r . But Bacon's attempt t o i n t e r p r e t Orpheus' quest f o r  Eurydice  as the i n q u i r y of n a t u r a l i s p h i l o s o p h i a seems f o r c e d  and  out of t o u c h w i t h the s p i r i t of the myth: O p u s . . . n a t u r a l i s p h i l o s o p h i a e longe n o b i l issimum e s t i p s a r e s t i t u t i o et i n s t a u r a t i o rerum c o r r u p t i b i l i u m , et (hujusce r e i tanquam gradus minores) corporum i n s t a t u suo c o n s e r v a t i o n et d i s s o l u t i o n i s et p u t r e d i n i s r e t a r d a t i o . Hoc s i omriino f i e r i d e t u r , c e r t e non a l i t e r e f f i c i p o t e s t quam p e r d e b i t a e t e x q u i s i t a nat u r a e temperamenta, tamquam per harmoniam l y r a e , et modos a c c u r a t o s . Et tamen cum . s i t r e s omnium maxime ardua, e f f e c t u p l e r u n q u e f r u s t r a t u r ; idque (ut v e r i s i m i l e e s t ) non magis a l i a m ob causam, quam per c u r i o s a m e t i n t e m p e s t i v a m s e d u l i t a t e m et i m p a t i e n t i a m (De S a p i e n t i a Yeterum, X I ) . The  sense of mystery i s l o s t h e r e ; E u r y d i c e  the s o u l t o be r e s t o r e d t o the l i f e  i s no  of g r a c e ; she  the body t o be r e s t o r e d t o h e a l t h by s c i e n t i f i c  longer i s only  knowledge.  Much more s u c c e s s f u l i s Bacon's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Orpheus' l a t e r l i f e as the v i c t o r y of p h i l o s o p h i a m o r a l i s et  civilis,  and  fruits  of h i s d e a t h as the p e r i o d i c d e s t r u c t i o n of the  of human wisdom by b a r b a r i s m . a l l e g o r y became s t a n d a r d  T h i s second p a r t of  the  i n the R e n a i s s a n c e ; the f i r s t  did  'Lines 4 5 5 6 are quoted i n Anatomy of M e l a n c h o l y 1 1 1 , 2 , 3 . -  114 not. George Chapman, f o r example, uses Bacon's second allegory.  When Orpheus charms the r o c k s , f o r e s t s , f l o o d s  and w i n d s , i t bewrayes the f o r c e H i s wisedome had, t o draw men growne so rude To c i u i l l l o u e of A r t , and F o r t i t u d e (The Shadow of N i g h t 1 4 2 - 4 ) . But i n e x p l a i n i n g the E u r y d i c e - s t o r y , he reaches p a s t Bacon t o the M i d d l e Ages: And t h a t i n c a l m i n g the i n f e r n a l l e k i n d e , To w i t , the p e r t u r b a t i o n s of h i s minde, And b r i n g i n g h i s E u r y d i c e from h e l l , (Which I u s t i c e s i g n i f i e s ) i s proued w e l l . But i f i n r i g h t s obseruance any man Looke backe, w i t h b o l d n e s s e l e s s e then Orphean, Soone f a l l s he t o the h e l l from whence he r o i s e (ibid. The  149-55).  c l o s i n g l i n e s of t h i s passage echo B o e t h i u s , and  the  burden of the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n comes from the m y t h o l o g i c a l handbook of Renaissance  w r i t e r s , the M y t h o l o g i a e  of N a t a l i s  19 Comes. ^ Two and B o e t h i u s .  o t h e r a u t h o r s , a g e n e r a t i o n l a t e r , use Comes The  f i r s t of these i s Thomas Heywood,  a l l u d e s t o the myth i n h i s D i a l o g u e 19r i  of E a r t h and  who  Age:  LOrpheusJ i g i t u r p l a c a t i s i n f e r i s , animo p e r t u r b a t i o n i b u s s c i l i c e t , Eurydicen  i n lucem adducere conatus e s t , quae, u t  nomen ipsum s i g n i f i c a t , n i h i l a l i u d e s t quam i u s t i t i a equitas.  et  F u i t r u r s u s ad i n f e r o s i l i a r e t r a c t a ob nimium  O r p h e i amorem, q u i a neque i u s t i t i a e quidem opus e s t n i m i s esse cupidum, cum p e r t u r b a t i o n e s a n i m i p l a c a r e n t u r r a t i o n e (Mythologiae  VII,4).  115  What sorrow, m u s i c a l l Orpheus, d i d s t thou f e e l e , When t h y E u r i d i c e , stung i n t h e h e e l e , And d y i n g , h o m e unto t h ' i n f e r n a l l e shade, Thou w i t h t h y harp t h r o u g h h e l l f r e e passage made?  (1533-6).  Heywood's a n n o t a t i o n t o t h i s passage g i v e s an a l l e g o r y N a t a l i s Comes a t t a c h e d t o t h e myth: E u r y d i c e s i g n i f i e t h t h e s o u l e o f man, and Orpheus t h e body t o w h i c h t h e s o u l e i s m a r r i e d . . . a c c o r d i n g t o Natal.. Comes ( A n n o t a t i o n s 9720-31) .  2 0  The  second a u t h o r , Phineas F l e t c h e r , i n c l u d e s i n  h i s works t h i r t e e n t r a n s l a t i o n s f r o m B o e t h i u s ' C o n s o l a t i o n , no l e s s than f o u r of w h i c h a r e r e n d e r i n g s i n v e r s e o f t h e Orpheus - E u r y d i c e s t o r y w i t h i t s m o r a l : ment (22),  A Father's  The P u r p l e I s l a n d (V, s t a n z a s 6 l - 8 ) ,  Testa-  Poeticall  M i s c e l l a n i e s (A_ T r a n s l a t i o n of B o e t h i u s ) , and t h e chorus t o Act IV. o f S i c e l i d e s .  I t i s s a f e t o s a y t h a t B o e t h i u s ' moral  i s one of h i s maj;or themes.  But F l e t c h e r ' s work i s always  an odd m i x t u r e o f t h e sensuous and t h e s a i n t l y , and i n t h e S i c e l i d e s t h e sensuous p r e v a i l s , as F l e t c h e r i s induced by the p a s t o r a l atmosphere of h i s s u b j e c t t o m i s t r a n s l a t e h i s favorite meditation:  Heywood uses Comes' second a l l e g o r y , w h i c h i s a c t u a l l y t h a t o f Ovide Moralise', Orpheus a l s o The  f i g u r e s i n the e a r l y  S i l v e r Age, and i n a pageant Heywood composed i n I638.  See W i r l , op., c i t . , pp. 56-7.  US Thus s i n c e l o v e h a t h wonne t h e f i e l d , Heaven and H e l l , t o E a r t h must y e e l d , B l e s t s o u l e t h a t dyest i n l o v e s sweete sound, That l o s t i n l o v e i n l o v e a r t found (35-8). Phineas'  younger b r o t h e r , G i l e s , s t i l l more m y s t i -  c a l l y i n c l i n e d , sees t h e Orpheus-myth as an obscure pagan type of C h r i s t ' s v i c t o r y : h i s s e n s u o u s l y  devout, o f t e n beau-  t i f u l poem C h r i s t ' s V i c t o r i e , and Triumph i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y Renaissance product,  i t s Christianity  resplendent  with Classical figures. Another F l e t c h e r w i l l serve t o i n t r o d u c e us t o the somewhat s c a n t , s u p e r f i c i a l t r a c e s o f t h e Orpheus-myth 21 i n E l i z a b e t h a n drama.  Ope o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s i n The Mad  L o v e r o f Beaumont and F l e t c h e r d r e s s e s as Orpheus i n a masque i n t r o d u c e d i n t o the p l a y , and persuades t h e l o v e r n o t t o attempt death u n t i l he has t a s t e d o f l o v e : Orpheus I am, come from the deeps below, To thee fond man t h e p l a g u e s o f l o v e t o show (IV,1,27-8). The masque a l s o i n c l u d e s a d i a l o g u e w i t h Charon and a song t o tame t h e b e a s t s .  22 F l e t c h e r may a l s o be r e s p o n s i b l e and  j u s t l y famous song sung by Queen K a t h e r i n e ' s Before  The  f o r the l o v e l y maid i n  t h e E l i z a b e t h a n age t h e r e i s o n l y an anonymous  S t o r y of Orpheus (1547) l i s t e d i n A l f r e d Herbage's A n n a l s  of E n g l i s h Drama 975-1700 ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1940). 22 The  authorship  o f K i n g Henry V I I I was q u e s t i o n e d by  James Spedding and Samuel Hlckson  i n 1850.  See The London  117  Shakespeare's K i n g Henry V I I I : Orpheus w i t h h i s l u t e made t r e e s , And t h e mountain tops t h a t f r e e z e . Bow themselves when he d i d s i n g . To h i s music p l a n t s and f l o w e r s E v e r sprung, as sun and showers There had made a l a s t i n g s p r i n g . E v e r y t h i n g t h a t heard him p l a y , Even t h e b i l l o w s o f t h e s e a , Hung t h e i r heads and then l a y by. In sweet music i s s u c h . a r t , K i l l i n g care and g r i e f of h e a r t F a l l asleep, or hearing d i e (III,1,3~l4). T h i s p i c t u r e o f p l a n t s and f l o w e r s s p r i n g i n g up under Orpheus' i n f l u e n c e may suggest M u l l e r ' s t h e o r i e s t o mythological scientists.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s i s as much s i g n i -  f i c a n c e as one i s l i k e l y t o f i n d i n any o f Shakespeare's o t h e r a l l u s i o n s t o Orpheus.  The T h r a c i a n m u s i c i a n  i s only  -a p a r t o f h i s ''classical s t o c k - i n - t r a d e , though no mention of him i s w i t h o u t  i t s beauty:  I n Two Gentlemen Of Verona  we hear o f t h e power of h i s music: For Orpheus l u t e was s t r u n g w i t h p o e t s ' sinews; Whose golden t o u c h .could s o f t e n s t e e l and s t o n e s , Make t i g e r s tame, and huge l e v i a t h a n s F o r s a k e unsounded deeps t o dance on sands (111,2,78-81). 1  A s i m i l a r r e f e r e n c e i n The Merchant of V e n i c e  i s p a r t of t h e  c l a s s i c t r i b u t e t o music i n t h e E n g l i s h language:  Shakespeare (New York, 1957), v o l . 4, p. 1145.  Hickson  a s s i g n e d 111,1 t o F l e t c h e r , and indeed a passage i n The C a p t a i n o f Beaumont and F l e t c h e r ( I I I , 1 , 3 3 ~ 9 ) i s t o t h e Orpheus-song.  similar  118 T h e r e f o r e the poet Did f e i g n t h a t Orpheus drew t r e e s , stones and f l o o d s ; S i n c e nought so s t o c k i s h , hard and f u l l of r a g e , But music f o r the time d o t h change h i s n a t u r e (V,79-82). All  these are i n the Renaissance t r a d i t i o n of Orpheus as .a  civilizer.  The E u r y d i c e - s t o r y i s p o s s i b l y a l l u d e d t o i n  T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a (V,2,151-3) and i n the scene from T i t u s A n d r o n i c u s where the maddened T i t u s e n j o i n s h i s kinsmen t o descend t o h e l l and w r e s t J u s t i c e from P l u t o ' s r e g i o n  (IV,9,34).  There i s a much more d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e e a r l i e r i n T i t u s Andronicus: Or- had he heard the h e a v e n l y harmony Which t h a t sweet tongue h a t h made, He would have d r o p p d h i s k n i f e , and f e l l a s l e e p , As Cerberus a t the T h r a c i a n p o e t ' s f e e t 1  (11,4,48-51),and i n The Rape of Lucrece>  where  moody P l u t o winks w h i l e Orpheus p l a y s (553). A k i n t o Shakespeare's maddened T i t u s i s the g r i e f s t r i c k e n Hieronimo of Thomas Kyd's A S p a n i s h Tragedy,  who  r e s o l v e s on a s i m i l a r l y . Orphean descent (III;, 13,114-22) . But the s t o r y i s o n l y h a l f - h e a r t e d l y a l l u d e d t o , and In M a s s i n g e r (The C i t y Madam V, 3,50)> F o r d (The Sun's D a r l i n g I I , l ) and Dekker  ( O l d F o r t u n a t u s 11,1,55-9) i t i s p r a c t i -  c a l l y reduced t o a c a t c h - p h r a s e - " t o f e t c h E u r i d i c e from hell".  However, Massinger i n t r o d u c e s a mime i n t o h i s p l a y ,  i n w h i c h Orpheus, dance and g e s t u r e .  Charon and Cerberus a c t out the s t o r y i n  119 Many o f t h e p l a y w r i g h t s t u r n t o t h e myth i n moments of l e i s u r e , the  Dekker g i v e s a d e l i g h t f u l p r o s e b u r l e s q u e o f  tale: A s s i s t mee, t h e r e f o r e , thou Genius o f t h a t v e n t r o u s b u t j e a l o u s M u s i c i o n of Thrace ( E u r i d i c e ' s husband), who, b e i n g b e s o t t e d on h i s w i f e , ( o f w h i c h s i n none b u t c o c k o l d e s s h o u l d be g u i l t i e ) went a l i u e ( w i t h h i s f i d d l e a t s backe) t o see i f hee c o u l d b a i l h e r out o f t h a t Adamantine p r i s o n ; t h e f e e s he was t o pay f o r h e r were j i g s and c o u n t r y daunces: he p a i d them: t h e f o r f e i t s , i f he p u t ~.on y e l l o w s t o c k i n g s and l o o k ' t back vpon her, was h e r e u e r l a s t i n g l y i n g t h e r e w i t h o u t b a y l e o r mayne-prize: t h e l o u i n g coxcomb c o u l d not choose b u t l o o k e backe, and so l o s t h e r , (perhaps hee d i d i t , because he would be r i d o f her.) The m o r a l l o f w h i c h i s , t h a t i f a man leaue h i s owne b u s i n e s and haue an eye t o h i s wiues dooings, s h e e l e g i u e him t h e s l i p though she runn.e t o t h e D i u e l l f o r h e r l a b o u r „~ (A K n i g h t ' s C o n j u r i n g ) . ^ 1  John Marston,  24  another d r a m a t i s t who n e g l e c t s  Orpheus i n h i s p l a y s , does w e l l by t h e story i n a rather Juvenalian s a t i r e :  Orpheus-Eurydice  But l e t some Cerberus Keep back t h e w i f e of sweet-tongued Orpheus, Gnato applauds t h e hound ( S a t i r e s V,91-3). L a t e r , i n d e f i a n c e o f t h e s p i r i t o f h i s day, he c l a i m s t h a t i t was a "bouzing Bacchus" who sent t h e Bacchantes t o t e a r Orpheus l i m b from l i m b , and m e r e l y because t h e m u s i c i a n f o r g o t t o mention one of t h e gods i n h i s s.ongs ( i b i d . 111-20)  23  -^Early E n g l i s h F.oetry, B a l l a d s and P o p u l a r L i t e r a t u r e o f the M i d d l e Ages (London: The P e r c y S o c i e t y , l84l), p. 24,  24  There i s a humorous r e f e r e n c e i n What You W i l l 1,1,94-9,  120 Ben Jons on,, t o o , makes o n l y the most u n i n s p i r e d r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus i n h i s p l a y s and masques, 25 grouping  him w i t h L i n u s ,  constantly  but i n a minor work, On the Famous  Voyage, he i s f r e e t o g i v e a h i l a r i o u s i f overworked contemp o r a r y p a r a l l e l of the Orphean d e s c e n t . I t i s much the same case w i t h Thomas Campion. I t i s t r u e t h a t the R e n a i s s a n c e Orpheus i s an important f i g u r e i n The L o r d ' s Masque: he c o n j u r e s up Mania and her f u r i e s , charms them w i t h h i s music, then r e l e a s e s Entheus so as t o g i v e t h e wedding c e l e b r a t i o n s some b r e a t h o f p o e t i c inspiration.  But Campion uses the s t o r y of E u r y d i c e  ina  L a t i n poem of h i s l e i s u r e moments; i n the Ad_ Thame s i n , (205-10), the l e a d e r s of the S p a n i s h Armada are e n t e r t a i n e d i n Hades by D i s , and among the p e r f o r m e r s i s Orpheus, who s i n g s the song he once poured f o r t h on Rhodope, when he l o s t his  Eurydice. F i n a l l y , Robert Greene, who put F r i a r Bacon and  F r i a r Bungay on the stage, p r e s e n t s the Orpheus s t o r y s e r i o u s l y as a l y r i c i n h i s n o v e l Orpharion. Eurydice  In h i s v e r s i o n ,  i s i n l o v e w i t h P l u t o and though Orpheus, a i d e d  ^Bartholomew F a i r 11,59; Masque of B e a u t y 139; Masque of Augurs 286; The F o r t u n a t e  I s l e s 526; The P o e t a s t e r  IV,1,  447; V,1,502; Underwoods; E p i s t l e t o E l i z a b e t h R u t l a n d .  121 by Theseus(J), wins h e r w i t h h i s song, on t h e r e t u r n journey She  s l i p t a s i d e backe t o h e r l a t e s t loue  (19).  26  G e n e r a l l y speaking we must say t h a t t h e E l i z a b e t h a n d r a m a t i s t s found t h e s u b j e c t o f Orpheus' descent uncongenial;  i t might serve f o r more l e i s u r e l y e f f o r t s , but o t h e r -  w i s e i t was o n l y a s t a n d a r d  literary  motif:.  The myth f a r e d b e t t e r a t t h e hands of t h e l y r i c w r i t e r s o f t h e next generation.. D i d Complain, W i l l i a m Strode  I n When Orpheus S w e e t l y  adds n o t h i n g t o t h e t r a d i t i o n ,  but a t l e a s t he g i v e s us a s e r i o u s poem about Orpheus w i t h some genuine f e e l i n g , u n c l u t t e r e d by s t o c k p h r a s e s . 27 Abraham Cowley makes a g r a c e f u l r e f e r e n c e in•The M i s t r e s s . Richard Lovelace  has. Orpheus lament the l o s s o f E u r y d i c e i n  two b r i e f and melodious p i e c e s , Orpheus t o B e a s t s and  28 Orpheus t o Woods.  Robert H e r r i c k ' s Orpheus t e l l s the  s t o r y w i t h such a d m i r a b l e b r e v i t y t h a t i t may be quoted i n full:  26  An i d e a which.was t o occur t o Offenbach's l i b r e t t i s t s and, i n a q u i t e d i f f e r e n t way, t o R a i n e r M a r i a R i l k e . 2 7  S e e The S p r i n g , 4 , 1 - 8 .  28 Lovelace's  poems a r e p r a i s e d as worthy o f Orpheus by  John P i n c h b a k e , John N e e d i e r and S, O g n e l l : see W i r l , op. c i t . , p. 66.  122 Orpheus he went (as Poets t e l l ) To f e t c h E u r i d i c e from H e l l ; And had h e r ; but i t was upon T h i s s h o r t but s t r i c t c o n d i t i o n : Backward he s h o u l d not l.ooke w h i l e he Led her t h r o u g h H e l l s o b s c u r i t i e ; But ah.' i t hapned as he made H i s passage t h r o u g h t h a t d r e a d f u l l shade: R e v o l v e he d i d h i s l o v i n g eye; ( F o r g e n t l e f e a r e , or j e l o u s i e ) And l o o k i n g back, t h a t l o o k d i d s e v e r Him and E u r i d i c e f o r e v e r .  John M i l t o n sums up the Orphean t r a d i t i o n of the E n g l i s h R e n a i s s a n c e : f o r him the s i g n i f i c a n t p o r t i o n of 29 the myth was  not t h e E u r y d i c e - s t o r y ^ but the hero's  dismemberment.. who  The p i c t u r e of a g r e a t c i v i l i z i n g p r o p h e t ,  harmonizes a l l the c o n f l i c t i n g elements of n a t u r e  through  the power of h i s a r t , the poet w i t h o u t honor t o r n a p a r t  by  the u n a p p r e c i a t i v e s o c i e t y he had h e l p e d t o form - t h i s  was  r i c h i n meaning f o r M i l t o n . .  T h i s theme appears most n o t a b l y 30  i n L y c i d a s , where i t i s the f o c a l p o i n t of the e n t i r e poem, and i n the opening t o Book V I I of P a r a d i s e L o s t . becomes f o r M i l t o n a symbol of h i s own life  - i n Ad Patrem (52),  S i x t h Elegy  turbulent (70)  Orpheus artistic  and the S i x t h and  2Q ^ I n Sonnet 23, A l c e s t i s , not E u r y d i c e , i s the l o s t f r o m the w o r l d beyond. 30 According "The  207.  t o the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of C a r o l i n e W.  vision  Mayerson  Orpheus Image i n ' L y c i d a s ' " , PMLA 64(1949), pp.  189-  Seventh P r o l u s i o n s .  Milton  a l s o knew and  quoted the  Orphic  31 poems and  recommended t h e i r But  and  If  i n the  the  English  Milton  classic  study.  r e f e r s t o the  Eurydice-story  as  phrases:  T h a t Orpheus s e l f may heave h i s h e a d Prom g o l d e n s l u m b e r on a bed Of h e a p t E l y s i a n f l o w r e s , and h e a r S u c h s t r e i n s as w o u l d have won t h e e a r Of P l u t o , t o have q u i t e s e t f r e e His h a l f regain'd Eurydice. ( L ' A l l e g r o 1 4 5 - 5 0 ) . myth has been g i v e n any more famous t r e a t m e n t i n letters,  then  i t can  only  be:  Or b i d t h e s o u l o f Orpheus s i n g S u c h n o t e s as w a r b l e d t o the s t r i n g , Drew I r o n t e a r s down P l u t o ' s cheek, . And made H e l l g r a n t what L o v e d i d s e e k ( l l Penseroso There are  two  Milton  claims  not  the  by  other  of h i s  lyre  tears but  by  p r o m p t s an  journey with  departed  his poetry, Lost  cation.  Prolusion;  and  shades in  a mention  identification  of  S o n n e t s 11,10; E l e g y  V,11;  the  of  Milton's  Orpheus,  T a u g h t by t h e h e a v ' n l y Muse t o v e n t u r e The d a r k d e s c e n t , and up t o r e a s c e n d , Though h a r d and r a r e ( 1 9 - 2 1 ) .  ^Pirst  1 0 5 - 8 ) .  L a t i n Ad_ P a t r e m  t o the  o f Book I I I o f P a r a d i s e  Orphean L y r e "  poetic  a l l u s i o n s : i n the  Orpheus b r o u g h t  music  opening l i n e s "th'  well,  down  Of' E d u -  124 M i l t o n ' s a r t i s t i c m i s s i o n i s thus e x e m p l i f i e d by Orpheus d e s c e n d i n g as w e l l as by Orpheus r e j e c t e d martyred.  and  I f the a n c i e n t m u s i c i a n d i d not f a r e w e l l a t the  hands of R e n a i s s a n c e Englishmen, i n M i l t o n he was  clothed at  l a s t i n g l o r i o u s language and I n v e s t e d w i t h s y m b o l i c s i g n i ficance.  The  sources f o r c l a s s i c a l mythology were of course  much more numerous and much more a c c e s s i b l e I n the R e n a i s s a n c e , and though the b e s t v e r s i o n s of Orpheus' descent - Virgil,  Ovid and B o e t h i u s - had been a v a i l a b l e a l l t h r o u g h  the M i d d l e Ages, R e n a i s s a n c e w r i t e r s a l s o used the new l o g i c a l handbooks.  We have n o t e d how  Chapman and Heywood  use N a t a l i s Comes' M y t h o l o g i a e (1551), as Henryson N i c h o l a s T r i v e t (ca_. 1350) .  mytho-  had  used  Other p o p u l a r source-books w i t h  moral o v e r t o n e s were the voluminous books of Lydgate and the E p i s t r e s of C h r i s t i n e de P i s a n , b o t h of w h i c h , as we have seen, d e a l t w i t h Orpheus and E u r y d i c e .  The f i r s t new  l a t i o n s of the Metamorphoses - by W i l l i a m Caxton and the house of C o l a r d Mansion  (l480)  (l484) - a c t u a l l y contained  b i t s of a l l e g o r i z e d Ovid i n the t e x t s . too,  trans-  And V i r g i l ' s Orpheus,  came complete w i t h sermon i n the f i r s t F r e n c h t r a n s l a t i o n  of the G e o r g i e s , by M i c h e l G u i l l a u m e de Tours ( 1 5 1 9 ) .  But  l a t e r t r a n s l a t i o n s , and i n p a r t i c u l a r the i n f l u e n t i a l Metamorphoses of Boner i n German ( 1 5 3 4 ) , Habert i n F r e n c h ( 1 5 5 7 ) , Bustamante (ca_. 1546)  and V i a n a (1589) i n S p a n i s h , G o l d i n g  (1567) and Sandys (1632) i n E n g l i s h , l e f t t h e r e a d e r t o draw his  own. m o r a l . In time t h e R e n a i s s a n c e began t o produce i t s own  handbooks,  Robert Stephanus' Thesaurus Linguae L a t l n a e  (1531) i n f l u e n c e d the Orpheus of Ben Jonson's masques; C h a r l e s Stephanus' D i c t i o n a r i u m H i s t o r i c u m ac p o e t i c u m (1553) made N a t a l i s Comes' Orpheus a c c e s s i b l e t o Thomas Heywood and f a t h e r e d the Orpheus i n Mystagogus (1647) o f a n o t h e r c o m p i l e r , A l e x a n d e r Ross. the most i n f l u e n t i a l  Foeticus  I n England  of a l l was t h e Thesaurus Linguae  Romanae e t B r i t t a n i c a e (1565) o f Thomas Cooper, from w h i c h Spenser and the E l i z a b e t h a n s d e r i v e d t h e i r Orpheuses and other mythological f i g u r e s .  The g i a n t o f t h e S p a n i s h R e n a i s s a n c e , M i g u e l de C e r v a n t e s , i s , i n h i s approach t o mythology, n o t u n l i k e t h e l i t e r a r y men of R e n a i s s a n c e E n g l a n d . myth i n a p e r f u n c t o r y way.  He uses t h e Orpheus -  One o f the l y r i c s i n Don Quixote  w i l l serve as an example: c a n t a r e su b e l l e z a y su d e s g r a c i a , con mejor p l e c t r o que e l c a n t o r de T r a c i a .(11,69). Cervantes indulges i n c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s t o the 32  minimum e x t e n t expected of a w r i t e r o f t h e p e r i o d .  Other  f i g u r e s o f t h e S i g l o do Pro, l e s s u n i v e r s a l i n scope and more d i r e c t l y concerned w i t h m y t h o l o g i c a l s u b j e c t s , use t h e Orpheus-myth and use i t v e r y w e l l .  E a r l i e s t o f these i s  G a r c i l a s o de l a Vega, who "when he touches a c l a s s i c theme.-., i s o f t h e g r e a t age: he stands f o r t h e b e s t o f t h e f u l l y •DO  developed Renascence."-  30  S t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d by the I t a l i a n s ,  and e s p e c i a l l y by P o l i t i a n and Sannazaro, b o t h o f whom d e a l t w i t h Orpheus, G a r c i l a s o attempted t o t r a n s f e r t h e i r d e l i c a t e m u s i c a l s t y l e t o h i s own language.  H i s sonnet on Orpheus i s  among h i s most r e p r e s e n t a t i v e work:  ^ F o r a l l u s i o n s t o Orpheus, see E l C e l o s o Extremeno ( p . 908), La Casa de l o s C-elos ( p . 259), La G a l a t e a (pp. 613, 624, 7^7), i n Obras ed. A.V. P r a t ( M a d r i d , 1956). 33 Rudolph S c h e v i l l , Ovid and t h e Renascence i n S p a i n ( B e r k e l e y , 1913), p. 226.  127  S i quexas y lamentos pueden t a n t o , Que e n f r e n e r o n e l c u r s o de l o s r i o s , . Y en l o s d e s i e r t o s . montes y sombrios Los a r b o l e s movieron con su canto: S i c o n v i r t i e r o n a escuchar su l l a n t o Los f i e r o s t i g r e s , i penascos frios;>. S i en f i n con menos c a s o s , que l o s mios Baxaron a l o s r e i n o s d e l espanto; i Porque no a b l a n d a r a mi t r a b a j o s a V i d a , en m i s e r i a , i lagrymas passada, Un coracon conmigo endurecido? Co mas p i e d a d d e v r i a s e r escuchada La voz d e l que se l l o r a p o r p e r d i d o Que l a d e l que p e r d i o , i l l o r a o t r a cosa. >. 0  (4,5,1-14)..  3 4  Another p o e t i c t r e a t m e n t o f t h e myth, much more s y m p a t h e t i c than a n y t h i n g t o be found i n R e n a i s s a n c e  England,  i s t h e c l o s i n g p o r t i o n o f t h e e l e g y " S i no puede r a z o n , " by Diego Hurtado  de Mendoza.  A f t e r t e l l i n g the s t o r y of the  d e s c e n t , Mendoza a d d r e s s e s t h e s o r r o w i n g Orpheus: Tu v a s ahora p o r T r a c i a d e s t e r r a d o , Hinchendo t i e r r a y c i e l o s con t u q u e j a , Y s u s p i r o s mezclando con c u i d a d o . E l l a , y u e l t a en e s p i r i t u , se a l e j a Por e x t e n d i d o campo o yerba v e r d e , Aunque no s i n d o l o r porque t e d e j a j ' Pero no que t o r n a a t i se acuerde: . • Porque e l que pasa e l agua d e l o l v i d o , En vano l o desea q u i e n l o p i e r d e ( 2 0 8 - 1 6 ) . >;  •Orpheus i s a l s o t h e s u b j e c t o f f o u r sonnets by Juan de Arguijo.  35  3 4  H e r r e r a ' s commentary on G a r c i l a s o a p p l i e s t o t h i s the O r p h e u s - a l l e g o r y from Ovide m o r a l i s e .  Another r e f e r e n c e  •  t o Orpheus i n G a r c i l a s o i s i n Cancion ^Sonnets  5 , 1 - 1 0 .  2 4 and 2 5 , . and, d e a l i n g w i t h t h e d e s c e n t ,  sonnets 48 and 49.  sonnet  128  In  1624  t h e r e appeared two n a r r a t i v e poems on the  myth of the d e s c e n t , one a long,, a r t i f i c i a l Orfeo by Juan /  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  de J a u r e g u i , the o t h e r , E l Orfeo en lengua c a s t e l l a n a , of a p p r o x i m a t e l y the same l e n g t h and i n the same meter, buted t o Juan P e r e z de Montalban.  attri-  These two poems mark the  famous d i v i s i o n of s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y S p a n i s h p o e t r y i n t o c u l t e r a n i s m o and conceptismo, "the g r e a t e s t storm ever known 36 i n the h i s t o r y of S p a n i s h l i t e r a t u r e . . '  The s t i r  was  i n i t i a t e d by L u i s de Gongora, whose c u l t o s t y l e e f f e c t e d by a r t i f i c i a l p h r a s i n g and u n u s u a l word o r d e r a new language..  poetic  Though J a u r e g u i b i t t e r l y r e s e n t e d Gongora' s 1  i n n o v a t i o n s , h i s Orfeo i s a c t u a l l y an attempt t o r i v a l Gongora's P o l i f e m e u  T y p i c a l i s t h e passage i n w h i c h Orfeo  and E u r i d i c e are b e s e t by sad f o r e b o d i n g s on t h e i r wedding night: C a u t e l a r pudo a l a d v e r t l d o esposo (mas e l amor l a p r o v i d e n c i a i m p l i c a ) de a z a r e s e l o c u r s o temeroso, que ya en sus bodas breve l l a n t o i n d i c a : no a s i s t e Iuno; no l o q u a z I a i r o s o e l D i o s n u p c i a l su' ceremonia e s p l i c a ; de o s c u r a a n t o r c h a , con desorden c i e g o , arde en su mano r e l u c h a n d o e l fuego.  "3  G e r a l d Brenan, The L i t e r a t u r e of the S p a n i s h P e o p l e (Cambridge, 1935), p.  224..  Despues quando^la d u l c e , p r e v e n i d a ora noturna. a l talamo l o s l l a m a ; 1 a o c u l t o s r e g o z i j o s encendida l u z g r a t a admiten e l amante, y dama; de causa p r o c e d i d o no a d v e r t i d a subito incurso arrebato l a llama: n i e l d i s c u r r i r contra e l anuncio f i e r o h a l l o e v a s i o n a d e s m e n t i r su aguero ( i , 5 7 - 7 2 ) , T h i s i s not o n l y  representative culteranismo;  t y p i c a l l y Spanish extension  i t i s also a  of a c l a s s i c idea..  Ovid's e v i l  omens become agueros - f a t a l f o r c e s w h i c h many S p a n i s h  37 authors  a f t e r J a u r e g u i use t o m o t i v a t e The  S p a n i s h and  the s t o r y .  opponents of c u l t e r a n i s m o used c l e a r , i d i o m a t i c  sought t h e i r e f f e c t s i n more or l e s s t y p i c a l l y  R e n a i s s a n c e c o n c e i t s - hence t h e i r name conceptismo,  and  the en lengua c a s t e l l a n a p o i n t e d l y a t t a c h e d t o t h e i r Orfeo.  38 Menendez y P e l a y o n o t e s  t h a t t h e i r s i s a h a s t i l y composed  work, a mere t o u r de f o r c e h u r r i e d i n t o p u b l i c a t i o n t o r i v a l  '  y  Jauregui.  39  But we need not c r e d i t the statement  a c t u a l l y w r i t t e n by Lope de Vega, and  t h a t i t was  i n f o u r days.  Thus R e n a i s s a n c e Spain produced more f u l l - s c a l e treatments  of the myth than E n g l a n d , and a t l e a s t as many  37 'Pablo Cabanas, i n El_ Mi t o de Orfeo en l a L i t e r a t u r a Esparlola ( M a d r i d , 19^8) treatments  t r a c e s t h i s theme t h r o u g h the S p a n i s h  of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e ,  In E s t u d i o s Sobre e l Teatro Reyes (Madrid,  19^9), v o l , 2,  p.  See pp.  53 6l. -  de Lope de Vega, ed..  E.S..  241.  39 ^Found by La B a r r e r a i n a copy of the f i r s t e d i t i o n of the poem.  130 hundreds of r e f e r e n c e s t o the "Orphean l y r e " and song".  "Orpheus'  To d e t a i l these i s t o l i s t almost a l l the names of  40 an amazing p e r i o d i n l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i v i t y . . From, a l i t e r a r y c l i c h e , Orpheus became a s u b j e c t of s a t i r e - i n Gongora's c l e v e r r e p l i e s t o J a u r e g u i  '  and  '  4l  Montalban, and i n two p l a y s , B e r n a l d o de Q u i r e s Marido h a s t a e l i n f i e r n o and Can celt?'s V a i l e f amoso de l a f a b u l a de 1  42 Orfeo.  I t seems t h a t the h e l l - b r a v i n g c o n s t a n c y  of  Orpheus c o u l d e a s i l y be made r i d i c u l o u s t o a people s e r i o u s l y c u l t i v a t e d a sense of honor..  who  Lope's p l a y about  Orpheus and Eurydice,. e n t i t l e d KL Marido Mas F i r me,  is  s e r i o u s , as b e f i t s the comedia m i t o l o g i c a , and does not s t a n d out i n the v a s t corpus  of i t s a u t h o r ' s work.  More •  "noteworthy i s the comedy E r u d i c e y_ Orfeo by A n t o n i o  de Soils.,  43 w h i c h t r e a t s the myth "as a c l o a k and dagger comedy":  as the  l o v e r s r e a c h the upper w o r l d , E u r y d i c e i s c a r r i e d o f f a g a i n by A r i s t a e u s , w h i l e Orpheus, m i n d f u l of P l u t o ' s i n j u n c t i o n , does not t u r n h i s head.  One  of the most s u c c e s s f u l b u r l e s -  ques of the myth i n any language i s the poem C a l i f i c a a_ Orfeo p a r a i d e a de maridos d i c h o s a s , by F r a n c i s c o de Quevedo, w h i c h b e g i n s : ^ S e e Cabanas, op. c i t . , pp. ^ S o n n e t s 8 l and  87-114.  82...  42 D i s c u s s e d i n Cabanas, op_. c i t . , pp. 139-44. ho  Como una  comedia de capa y espada." Mene'ndez y P e l a y o ,  op-, c i t . , p . 2 4 l .  Orfeo p o r su mujer cuentan que b a j o a l I n f i e r n o ; y p o r su mujer no pudo b a j a r a .otra p a r t e Orfeo (1-4)... T h i s s a t i r e i s the source of La_ Descente d' Orphee, by the p r e c i e u s e p o e t e s s H e n r i e t t e de C o l i g n y ; the Orphee of A n t o i n e Beauderon de Senece (1717); the Orpheus of Lady Monck (1716); t h e anonymous "Pond Orpheus -went as p o e t s tell"  (1724)j Robert D o d s l e y ' s "When Orpheus went down";  B r o o k e s ' "Urn s e i n e F r a u von neuen zu e r l a n g e n " (1725) and J . W i e d e r i c h G r i e s ' "Orpheus s t i e g zum H o l l e n s c h l u n d e n " (1824).^  But d e s p i t e the p o p u l a r i t y of t h i s s a t i r e ,  Que-  vedo's b e s t c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the l i t e r a t u r e o:f Orpheus i s t h e m a d r i g a l C o n t r a p o s i c i o n Amorosa: S i f u e r a s t u mi E u r i d i c e , oh senora, ya que soy yo e l Orfeo que t e adora., t a n t o e l poder m i r a r t e en mx p u d i e r a , que s o l o p o r m i r a r t e t e perdiera.: pues s i p e r d i e r a l a o c a s i o n de v e r t e , p e r d e r t e f u e r a a s x , p o r no p e r d e r t e (1-6). We a r e not s u r p r i s e d t o f i n d s e v e r a l d e e p l y  45 r e l i g i o u s t r e a t m e n t s of t h e myth i n S p a i n : ^ B a l t a s a r G r a c i a n , i n A r t e de i n g e n i o , c a l l s C h r i s t " e l v e r d a d e r o Orfeo", drawing a l l t h i n g s t o H i m s e l f as He hangs w i t h arms  44  n  See  l!  La Bajada de Orfeo a l o s I n f i e r n o s , Obras Completas  de Quevedo, ed.. L.A.. M a r i n ( M a d r i d , 1952), v o l . 2, pp.  1467-  78.. 45  "\For f u l l t r e a t m e n t of the works mentioned i n t h i s p a r a graph,, see Cabanas, op. c i t . , pp. 153-76 and 239-87.  132  o u t s t r e t c h e d on the l y r e of the C r o s s ; t h e r e i s a s i m i l a r r e f e r e n c e i n Lope's Corona. T r a g i c a ; S e b a s t i a n de Cordoba " c h r i s t i a n i z e s " two m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t s i n a work whose t i t l e speaks b e s t f o r i t s e l f - Obras de. Bos can y_ G a r c i l a s o t r a n s l a d a d a s en m a t e r i a s c r i s t i a n a s y_ r e l i g i o s a s ; John the B a p t i s t i s compared t o Orpheus i n the V e r s o s Sacros of Bocangel.  Pre-eminent  among those who  m y s t i c l i g h t i s the f i g u r e who  t r e a t Orpheus i n t h i s  marks the end of S p a i n ' s  g r e a t l i t e r a r y e r a , Pedro C a l d e r o n de l a Barca..  In E l auto  d e l D i v l n o J a s o n , the c l a s s i c a l f i g u r e s aboard the Argo f o r e shadow New  Testament personages:  Jason i s C h r i s t ; H e r c u l e s ,  S t . P e t e r ; Theseus, S t . Andrew, and Orpheus, a g a i n , i s John the B a p t i s t .  Orpheus and E u r y d i c e are the s u b j e c t of a n o t h e r  auto - El_ d i v i n o Orfeo.  Here the s e r p e n t s y m b o l i z e s s i n ;  Orpheus' t a k i n g up h i s l y r e and d e s c e n d i n g t o h e l l f i e s man  signi-  t a k i n g up h i s c r o s s and d y i n g t o s i n ; the r e t u r n  of E u r y d i c e s i g n i f i e s redemption.  A second E l d i v i n o  Orfeo  i d e n t i f i e s Orpheus w i t h C h r i s t and P l u t o w i t h the d e v i l  and  ends w i t h an a p o t h e o s i s of the E u c h a r i s t - . I n t h e s e e x t r a o r d i n a r y p l a y s of C a l d e r o n the a l l e g o r i z e d myth reaches i t s l i t e r a r y apex.  Orpheus and E u r y d i c e are among the many c l a s s i c a l f i g u r e s who  f i n d t h e i r way  i n t o the n a t i o n a l e p i c of  P o r t u g a l , the L u s i a d s of Camoens:  133 Qual se a j u t a u a em Rodope o aruoredo So por o u u l r o amante da d o n z e l l a E u r i d i c e , tocando a l i r a de ouro, T a l a gente se a j u n t a a . o u u i r o Mouro (Vl-l,29,5-8)-..46  In Germany the s p i r i t of the Renaissance e x p r e s s e d i t s e l f more i n r e l i g i o u s r e v o l t than i n a r t i s t i c  creation.;  Orpheus w i l l not loom l a r g e i n German l e t t e r s f o r c e n t u r i e s still.  But the M e i s t e r s a n g e r r e v e r e d h i s name: one of the  tones t h e y p r a c t i s e d was an "Orphei s e h n l i c h e K l a g w e i s " .  In the Lowlands, Erasmus and C o r n e l i u s Gerard exchange r e f e r e n c e s t o the myth i n the d i a l o g u e Adversos B a r h a r o s (89-96; 97-120),  Here a g a i n Orpheus p l a y s h i s  R e n a i s s a n c e r o l e : he i s the poet whose song c i v i l i z e s a l l the  4 6  elements b o t h above and below the e a r t h .  47  S e e also III,st.1-2; X,st.5-6,  47  -  ^'Erasmus a l s o compares John S k e l t o n t o Orpheus i n the Carmen extemporale, 14-20; t h e r e i s a b r i e f r e f e r e n c e . i n the Encomium M o r i a s , 26.  134  France y i e l d e d t o I t a l y the l i t e r a r y and c u l t u r a l r u l e i t had h e l d over Europe when, a t the b e g i n n i n g of t h e f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y , Dante, P e t r a r c h and B o c c a c c i o emerged in swift succession. spirit.  France was slow t o a s s i m i l a t e t h e new  F r a n c o i s V i l l o n , w r i t i n g a f u l l century a f t e r the  t h r e e g r e a t I t a l i a n s , i s s t i l l v e r y much a poet of t h e M i d d l e Ages.  H i s Orpheus i s almost a f i g u r e from a t r o u b a d o r  lay: Orpheus, l e doux m e n e s t r i e r , Jouant de f l e u s t e s e t musetes, En f u t en d a n g i e r de m u r t r i e r Chiefr Cerberus a q u a t r e t e s t e s (Testament 633-6). R a b e l a i s b e s t r i d e s t h e two ages.  H i s r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus  a r e more l e a r n e d , b u t d e l i b e r a t e l y confused:  Rantagruel,  aboard G a s t e r ' s s h i p i n the G l a c i a l Sea, suggests a s e a r c h 48  f o r t h e head and l y r e of Orpheus; i n another passage, he t e l l s Panurge how E u r y d i c e l e a r n e d of h e r impending death i n  49 a dream, and c i t e s Ennius as h i s a u t h o r i t y . F i n a l l y , i n the g e n e r a t i o n o f Ronsard, t h e s p i r i t of t h e I t a l i a n Renaissance  reached F r a n c e .  I n Guillaume  C r e t i n ( d . 15 5) Orpheus i s c a l l e d upon t o s u p p l y a rondeau 2  50  of l a m e n t a t i o n , and does so i n t r u e Renaissance  style.  The g r e a t P i n d a r i c l y r i c i s t h i m s e l f a l l u d e s t o Orpheus a 4 8  4 9  P a n t a g r u e l IV,56. Ibid.  Ill,14.  ~ ^ D e p l o r a t i o n D u d i t C r e t i n 149-63. See a l s o poems 32,41,46 for  brief  allusions.  135  s c o r e of t i m e s , o f t e n w i t h the same Renaissance  thoughtless-  ness we marked i n E n g l i s h p o e t r y , but many t i m e s too w i t h loving attention:  Orpheus the m u s i c i a n i s g e n e r a l l y g i v e n 51 52 only passing n o t i c e ; Orpheus aboard the Argo^ and 53 Orpheus dismembered  are t r e a t e d a t g r e a t e r l e n g t h .  The  j o u r n e y a f t e r E u r y d i c e i s a p p r o p r i a t e l y used i n the E p i t a p h e s , t r e a t e d s e r i o u s l y f o r "Claude de 1 A u b e s p i n e " , 1  and humorously i n the i n s c r i p t i o n f o r " A l b e r t , l o u e r de du Roy",  as a p r i e s t and a p a s s e r - b y  b e f o r e the tomb.  engage i n c o n v e r s a t i o n  Ronsard's l o n g e s t t r e a t m e n t  of the Orpheus •  E u r y d i c e s t o r y i s i n e p i c s t y l e , v e r y s e r i o u s and beautiful,.  luth  very  I t l e a n s h e a v i l y on Ovid, b o r r o w i n g the songs of  b o t h C h i r o n and Orpheus from the Metamorphoses, as w e l l as the f o l l o w i n g passage, perhaps the h i g h p o i n t of the poem: Un s e n t i e r e s t la. bas. t o u t obscur e t t o u t sombre, Entremesle de peur e t d e f r a y e u r -et d' ombre: Par ce chemin i e s o r s , e t j a presque i 'auois Passe l e p o r t d ' E n f e r , l e s r i v e s e t l e s b o i s , Quand, l a s i v e i n c u d'amour i e regarde en a r r i e r e , E t mal-caut i e i e t t a y s u r e l l e ma l u m i e r e , F a u t t e assez pardonnable en amour, s i P l u t o n S c a u o i t h e l a s l que c ' e s t que de f a i r e pardon (L. Orphee 285-92) ;  1  ^ S e c o n d e L i v r e des Amours, " E l e g i e " ; Odes I,10,V,5; Hymnes "de L ' E t e r n i t e " , "de C a l a y s " ; Poems 2; E p i t a p h e s  "Marguerite  de F r a n c e " , Hugues S a b e l " ; Response aux i n j u r e s ; A sa g u i t e r r e ; A son l u t ; Sonnet "Quel l u t h " ; C h a r l e s IX; De L ' A r t P o e t i q u e F r a n c a i s . 52  Poems I, "L'Hylas".  -^Amours D i v e r s e s " E l e g i e l " .  P r e f a c e au  Roy  136 Other p o e t s of the P l e i a d e mention Orpheus,  but  54 the r e f e r e n c e s a r e n e g l i g i b l e . The t r a d i t i o n was r e v i v e d a g e n e r a t i o n l a t e r i n Malherbe, whose e l e g y A.M. C o l l e t e t , 55 sur l a mort de sa soeur  contains a graceful reference to  the myth, r e m i n i s c e n t of Moschus  1  lament f o r B i o n .  Less  s e r i o u s t r e a t m e n t was g i v e n Orpheus by the pre'cieux poet Benserade, i n h i s Metamorphose Si - d' Ovide en Rondeaux,. and by H e n r i e t t e de C o l l g n y i n her t r a n s l a t i o n of Quevedo's satire Whatever p e r s o n a l i t y the R e n a i s s a n c e i n Prance sought t o g i v e Orphee was, however, l o s t when I t a l y ' s Orfeo began h i s conquest of Europe.  The f i r s t s i g n s of t h i s a r e  e v i d e n t i n the Orphee' of T r i s t a n L'Hermite  (l639), p l a i n l y 57  i n f l u e n c e d by the gay, f r i v o l o u s Orfeo of M a r i n o , '  Then  the Orfeo of I t a l i a n opera was i m p o r t e d i n t o P r a n c e , u n f o r t u n a t e l y amid such o v e r - e l a b o r a t e s p e c t a c l e t h a t e v e n t u a l l y Orphee became a s t o c k f a r c i c a l c h a r a c t e r .  The  s u c c e s s of the P a r i s p r e m i e r e of R o s s i ' s opera on Orpheus prompted D  the l a v i s h , (and s i m i l a r l y c o n s t r u c t e d ) Andromede e t /  54  E,g.  d'Aubigne,  Sonnet 4-5J  5 5  F o e s i e s 110,4-8.,  5 6  S e e Quevedo, Oibras, p.. .1470.  D  Les T r a g i q u e s I I I , 3 l 4 .  See C e c i l i a R i z z a , - "L Orphee d i T r i s t a n e L'Orfeo d e l 1  C a v a l i e r M a r i n o " , Convivium 26(1954), pp. 429-39,  137 Persee of C o r n e i l l e , and Racine i s s a i d t o have o f f e r e d t o / 59 w r i t e an Orphee t o mark the marriage of L o u i s XIV. ^ But we g a t h e r t h a t n e i t h e r d r a m a t i s t found the s t o r y , i n i t s I t a l i a n v e r s i o n , c h a l l e n g i n g m a t e r i a l , and La F o n t a i n e appears t o have been r e v o l t e d by it.^°  We might suppose t h a t , i f M o n t e v e r d i ' s  Orfeo_, r a t h e r than R o s s i ' s , had been i m p o r t e d , Orpheus might have found h i s way  on t o the F r e n c h c l a s s i c a l s t a g e .  As i t  happened, he j o i n e d company w i t h M e z z e t i n , A r l e q u i n and  5o  '  ^ Orphee appears as a c h a r a c t e r i n C o r n e i l l e ' s La  Toison  D' Or, and i s mentioned by the h e r o i n e i n Me dee ( l l , 2 . , 4 4 0 ) . In Poesies_ D i v e r s e s 26, the s o u l of Orphee i s s a i d t o be r e i n c a r n a t e d i n the French, p o e t . 59 -^See  /  Henry C a r r i n g t o n Lancaster-, French Tragedy ( B a l t i m o r e ,  1950), Vol.. 1, p. 163, note '35.  F o r o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus  i n R a c i n e , see La_ Re nominee aux Muses 81—2; Le_ Banquet de P l a t o n . ^ I n Poe^sies D i v e r s e a 12, "Sur L'Opera".  For other r e f -  erences t o Orpheus i n La F o n t a i n e , see P o e s i e s 21, 57 70; -  L e t t r e s 23) Le Songe de Vaux IV; Contes 111,13,194. perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t i n a l l her l e t t e r s Mme.  It is  de Sevigne  a l l u d e s o n l y once t o Orpheus, and then t o the dismemberment: 774  "A Madame de Grignan"  ( a c c o r d i n g t o the index i n the  e d i t i o n of M. Monmerque', P a r i s , 1862) .  138 6l Columbine  f o r a romp t h r o u g h Hades.  by La Grange-Chancel  ' A s e r i o u s Orphee  (pub. 1727), w r i t t e n f o r the marriage  of L o u i s XV, never saw a s i n g l e performance; Orphe'e was, after  a l l , a clown. We may now  t u r n from Orphee t o the flamboyant  Renaissance Orfeo.  The Renaissance was born i n I t a l y , and literature  i s the key t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g i t .  Italian  A discussion  of the p e r i o d s h o u l d b e g i n w i t h P e t r a r c h and B o c c a c c i o , but I t a l y has been r e s e r v e d f o r the end of t h i s c h a p t e r because  i t s Orpheus has had the g r e a t e s t i n f l u e n c e on  later  ages.. The e x c i t i n g  d i s c o v e r i e s of Poggio  Bracciolini  and o t h e r m a n u s c r i p t - f i n d e r s u n e a r t h e d no r e a l l y new  Orphean  l i t e r a t u r e ; we have seen t h a t the c l a s s i c  t r e a t m e n t s of the  myth were a c c e s s i b l e t o the M i d d l e Ages.  The I t a l i a n  Orfeo  i s the hero of V i r g i l and Ovid c l o t h e d i n the new robes of  6l E.g_., i n Regnard's La_ Descente de M e z z e t i n aux E n f e r s (1689),  i n w h i c h M e z z e t i n seeks Columbine  i s p r e s e n t and speaks i n I t a l i a n . of F r e n c h Dramatic L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 65O-I.  i n Hades; Orpheus  See L a n c a s t e r , A' H i s t o r y  p a r t 4, ( B a l t i m o r e , i 9 6 0 ) ,  An anonymous f a r c e , Orphee ou A r l e q u i n  e n f e r s , appeared i n 1711.  aux  R e n a i s s a n c e humanism; he i s a b l o o d - b r o t h e r t o the Orpheus of F r a n c i s Bacon and John M i l t o n . art,  As the c l a s s i c embodiment of  music, wisdom and human achievement, as a new  mystery  beyond the p a l e of m e d i e v a l G h r i s t i a n i t y , Orfeo became t o  62 I t a l y "the h e r a l d of the R e n a i s s a n c e " , i s t of t h i s new.reign of c u l t u r e " . of  I t a l i a n l e t t e r s e x p l a i n s why  J  "the g r e a t p r o t a g o n -  The foremost h i s t o r i a n  Orpheus a p p e a l e d t o the  humanists: "He was the founder of the h u m a n i t i e s , f o r he s o f t e n e d the n a t u r e s of b e a s t s and men w i t h the sound of h i s l y r e , he s o f t e n e d the h e a r t of Death and threw h i s enchant-' ment over H e l l ; he was the t r i u m p h . o f a r t and c u l t u r e over the  rude i n s t i n c t s of N a t u r e .  And the t r i u m p h was made h o l y  by martyrdom, when Orpheus was t o r n t o p i e c e s by the bacchantes i n t h e i r drunken f u r y , f o r h a v i n g v i o l a t e d the laws of N a t u r e .  And now,  a f t e r the l o n g , d a r k n i g h t of the  second b a r b a r i s m , Orpheus was r e b o r n amid the f e s t i v a l s of the new  civilization , 1  and i n a u g u r a t e d the r e i g n of the h u m a n i t i e s ,  or t o put i t b e t t e r , of humanism.  T h i s was the mystery of the  c e n t u r y , the i d e a l of the R e n a i s s a n c e " . ^  I n I t a l y as i n  England i t i s the t r i u m p h a n t Orpheus t h a t the Renaissance adopts:  De S a n c t i s a l l u d e s t o the s t o r y of the descent o n l y  b r i e f l y , and never h i n t s t h a t i t i s a s t o r y of f a i l u r e  and  F r a n c e s c o de S a n c t i s , H i s t o r y of I t a l i a n L i t e r a t u r e t r . Joan R e d f e r n (New 6 3  6 4  I b i d . , p. Ibid.  382.  York, 1931')., v o l . I , p.  384..  i4o tragedy. Yet the I t a l i a n s , w i t h t h e i r i n g r a i n e d m y s t i c a l sense and t h e i r p a s s i o n a t e l o v e of music, were n o t t o n e g l e c t t h i s p a r t of t h e myth, and i n f a c t i t gained i n I t a l y the p o p u l a r i t y i t l o s t i n England. We know we have passed from the M i d d l e Ages t o the R e n a i s s a n c e when P e t r a r c h ' s v i s i o n of t h e dead, u n l i k e Dante's, encompasses t h e m y t h i c a l Orpheus:. Mentre i o v o l g e v a g l i o c c h i i n .:.ogni p a r t e s' i ' ne v e d e s s i a l c u n d i c h i a r a fama o p e r a n t i c h e o p e r moderne c a r t e , v i d i c o l u i che s o l a E u r i d i c e ama, • e l e i segue a l l ' i n f e r n o , e p e r l e i morto, con l a l i n g u a g i a f r e d d a anco l a chiama ^ ( T r i o n f o d'Amore I V , 1 0 - 5 ) • With Boccaccio's  Amorosa V i s i o n e we a r e s t i l l  f a r t h e r i n t o t h e Renaissance.  T h i s i s y e t another v i s i o n o f  the a f t e r l i f e - but now the s u p e r n a t u r a l i s nowhere i n evidence;  a l l i s c o m p l e t e l y human.  W i t h Dante, Orpheus was  a prophet i n Limbo; w i t h P e t r a r c h he was the m y t h i c a l f i g u r e , f.f.  but p a r t of a w o r l d of shadows; i n B o c c a c c i o ' s  Visione  he i s c o m p l e t e l y a l i v e , s i n g i n g the p r a i s e s o f l o v e . B o c c a c c i o a l l u d e s t o the myth s e v e r a l t i m e s : i n the e a r l y Filocolo,  67  a debate on q u e s t i o n s o f l o v e ; i n t h e  65 -\For o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus i n P e t r a r c h , see A f r i c a V,  675-8; Secretum; De Rebus F a m i l i a r l b u s I,9; Eclogue  1,123;  Rime 28,68; 187,9; 3 3 2 , 5 1 - 2 . . °°XXIII,4-30. ^ B o o k 4. See p.. 873 i n v o l . 8 of L a L e t t e r a t u r a Ital.iana., ed. E. B i a n c i e t a l . ( M i l a n , n.d.)  141  Fiammetta  68  where t h e h e r o i n e compares h e r l o v e pangs t o 69  E u r y d i c e ' s s n a k e - b i t e , and i n t h e L a t i n Carmina.  The  predominant O v i d i a n tone i s e s p e c i a l l y n o t a b l e i n t h e openi n g l i n e s o f t h e N i n f a l e d'Ameto, where t h e s t o r y i s used thus: Q u e l l a v e r t u , che gia, l ' a r d i t o Orfeo mosse a c e r c a r l e case d i P l u t o n e , a l l o r che f o r s e l i e t a g l i rendeo l a cercata E u r l d i c e a condizione, e d a l suon v i n t o d e l l ' a r g u t o l e g n o e d a l l a n o t a d e l l a sua canzone, per f o r z a t i r a i l mio debole ingegno a c a n t a r l e tue l o d e , o C i t e r e a , insieme con l e f o r z e d e l t u o regno (Proemio,  1.-9). 70  B o c c a c c i o t h e s c h o l a r knows t h e O r p h i c w r i t i n g s . But s t r a n g e t o say, t h e f o l k - t a l e element of Orpheus' myth does n o t t u r n up i n t h e Decameron, and i s c o n s p i c u o u s l y 71 absent from t h e s u b j e c t m a t e r i a l o f t h e I t a l i a n n o v e l l e . The p a s t o r a l p o e t s r e p r e s e n t Orpheus as the i d e a l 72 73 shepherd.  B u t t h e a r t i f i c e s of Sannazaro  1  and B o i a r d o ' ^  do n o t prepare us f o r the wonder t h a t i s P o l i z i a n o ' s 6 8  B o o k 1..  See p. 1064,  ^ C a r m i n a quae supersunt 7 Q  Orfeo.  ibid. I I , 118.  D e Gen. Deorum XIV,8.  71 A c c o r d i n g t o D.P. Rotunda., M o t i f - I n d e x o f t h e I t a l i a n N o v e l l a i n Prose  (Bloomington,  1942).  7 0rpheus i s mentioned i n Egloga XI,74. 2  73 -^Ec.loga X, i n p r a i s e of t h e Duke o f Calabria., i s supposed t o be spoken by Orpheus.  142 In 1472  C a r d i n a l F r a n c e s c o Gonzaga r e t u r n e d t o  Mantua a f t e r a p r o l o n g e d absence, an e n t e r t a i n m e n t was was  and t o mark the o c c a s i o n  g i v e n - the F a v o l a d' Orfeo..  The  text  by Angelo A m b r o g i n i of M o n t e p u l c i a n o , known as A n g i o l o  P o l o z i a n o , .or P o l i t i a n .  Only seventeen y e a r s of age a t the  time,. P o l i t i a n wrote the Orfeo i n two days and, by h i s own admission,, " i n the m i d s t of c o n t i n u o u s d i s t u r b a n c e s , and i n v u l g a r s t y l e , so t h a t i t might be b e t t e r u n d e r s t o o d by the it  74  spectators... ' From what we know of him, young P o l i t i a n , the p r o t e g e of Lorenzo de religious humanism.  1  Medici,, was  or m o r a l f e e l i n g .  t o t a l l y d e v o i d of any  His professed r e l i g i o n  "The w o r l d of a n t i q u i t y  was  t o o k easy p o s s e s s i o n of a  s o u l from w h i c h e v e r y remainder of the M i d d l e Ages had completely vanishedi  . .Theology,  scholasticism,  the M i d d l e Ages w i t h t h e i r forms and t h e i r  symbolism,,  content...was  a w o r l d c o m p l e t e l y e x t r a n e o u s t o h i s c u l t u r e and h i s f e e l i n g ; he saw i t as b a r b a r i s m . " '  9  A humanist  by v o c a t i o n , he became  i n time a p r o f o u n d scholar,, an eminent t e a c h e r and the a u t h o r of many g r a c e f u l works i n Greek and Latin..  I n s h o r t , he  e p i t o m i z e d the s p i r i t of h i s age. The  s p e c t a t o r s a t the Orfeo were cut from a  p a t t e r n ; t h e y were a new  k i n d of a u d i e n c e .  similar  I n the past.,, drama  74 L o u i s E. L o r d , A T r a n s l a t i o n of the Orpheus of Angelo P o l i t i a n ( O x f o r d , 1931), p. 71.. 75 -\De S a n c t i s , op. c i t . , p. 1  38I-  143  In  Europe had always been r e l i g i o u s i n c h a r a c t e r : t h e l i t u r -  g i c a l p l a y s of t h e e a r l y M i d d l e Ages stemmed from t h e d r a m a t i c element of a r i c h c e r e m o n i a l , and appealed v i v i d l y to  a l i v i n g f a i t h ; t h e s a c r e r a p p r e s e n t a z i o n i of l a t e r times  were more complex, m u s i c a l l y and s c e n i c a l l y , and much more s o p h i s t i c a t e d , but t h e audience t h e y reached was s t i l l a t t u n e d to  t h e r e a l i t i e s of m y s t i c i s m and a s c e t i c i s m .  day a l l t h i s was c h a n g i n g .  B u t by P o l i t i a n ' s  The forms of r e l i g i o u s drama  e x i s t e d , b u t t h e v i t a l i t y had gone out o f them.  still  The f i f t e e n t h -  c e n t u r y o l i g a r c h , a proud c i t i z e n o f a f l o u r i s h i n g ,  self-  c o n t a i n e d c i t y - s t a t e , had l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n t h e p r o p h e t s of  t h e O l d and t h e s a i n t s o f t h e New Testament.  He l a c k e d a  sense o f t h e t e r r i b l e , t h e s p i r i t u a l , one might almost say of the  dramatic.  H i s i d e a l w o r l d was t h e w o r l d of the Theo-  c r i t e a n i d y l l , f o r t h e r e i n were combined t h e c l a s s i c i s m and s e n s u a l i t y w h i c h were t h e two p o l a r f o r c e s of t h e new s p i r i t . P o r such an audience P o l i t i a n was commissioned t o compose a new e n t e r t a i n m e n t . -It was a c r u c i a l moment i n t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e drama.  D e p r i v e d of i t s r e l i g i o u s r a i s o n  d e t r e , drama might have d i e d a l i n g e r i n g d e a t h ; t h e new 1  a u d i e n c e , b r i l l i a n t but s u p e r f i c i a l , might have hastened i t s demise.  I t was a t t h i s moment t h a t P o l i t i a n saved t h e drama  by e f f e c t i v e l y s e c u l a r i z i n g i t .  He found a s u b j e c t i n pagan  mythology w h i c h f i t t e d n e a t l y i n t o t h e framework  of t h e  s a c r a r a p p r e s e n t a z i o n e but had r i c h s y m b o l i c s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the  new age: Orpheus t h e l o v e r who c o n f r o n t e d t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l ,  144 Orpheus t h e m a r t y r , was a l s o Orpheus t h e c i v i l i z e r . ,  the a l l -  c o m p e l l i n g a r t i s t , t h e god of the shepherd w o r l d . I t i s g e n e r a l l y reckoned P o l i t i a n ' s great a c h i e v e ment t h a t he s u c c e s s f u l l y t r a n s f e r r e d t h e drama from t h e mystique t o t h e mondain; h i s Orfeo i s t h e f i r s t i n a modern language. more than t h i s . form.. itself.  s e c u l a r drama  B u t , almost a c c i d e n t a l l y , i t i s s t i l l  I t i s t h e p r o t o t y p e o f a c o m p l e t e l y new a r t -  And f o r t h i s P o l i t i a n i s l e s s r e s p o n s i b l e than t h e myth A b r i e f e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e Orfeo s h o u l d enable us t o  see t h e e x t r a o r d i n a r y p l a c e i t h o l d s i n t h e h i s t o r y of Western  culture..  The Orfeo b e g i n s w i t h a p r o l o g u e , a resume of t h e s t o r y , spoken by Mercury, whose coming from heaven i s seen by t h e shepherds as a good omen. Aristaeus t e l l s  Mopsus of h i s p a s s i o n f o r a nymph he has seen  only yesterday f o r the f i r s t time. his  I n the opening scene,  He urges Mopsus t o take  p i p e and accompany him as he s i n g s t o h i s b e l o v e d .  The  Orfeo then b u r s t s i n t o melody, a f o u r - s t a n z a t e x t of t h e most s a v o r y I t a l i a n , p l a i n l y marked by i t s a u t h o r as a canzona: U d i t e , s e l v e , mie d o l c e p a r o l e , Poi  che l a n i n f a mia u d i r non v S l e (54-5).  The second scene d i s c l o s e s A r i s t a e u s p u r s u i n g t h e maiden.. Then we a r e shown, i n P o l i t i a n ' s words,  "Orfeo, cantando sopra  i l monte i n su l a l i r a e' s e g u e n t i v e r s i l a t i n i " , and we hear a l o n g L a t i n hymn i n p r a i s e o f Mantua's c a r d i n a l .  A shepherd  145 then announces t h a t E u r y d i c e i s dead, b i t t e n by a s e r p e n t she f l e d from A r i s t a e u s . Then we  as  Orpheus s i n g s a song of l a m e n t a t i o n .  see him s i n g i n g b e f o r e the gates of Hades: P i e t a , p i e t a ! d e l m i s e r o amatore P i e t a v i prenda, o s p i r i t ! i n f e r n a l ! . Qua g i u m'ha s c o r t o solamente Amore; V o l a t o son qua g i u con l e sue a l l (214-7).  I t i s the f i n e s t s i n g l e moment of the p l a y , when the end. i s s e r v e d by the l y r i c element. to  dramatic  Minos a d v i s e s P l u t o not  l i s t e n t o the d e c e i t f u l song,, but P r o s e r p i n a , d e l i g h t e d  w i t h the music, persuades her husband t o r e s t o r e E u r y d i c e . P l u t o a g r e e s , but w i t h the c o n d i t i o n Ch'el.la t i segua p e r l a c i e c a v i a , Ma che t u mai l a sua f a c c i a non v e g g i P i n che t r a ' v i v i p e r v e n u t a s i a (295 7)• -  On the upward j o u r n e y Orpheus s i n g s f o u r L a t i n l i n e s from  adapted  Ovid: I t e t r i u m p h a l e s c i r c u m mea tempora l a u r i i Vicimus Eurydicen r e d d i t a v i t a mihi e s t . Haec e s t p r a e c i p u o v i c t o r i a d i g n a triumpho: ^ Hue ades, o cura p a r t e triumphe mea! (302-5). 7  Suddenly,  E u r y d i c e laments  t r o y e d them b o t h .  t h a t h i s t o o g r e a t l o v e has  She d i s a p p e a r s , and the way  i s b a r r e d by a F u r y .  Orpheus' lament now  a f o r s w e a r i n g of the l o v e of womeni p r a i s e s of male companionship, d i v o r c e t h e i r w i v e s and a l l men  des-  back t o Hades  t a k e s the form of  He launches i n t o the  c o u n s e l s m a r r i e d men  to  t o f l e e the company of the  o t h e r sex, whereupon the f i n a l c a t a s t r o p h e ensues, and p l a y ends i n a bacchanal.e.  C f . Ovid, Amores 11,12,1-2,5,16,  the  146 What i s t h i s Orfeo?  I n i t s e x t e r n a l form i t i s  s a c r a r a p p r e s e n t a z l o n e , w i t h t h e o l d meter - t h e o t t a v a , and t h e o l d f e a t u r e s - t h e angel-messenger,  t h e shepherd •  p r o l o g u e , heaven opening, h e l l g a p i n g , t h e hero m a r t y r e d . But a l l t h i s i s s e c u l a r i z e d .  " I n s t e a d of k n e e l i n g i n  s a i n t l y p r a y e r , as would t h e hero of a mystery, Orpheus appears:, l y r e i n hand, s i n g i n g i n L a t i n s a p p h i c s t h e p r a i s e s - o f t h e guest of t h e o c c a s i o n . " Orfeo i s s e c u l a r drama.  P r i m a r i l y , the  I t i s h a r d l y g r e a t drama, and  P o l i t i a n h i m s e l f would be t h e l a s t t o c a l l i t tragedy..  He  r e g a r d e d i t .as i n f e r i o r t o h i s Greek and L a t i n w r i t i n g s , as a c h i l d he would have p r e f e r r e d t o expose.  Yet i n  g l o r i f y i n g man i n h i s r o l e o f a r t i s t , man t r a g i c i n h i s living,  l o v i n g and d y i n g , P o l i t i a n p r o v i d e d t h e Renaissance  i n I t a l y w i t h a r i c h symbol, and came c l o s e r t o c l a s s i c t r a g e d y than any o f h i s countrymen  had come f o r c e n t u r i e s .  The Orfeo i s most o f t e n r e g a r d e d as a d r a m a t i c e c l o g u e , and l i t t l e more. justice.  T h i s e s t i m a t e h a r d l y does i t  I t i s t r u e t h a t P o l i t i a n , t o p l e a s e h i s audience.,  p l a c e d h i s t r a g i c Greek s t o r y i n a p a s t o r a l  setting;  p a s t o r a l poems were t o t h e Renaissance what romance was t o t h e M i d d l e Ages.  But t o r e g a r d t h e Orfeo o n l y as a  77 J e f f e r s o n B. F l e t c h e r , L i t e r a t u r e o f t h e I t a l i a n R e n a i s s a n c e (New York, 1 9 3 4 ) , p. 1 3 7 . See P o l i t i a n ' s i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e Orfeo, "A Messer Carlo Canale".  147  p a s t o r a l i s t o be b e w i t c h e d by the opening scenes and v a r i o u s b u c o l i c elements w h i c h have c l u n g t o the myth from V i r g i l to Gluck.  The f a c t i s , no p a s t o r a l poem b e f o r e the  Orfeo had encompassed t h r e e t r a g i c elements, embraced  heaven,  e a r t h and h e l l i n t e l l i n g the s t o r y of a hero, a l l o w e d f o r d r a m a t i c a c t i o n , b a c c h i c dithyrambs and s e t m u s i c a l pieces.. I s the Orfeo an opera, indeed the f i r s t  opera?  I t s music has not s u r v i v e d , and we a r e not even sure composed i t .  who  But t h i s does not r e a l l y m a t t e r ; the Orpheus-  myth demanded music, once i t was put on the stage,, and  music  t h a t was not i n c i d e n t a l but e s s e n t i a l t o p l a y i n g out the story.  The stage d i r e c t i o n s i n the t e x t p l a i n l y  indicate 79  t h a t p o r t i o n s of the p l a y were sung, and W.J.  Henderson  d e t e c t s a t l e a s t f o u r d i s t i n c t m u s i c a l t y p e s i n what many commentators have been p l e a s e d t o c a l l a l i b r e t t o . J.A. Symonds n o t e s t h a t the c h i e f charm of the t e x t l i e s i n i t s m u s i c a l language, i t s m u s i c a l movement, i t s " l i m p i d i t y of thought and f e e l i n g , i n w h i c h the v e r y words evaporate Ro  and l o s e themselves i n f l o o d s of  sound".  Thus, a t one s t r o k e , P o l i t i a n s Orfeo. 1  the drama and i n i t i a t e d two new a r t - f o r m s .  secularized  The l e s s e r of  t h e s e , the p a s t o r a l drama or d r a m a t i c e c l o g u e , became a s t a n d a r d d i v e r t i s s e m e n t i n s i x t e e n t h - and s e v e n t e e n t h - c e n t u r y 79 / \ ^Some F o r e r u n n e r s of I t a l i a n Opera (London, 1 9 1 1 ) , p. .101. 8o  R e n a i s s a n c e i n I t a l y : I t a l i a n L i t e r a t u r e (London, vol.. 1,  p.  360,  1912),  148  Italy.  Tasso's Amlnta and  outstanding  instances  G u a r i n i ' s I l _ P a s t o r F i d o are  of t h i s genre, w h i c h i n c l u d e s  Orfeos by such c e l e b r a t e d I t a l i a n s as A r i o s t o and The  the  new  Marino.  s p i r i t of the p a s t o r a l drama stems, however, not from the  O r p h e u s - E u r y d i c e s t o r y but details in Politian's The  o n l y from a few e x t r a n e o u s p a s t o r a l  Orfeo.  g r e a t e r a r t - f o r m , and  the t r u e s p i r i t u a l des-  cendant of the f i r s t d r a m a t i z e d O r f e o , i s t h a t  secular  dramma per musica w h i c h a l l o w s f u l l scope t o the h e r o i c the t r a g i c , w h i c h uses music t o t e l l i t s s t o r y .  Whether  or not the. Orfeo i s an opera we need not d i s c u s s ; t o extent  t h a t P o l i t i a n depended on music t o t e l l  s t o r y d r a m a t i c a l l y he may  the myth..  The  Orpheus'  C a c c i n i and  verdi.,. are more than a • c e n t u r y  of  drew t h e i r i n s p i r a t i o n  f i r s t operas g e n e r a l l y r e c o g n i z e d  the E u r i d i c e s of P e r i and  the  be s a i d t o be the f o r e r u n n e r  the g r e a t o p e r a t i c composers who  and  as  from  such,  the Orfeo- of Monte-  l a t e r , but t h e y r e t u r n  i n s t i n c t i v e l y to P o l i t i a n ' s material f o r t h e i r  inspiration..  A l s o s i g n i f i c a n t i s the f a c t t h a t opera has always been secular i n s p i r i t .  S a c r e d s u b j e c t s are  invariably 8l  sensationalized;, sentimentalized  or l e f t t o the o r a t o r i o .  8l  The  r e l i g i o u s backgrounds i n V e r d i ('Tr ova t o r e , La  d e l D e s t i n o ) and (Gounod i n F a u s t , mentalize;  Forza  the o t h e r I t a l i a n s are s e n s a t i o n a l ; the F r e n c h Massenet In Le_ J o n g l e u r ) p r e f e r t o  Wagner's P a r s i f a l i s a t b e s t  senti-  pseudo-religious;  Moussorgsky i s genuine, but h a r d l y i n the European t r a d i t i o n .  149 Opera seems t o breathe" the a i r of the s e c u l a r drama i n t r o duced by  Politian.  In 1494  the Orfeo was  t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a Senecan  Orphei T r a g e d i a by A n t o n i o Tebaldeo.  I t i s a dramatic 82  improvement, s t r e s s i n g the t r a g i c l e v e l i n P o l i t i a n . have a l r e a d y mentioned A r i o s t o and M a r i n o . ed A r i s t i o f o l l o w s V i r g i l . , works.: ^ his  and  M a r i n o ' s poem, one  i s one  A r i o s t o ' s Orfeo  of i t s a u t h o r ' s minor  of s e v e r a l i d i l l i  Sampogna, i s c l o s e r t o Ovid's account,- and  superficial spirit  favolosi in Ovid's  gay,  as w e l l permeates t h i s Orfeo, w i t h i t s  carefree voluptuousness, conventional f l u e n t musical  We  grace.  myth-making  T h i s i s Orfeo of the  and  decadence,  82 A t r a n s l a t i o n i s included i n Lord, numbered pages. Irene.o A f f o .  I t was  f i r s t published  op.  c i t . . , on  i n 1776  F i v e a c t s are I n d i c a t e d ; the  odd-  by F a t h e r  occasional  a l l u s i o n s i n P o l i t i a n , ' i n c l u d i n g the L a t i n v e r s e s i n p r a i s e of C a r d i n a l Gonzaga,. are d e l e t e d ; the announcement of E u r y d i c e ' s d e a t h i s more s k i l l f u l l y p r e s e n t e d by the of a new  introduction  c h a r a c t e r , M n e s i l l u s ; Orpheus i s g i v e n a motive f o r  t u r n i n g - u n c e r t a i n t y ; the p r a i s e of homosexual l o v e and c o u n s e l l i n g of d i v o r c e are  eliminated.  O o  See  a l s o the p r o l o g u e t o I I Negromanto, 1-3;  VI,86; Orlando F u r i o s o XLIII.,.83-,.8 f o r o t h e r  Satires  references.  the  150 P o l i t i a n ' s symbol i s so soon d i s s i p a t e d ; Marino marks the t r a n s i t i o n , i n I t a l y , from R e n a i s s a n c e t o Baroque. Orpheus' d e c l i n e i n l i t e r a t u r e was  coincident  w i t h , and p o s s i b l y caused by, h i s phenomenal r i s e as the p r o t a g o n i s t of the dramma p e r musica. In the t o w e r i n g music a l f i g u r e who  spans the R e n a i s s a n c e and the Baroque,  C l a u d i o M o n t e v e r d i , drama was r e - a n i m a t e d by the s p i r i t  of  music, and Orpheus a g a i n was the f i g u r e h e a d of the movement. But the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h i s w i l l r e q u i r e a separate chapter^  CHAPTER V THE EVOLUTION OF AN ART-FORM  Orpheus i s t h e most i m p o r t a n t s i n g l e c h a r a c t e r i n the h i s t o r y o f opera.  H i s s t o r y l i e s at the heart of the  s e c u l a r music-drama and might be s a i d t o c o n s t i t u t e t h e operatic ideal.  I n P o l i t i a n , M o n t e v e r d i and Gluck t h e myth  of Orpheus seems t o have suggested, e v o l v e d and p e r f e c t e d an a r t - f o r m o f i t s own.  I f t h e opera d i d n o t develop i m m e d i a t e l y from Politian's  Orfeo, i t was n o t f o r want o f any o p e r a t i c germ  i n t h a t work; i t was because Renaissance m u s i c i a n s were absorbed i n t h e m u s i c a l l e g a c y l e f t them by t h e M i d d l e Ages. Politian's  e r a was f o l l o w e d by t h e golden age o f polyphony,  and i t i s hard t o c o n c e i v e o f any music l e s s s u i t e d t o d r a m a t i c purposes than t h a t o f P a l e s t r i n a and h i s contemporaries.  Some attempts were made t o adapt polyphony t o t h e  drama, w i t h t h e a c t o r s mouthing words sung by a m u l t I - v o i c e d chorus i n t h e wings.  The f i r s t o f these was i n 159^, t h e v e r y  y e a r of P a l e s t r i n a ' s d e a t h .  But no polyphony, however I n t e n s e  or e x p r e s s i v e , c o u l d d e l i n e a t e c h a r a c t e r o r develop a s i t u a tion.  There i s no d r a m a t i c l o g i c i n any of t h e m a d r i g a l 151  152 comedies, and the most famous of them, Y e c c h i ' s L'Amfiparnasso (1597), was P o l y p h o n i c music was  never even i n t e n d e d as a drama.  of course s u c c e s s f u l l y adapted t o  q u a s i - d r a m a t i c b i b l i c a l and m o r a l i t y plays," " but t o f i t 1  music i n t o the drama something c l o s e r t o o r d i n a r y speech was required.. T h i s musico-dramatic  p r o b l e m l i e s between the  Orfeos of P o l i t i a n and M o n t e v e r d i . two E u r i d i c e s and,  The  two  s o l u t i o n came i n  s t r a n g e l y enough, from men  who  were,  s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , n e i t h e r m u s i c i a n s nor d r a m a t i s t s , but c l a s s i c a l e n t h u s i a s t s - a group of F l o r e n t i n e s c h o l a r s c a l l e d the Camerata (from the v a u l t e d h a l l i n the house of 'Giovanni B a r d i , where t h e y h e l d t h e i r meetings) . t h e i r number were the p o e t s Marino,  Chiabrera  Among  and  R i n u c c i n i and the m u s i c a l t h e o r e t i c i a n V i n c e n z o  Galilei  ( f a t h e r '-of the a s t r o n o m e r ) ,  Musica  whose D i a l o g o d e l l a  A n t i c a . e d e l l a Moderna (1581) p r o v i d e d a p a r t i a l summary of  2 ancient musical theory.  E.g.,  M u s i c i a n s appear t o have shown  the works w r i t t e n by P a l e s t r i n a and o t h e r s f o r the  o r a t o r y of S t . P h i l i p N e r i ' s h o s p i t a l of San Girolamo  della  Car i t a, and the Rappre sen t a z lone d e l l ' Anima e_ d e l Corpo of :  E m i l i o de 2  1  Cavalieri.  T h i s t r e a t i s e c o n t a i n e d , as examples of Greek music, the f o u r hymns a s c r i b e d t o Mesomedes,  153  little  interest  i n G a l i l e i ' s researches,  s c h o l a r s of the Camerata were c o n v i n c e d beautiful  but the p o e t s  and  t h a t something  c o u l d be b u i l t on the i d e a l , i f not on the a c t u a l  remains, of Greek music.  The  grandeur of the  Greek m u s i c i a n s - Orpheus and Amphion and  legendary-  Terpander, not  to  mention A p o l l o h i m s e l f , the h i g h r e g a r d and deep concern f o r music e x p r e s s e d by P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e , above a l l the putable  f a c t t h a t Greek l y r i c s and  certainly  indis-  a large part  of Greek t r a g e d y were sung - a l l t h i s c o n s p i r e d t o t u r n  the  c l a s s i c i z i n g s p i r i t of humanism towards music as, e a r l i e r , i t had t u r n e d t o a r t and The  literature.  Camerata drew t h e i r p r i n c i p l e s  from what  G a l i l e i t o l d them, r i g h t l y or w r o n g l y , about Greek t r a g e d y  -  t h a t i t c o n s i s t e d of monophonic music t h r o u g h o u t , w i t h i n s t r u m e n t a l accompaniment, t h a t p o l y p h o n i c  music was  alien  t o the s p i r i t and the usage of the Greeks.  B a r d i persuaded  an eminent s i n g e r i n the group, Jacopo P e r i , t o t r y h i s hand a t a new  s t y l e of m u s i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n  t e n e t s , and e n l i s t e d Rinuccini, 1594  n  But  experiment was or O r e s t e s ,  and the p i e c e was  Ovid's s t o r y was  repeated  but Daphne.  n e i t h e r t r a g i c nor  The  authentic  on s e v e r a l  o f f e r e d l i t t l e scope f o r m u s i c a l expression..  has been l o s t .  Ottavio  unveiled i n  d e l i g h t e d a t what i t thought t o be an  Greek t r a g e d y ,  and  The  _ o t Oedipus or E l e c t r a  sions.  Galilei's  the s e r v i c e s of the c o u r t P o e t ,  f o r the words.  audience was  based on  occa-  dramatic, The  music  154  R i n u c c i n i decided, upon a more m u s i c a l s u b j e c t f o r his  next l i b r e t t o .  Almost c e r t a i n l y , he remembered P o l i t i a n :  the  new work was c a l l e d E u r i d i c e .  The poem i s " d r a m a t i c  p o e t r y of t h e f i r s t w a t e r , w r i t t e n i n a g l o r i o u s language", and d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t i t s p r o l o g u e i s spoken by Tragedy, i t s O r f e o ' i s t h e t r i u m p h a n t f i g u r e of t h e Renaissance:. the  power of h i s music s i l e n c e s a l l o p p o s i t i o n ; t h e r e i s no  second l o s s o f E u r y d i c e .  R i n u c c i n i ' s poem was t w i c e s e t t o  4  music. to  Peri's  was performed i n 1600, a t the P i t t i P a l a c e ,  c e l e b r a t e the m a r r i a g e , by p r o x y , of Henry IV of France  and M a r i a de' M e d i c i .  Rubens was i n attendance,, and t h e  composer h i m s e l f sang the r o l e o f Orpheus.  I n g e n e r a l i t can  be s a i d t h a t P e r i ' s s i m p l e approach s t r e s s e d the drama r a t h e r than t h e music.  C a c c i n i , the f a t h e r of t h e f i r s t  prima  donna, emphasized t h e m u s i c a l l i n e i n h i s r i v a l v e r s i o n , p e r formed i n l602..  Thus do the two E u r i d i c e s mark t h e p e r e n -  n i a l p r o b l e m of o p e r a t i c c o m p o s i t i o n - t h e r e l a t i v e i m p o r t ance of t h e music and t h e drama.. So i t was t h a t a group of amateurs, u s i n g t h e Orpheus-myth, r e s t o r e d t o t h e drama the m u s i c a l s t y l e t h a t was e s s e n t i a l t o t h e c r e a t i o n o f o p e r a  t  But they were men  -"Paul Henry Lang, Music i n Western C i v i l i z a t i o n 1 9 4 1 ) , p. 4 '.  (New York,  338.  A few p o r t i o n s o f P e r i ' s E u r i d i c e were c e r t a i n l y composed by C a c c i n i . See Donald Grout, A S h o r t H i s t o r y of Opera (New York, 1 9 4 7 ) , v o l . 1, p. 5 1 .  of  t a l e n t r a t h e r than of g e n i u s .  The monodic d e c l a m a t i o n  and the m u s i c a l l y j e j u n e " c h o r a l odes" must have seemed p a i n f u l l y t h i n t o a u d i e n c e s who went t o Church.  c o u l d hear V i t t o r i a i f t h e y  The two E u r i d i c e s were n e i t h e r Greek t r a g e d y  n o r opera; t h e y were o n l y e x p e r i m e n t s , wrong-headed attempts w h i c h , r i g h t l y and f o r t u n a t e l y f o r opera, r e s t o r e d monophonic music t o the drama. At t h i s p o i n t a genius appeared, "one of those e x t r a o r d i n a r y i n d i v i d u a l s who  c r e a t e and o r g a n i z e a  new  form of a r t , and whose advent i n t o the domain of thought i s analogous t o the appearance  of a s u p e r i o r s p e c i e s i n  n a t u r e , a f t e r a s e r i e s of u n f r u i t f u l a t t e m p t s . " ^  The  m a d r i g a l i s t C l a u d i o M o n t e v e r d i was encouraged by V i n c e n z o Gonzaga t o t r y h i s hand a t the new music-drama.  He came t o  i t u n f e t t e r e d by any h a l f - u n d e r s t o o d t h e o r i e s of a n t i q u i t y , and by u n a i d e d a r t i s t i c sense a c h i e v e d the A r i s t o t e l i a n i d e a l of an a r t - f o r m i n w h i c h a l l elements converge on a s i n g l e purpose. 1607  A g a i n the s u b j e c t was  Orfeo, produced i n  i n Mantua, where the myth had f i r s t been d r a m a t i s e d  over a c e n t u r y b e f o r e .  M o n t e v e r d i s work proved a m i l e s t o n e 1  i n the h i s t o r y of music, "the f i r s t music-drama, i n w h i c h the  p o e t i c words, the d r a m a t i c a c t i o n and the m u s i c a l 6  c o n s t r u c t i o n are h e l d i n c r e a t i v e equilibrium"..  -^Lang, op_.. c i t . - , p.  339-  ^Hans. F e r d i n a n d R e d l i c h , C l a u d i o M o n t e v e r d i , t r . K a t h l e e n D a l e ( O x f o r d , 1 9 5 2 ) , p.  95.  156 The l i b r e t t o f o r the Orfeo was w r i t t e n by A l e s s a n d r o S t r i g g i o , son of a famous m a d r i g a l i s t .  I t begins w i t h a  p r o l o g u e , sung by Music h e r s e l f : l o l a Musica son, c h ' a i d o l c i a c c e n t ! so f a r t r a n q u i l l o o g n i t u r b a t o c o r e , Ed or d i n o b i l ' i r a ed or d'amore posso infiammar l e p i u g e l a t e mente. The f i r s t of the f i v e a c t s i s a scene of p a s t o r a l r e j o i c i n g at  the m a r r i a g e of Orfeo and E u r i d i c e ; i n the second a c t ,  a messenger t e l l s of the b r i d e ' s d e a t h , and Orfeo r e s o l v e s to  seek her below i n the I n f e r n o ; i n the g r e a t t h i r d a c t  he c o n f r o n t s Charon, l u l l s him t o s l e e p and c r o s s e s the S t y x a l o n e , t h r i c e r e p e a t i n g the i m p r e s s i v e l i n e r e n d e t e m i i l mio ben, t a r t a r e i numi; the  f o u r t h a c t i s s e t i n Hades, where P r o s e r p i n a p r e v a i l s  upon P l u t o t o r e s t o r e E u r i d i c e , and where Orfeo l o s e s h e r , s u d d e n l y d i s t r a c t e d by a V i r g i l i a n f r a g o r ; i n t h e f i n a l act,  A p o l l o p i t i e s Orfeo's g r i e f and t a k e s him t o h i s  a p o t h e o s i s among the stars..  7  ' S t r i g g i o o r i g i n a l l y wrote a scene i n w h i c h the Bacchantes appear but do not dismember Orfeo..  Monteverdi understand-  a b l y o b j e c t e d t o t h i s c o n c e s s i o n t o c o u r t l y t a s t e and suggested the  p r e s e n t sending, w h i c h i s not e n t i r e l y s a t i s f a c t o r y but i s  perhaps b e t t e r s u i t e d t o h i s t a l e n t s than a bacchanale would have been..  1957), P .  See Joseph Kerman, Opera as Drama (New  37.  York,  157 A good many composers have d e r i v e d from t h e i r l i b r e t t o .  inspiration  I n t h e Orfeo i t i s more than t h i s .  I t i s a case of t h e l i b r e t t o s u g g e s t i n g t h e groundwork f o r opera i t s e l f . was  M o n t e v e r d i r e c o g n i z e d t h a t , i f Orpheus' story-  t o be d r a m a t i z e d  solo pieces.  at a l l ,  i t would r e q u i r e monophonic  The Camerata were c o r r e c t i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r ,  though f o r t h e wrong r e a s o n .  I t was n o t t h e h i s t o r i c a l  t h a t Greek t r a g e d y had been sung, b u t t h e p r e s e n t  fact  dramatic  e x i g e n c y t h a t h i s Orpheus must s i n g t h a t prompted him t o deal w i t h the a c t i o n of the p l a y i n s i n g l e vocal l i n e s r a t h e r than i n t h e p o l y p h o n i c w r i t i n g t h a t was h i s s p e c i a l t y . Moreover, i f Orpheus i s an a r t i s t capable  o f moving h e l l , a  l o v e r g r i e v e d enough t o descend t h e r e , he must  express  h i m s e l f i n a more c o m p e l l i n g s t r a i n s than t h e b l o o d l e s s , pseudo-Greek p h r a s e s o f t h e Camerata experiments; must be a m u s i c a l correspondence t o t h e p o e t i c  there  "affetto".  M o n t e v e r d i a t t a c k e d t h i s p r o b l e m d i r e c t l y , and " w i t h a 8 p e r f e c t genius f o r d e c l a m a t i o n "  evolved a marvellously  •expressive v o c a l l i n e a p p r o x i m a t i n g  human speech b u t w i t h  the i n t e n s i t y o n l y music can p r o v i d e . react t o emotional  Again,  i f Orpheus must  c r i s e s - and S t r i g g i o t r i e s t o p r o v i d e one  f o r each o f t h e f i v e a c t s - he must e x p r e s s Joseph Kerman, op_. c i t . , p. 3 0 .  himself at length  The v o c a l l i n e i s w e l l  i l l u s t r a t e d i n Chapter I , e n t i t l e d "Orpheus; t h e N e o c l a s s i c Vision".  158 and w i t h g r e a t e r m u s i c a l c o m p l e x i t y , M o n t e v e r d i developed a s o r t o f a r i a f o r t h i s - an accompanied  s t r o p h i c song, of  w h i c h O r f e o s "Possente S p i r t o " I s o n l y t h e best-known 1  example. T h i s new Orfeo i s more t h a n an a d a p t a t i o n and e x t e n s i o n of t h e means used' by P e r i and C a c c i n i , however M o n t e v e r d i b l e n d e d the f u l l r e s o u r c e s of a c e n t u r y o f R e n a i s s a n c e music i n t e l l i n g o f Orpheus and Eurydice.. The s t o r y begins i n Arcadia:  l e t t h e r e be t h e music of t h e  p a s t o r a l e , as o l d as P o l i t i a n ' s p l a y ; Orpheus descends t o the  u n d e r w o r l d ; l e t t h e i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n be e c c l e s i a s t i c a l  and solemn, as i n t h e m o r a l i t y p l a y s ; the chorus comments on Orpheus  1  j o y and, sorrow, h i s weakness and h i s f i n a l  a p o t h e o s i s : l e t t h e r e be t h e f l a m i n g trumpets o f t h e t r i o n f i and t o r n e i , "the t e n d e r melody o f t h e i n t e r m e d i a , the s p l e n d o r of t h e mascherata, and above a l l t h e i n t e n s e e x p r e s s i v e ness o f t h e m a d r i g a l e ; Orpheus' s t o r y i s t h e g l o r i f i c a t i o n of music, and Musica h e r s e l f mounts the s t a g e : l e t h e r p e r v a d i n g i n f l u e n c e be e x p r e s s e d by r e p e a t i n g h e r r i t o r n e l l o a f t e r t h e c r u c i a l moments i n t h e action.. Thus, M o n t e v e r d i ' s Orfeo s y n t h e s i z e s a l l the music a l .forms, from t h e t o u r n e y t o the F l o r e n t i n e "Greek t r a g e d i e s " , which could c o n t r i b u t e t o the e f f e c t i v e dramatiz a t i o n o f Orpheus'- s t o r y .  Opera has n o t changed,  funda-  m e n t a l l y , s i n c e t h e Orfeo-. M o n t e v e r d i ' s work c o n t a i n s i n embryonic form t h e major t r a d i t i o n s t h a t s t i l l govern  operatic  159  composition - a r i a , r e c i t a t i v e , musical c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , c h o r a l and dance i n t e r l u d e s , c o n t i n u i t y by  leitmotif.  I t i s "a m u s i c a l cosmos w h i c h p e e r s , J a n u s - l i k e , the  p a s t of the ' Intermedium -  the  Gluck-Wagnerian  1  into  as w e l l as i n t o the f u t u r e of  ' B i r t h of the drama from the s p i r i t  of  music'A The f a c t t h a t tends t o be o v e r l o o k e d i n any c u s s i o n of t h i s a r t i s t i c m i r a c l e i s t h a t i t was  dis-  suggested  and encompassed by the Orpheus-myth, the pregnant m a t e r i a l a l r e a d y used i n e v e r y " o p e r a t i c " e x p e r i m e n t . ing  Always  f o r M o n t e v e r d i ' s g e n i u s , i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o see  allowhow  opera c o u l d have e v o l v e d from the c o u r t l y e n t e r t a i n m e n t s of the R e n a i s s a n c e u n l e s s Orpheus were chosen as the s u b j e c t of the drama...  Other s t o r i e s , most ~of them from  Greek  a n t i q u i t y , were presented,, and o f t e n - as t r a g e d i e s w i t h i n c i d e n t a l music, as mimes, masques, p a s t o r a l s and But i t was  ballets.  Orpheus' s t o r y e f f e c t e d the new a r t - f o r m t h a t  was i n the making;  i t r e q u i r e d t h a t music be put i n the  mouth of i t s hero i n o r d e r f o r the drama t o be e n a c t e d . I t was e s s e n t i a l l y , even q u i n t e s s e n t i a l l y , an o p e r a t i c s t o r y : the i d e a l l i b r e t t o p r o v i d e s a maximum of e m o t i o n a l l y charged s i t u a t i o n s w h i c h e n a b l e the c h a r a c t e r s t o e x p r e s s t h e m s e l v e s i n song, and the Orpheus-myth encompasses t h r e e t r a g i c i n c i d e n t s , : e a c h of w h i c h c a l l s f o r t h a song from i t s  Redlich-, op_. c i t . . , p.  97.  1 6 0  hero.  I t h a s , i n f a c t , remained t h e c l a s s i c s t o r y f o r  d r a m a t i c p r e s e n t a t i o n ' t h r o u g h music, and over different  fifty  o p e r a t i c t r e a t m e n t s o f i t f o l l o w e d upon  Monteverdi's  classic.  W i t h t h e b i r t h of opera, t h e Orpheus-symbol Orfeo I s now an o p e r a t i c hero.  changes.  In S t r i g g i o ' s p r o l o g u e we  r e a l i z e we a r e no l o n g e r i n t h e R e n a i s s a n c e t r a d i t i o n , f o r i t i s n o t T r a g e d i a who a d d r e s s e s u s ; i t I s M u s i c a . i s n o t t o be Greek t r a g e d y ; i t i s music R e n a i s s a n c e Orpheus l e f t  - drama.  This The  t h e scene w i t h Tragedia., t h e muse  who had i n t r o d u c e d , f o r t h e s c h o l a r s of t h e Camerata, a hero too w i s e , t o o n o b l e t o l o s e E u r y d i c e a second t i m e . new Orpheus, who appears i n t h e Baroque, and t h e Romantic civilizing fallible  The  the Enlightenment  age i s n o t a t r i u m p h a n t symbol o f t h e  wisdom of man; he i s M o n t e v e r d i ' s p a s s i o n a t e ,  hero, i n c o n c e i v a b l e a p a r t from h i s music,  glorious  i n h i s attempt but t r a g i c a l l y w a n t i n g i n s e l f - m a s t e r y . At the c l o s e o f A c t I I I . o f t h e Orfeo, the chorus s i n g t h a t e v e r y human attempt i s w o r t h w h i l e : N u l l a impresa p e r uom s i t e n t a i n v a n o , Ne c o n t r o a l u i p i u sa n a t u r a armarse, E i de l ' i n s t a b i l p i a n o , a r o g l ' o n d o s i campi, e ' l seme s p a r s e D l sue f a t i c h e , ond' aurea messe a c c o l s e . Then, a f t e r A c t I V , we a r e t o l d t h a t a man must f i r s t himself:  master  161 Orfeo v i n s e l I n f e r n o e v i n t o p o i Fu d a g l i a f f e t t i su.oi. Degno d'eterna g l o r i a 1  F i a s o l c o l u i ch'avra d i se v i t t o r i a . With Monteverdi  "the approach t o t h e human s o u l i s n o t  t h r o u g h c l a s s i c a l d i c t i o n but t h r o u g h sympathy; he t a r r i e d a t t h e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f human sorrow because i n h i s eyes sorrow and p a s s i o n a r e t h e r e a l r e v e l a t i o n s o f man.  He f e l t  t h a t o n l y t h e s u f f e r i n g s and i n d o m i t a b l e p a s s i o n s of man make him what he i s : a t r a g i c b e i n g who can l i v e on earth-, f i g h t i n g and f a l l i n g h e r o i c a l l y . •'Arianna a f f e c t e d p e o p l e because she was a- woman, and Orpheus because he was s i m p l y a man.,' w r i t e s M o n t e v e r d i  i n one o f h i s l e t t e r s  (December,  l 6 l 6 ) ; : b u t t o make i t p o s s i b l e f o r them t o be man and woman, t h e master r e v e a l s them i n the t h r o e s o f p a s s i o n . Upon h e a r i n g t h e message announcing t h e death o f E u r i d i c e the whole w o r l d C o l l a p s e s abbut Orpheus. „ . P e r i and C a c c i n i d i d n o t even dream o f • s u c h a c c e n t s , w h i l e we a r e s t i l l  living  on t h e h e r i t a g e of t h e d r a m a t i c b r e a t h o f t h e Mantuan m u s i c i a n , who, w i t h Rembrandt, was. t h e g r e a t baroque poet of t h e s e c r e t depths o f t h e human soul..  11  In t h e many s e r i o u s and comic v e r s i o n s t h a t f o l l o w e d Monteverdi,  Orpheus i s t h o r o u g h l y human, a c r e a t u r e of p a s s i o n .  And E u r y d i c e a t l a s t comes i n t o h e r own.  Her r o l e i s e n l a r g e d  u n t i l p o e t s and m u s i c i a n s come t o t e l l t h e e n t i r e s t o r y from her p o i n t o f view.  The Culex w i l l p r o v e ,  i n t h e Romantic  e r a , t h e s p i r i t u a l a n c e s t o r o f much o f t h e Orphean l i t e r a t u r e . Lang, op., c i t . , pp. 341-2.  162 Even when, w i t h M o n t e v e r d i ,  the opera was  solidly  e s t a b l i s h e d as an a r t - f o r m , and m u s i c a l speech became c r e d i b l e i n the mouths of A r i a d n e and A d o n i s , posers  Jason and U l y s s e s , com-  c o n t i n u e d t o r e t u r n t o Orpheus, as t o a source, f o r  inspiration.  B e l l i s Orfeo, produced i n F l o r e n c e i n  1616,  r  had a l i b r e t t o by one  of the Camerata, the I t a l i a n Ronsard,  G a b r i e l l o C h i a b r e r a , w h i l e August Buchner s u p p l i e d H e i n r i c h Schutz w i t h a p o e t i c t e x t e n t i t l e d Orpheus (1638), but music has, u n f o r t u n a t e l y , been l o s t .  the  By the end of the  century  11 t h e r e were new  I t a l i a n Orfeos  Rome ( L a n d i , 1619), V i c e n z a  i n Mantua ( F e r r a r i ,  (anon., 1658), Venice  1607)  (Sartorio,  1672), Bologna ( S a r t o r i o , r e v i s e d , 1695). Orpheus i n t r o d u c e d opera t o France, where R o s s i ' s L'Orfeo was as Le_ Mariage d'Orphee e t E u r i d i c e (1647). auspicious beginning, P a r i s i a n opera.  was  Torelli.  The book, by F r a n c e s c o B u t i , i s a  of s e r i o u s and comic e p i s o d e s , and  Rossi's  But the overwhelming f e a t u r e , i n  the e l a b o r a t e stage machinery designed I t was  an  The p r o d u c t i o n c o s t over 400,000 l i v r e s ,  score i s e q u a l l y v a r i e d . 1647,  I t was  s e t t i n g the tone f o r c e n t u r i e s of  l a s t e d , over s i x hours. kaleidoscope  produced i n P a r i s  by Giacomo  the wonder of i t s day, the t a l k of the  c o u r t and the d e s p a i r of the l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s . R o s s i ' s opera was  thus the f i r s t of the many "machine p l a y s " of the F r e n c h F o r the remainder of the c h a p t e r , works g i v e n  p a s s i n g mention are c i t e d by composer and d a t e . sources,  see pp. 269-71.  only For  the  163  t h e a t e r , and Orpheus' name, i n F r a n c e , England  and  else-  where, became a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e l a b o r a t e , I t a l i a n a t e s t a g e c r a f t while h i s l i t e r a r y p r e s t i g e dwindled. Le Mariage was  such a s e n s a t i o n i n P a r i s t h a t a  p l a y by Chapoton, La_ Descente d'Qrphe'e aux E n f e r s ,  was  h a s t i l y equipped w i t h music and mounted on a grand s c a l e to  compete w i t h i t .  L u l l y ' s Orphee, one of h i s l e s s e r  works, f o l l o w e d i n I69O. Orpheus aus T h r a c i e n (Loewe, 1659)  brought the  new  •Orpheus t o Germany, where t r a n s l a t i o n s of I t a l i a n works ( S a r t o r i o , 1690)  as w e l l as o r i g i n a l German operas ( K e i s e r >  I698, r e v . 1702)  proved p o p u l a r .  V i e n n a heard La L i r a  d'Orfeo ( D r a g h i , 1683), and by the end of the c e n t u r y i t appears t h a t London had seen i t s f i r s t E n g l i s h Orpheus (Goodson-, 1698)  .  The e a r l i e s t of t h e s e operas were o c c a s i o n a l p i e c e s , composed f o r " t h e c o u r t s of p r i n c e s .  But comic  e p i s o d e s were i n t r o d u c e d e a r l y by L a n d i , the f i r s t t o w r i t e h i s own l i b r e t t o - , and . a f t e r p u b l i c  composer  opera-houses  were b u i l t , the d i l e t t a n t e i n t e r e s t gave way t o p r o s p e r o u s •commercial e n t e r p r i s e . .  Orpheus rode the c r e s t of t h i s wave  of p o p u l a r i t y , though i n time I p h i g e n e i a and H e r c u l e s  E..g., Orpheus; the  The d e s c r i p t i o n of the g r e a t machines  Descent of Orpheus i n t o H e l l , p r e s e n t e d by  company, a t the C o c k p i t i n D r u r y Lane i n l 6 6 l . .  a French  of  164  p r o v e d t o be even more p o p u l a r f i g u r e s .  Three of the  foremost composers of the t i m e , C h a r p e n t i e r , Rameau and P e r g o l e s i , p r e f e r r e d t o t r e a t the Orpheus-myth i n c a n t a t a form.  In the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , Orpheus-operas  often  appeared as s i n g l e m u s i c a l p i e c e s i n l a r g e r s e t t i n g s - i n the b a l l e t Le^ C a r n e v a l de V e n i s e p r e s e n t e d i n Amsterdam i n l699; i n the E n g l i s h t r a g i c o m e d y Solon (pub. 1705)> i n the F r e n c h d i v e r t i s s e m e n t Le_ Triomphe de 1 Harmonie (1737), i n 1  the D a v i d G a r r i c k f a r c e c a l l e d A Peep B e h i n d the C u r t a i n (1767).  By t h i s time the myth became the c l a s s i c v e h i c l e  f o r r i d i c u l i n g opera - as i n the F r e n c h Roger-Boutons  et  J a v o t t e (1775) and Le P e t i t Orphee ( 1 7 9 5 ) , the German S i n g s p i e l Orpheus (1775), the D a n i s h M i c h e l og Malene (1789), the Viennese So_ Geht Es I n Olympus Zu  (1.813)..  A s i n g s p i e l , Orpheus, w i t h music by Salomon Seeman, appeared i n R i g a I n 1734,  and an O r p h e u s - p a s t i c c i o w i t h  a i r s from v a r i o u s composers adapted t o a t e x t by R o l l i i n London i n 1736. But s e r i o u s o p e r a t i c t r e a t m e n t s of the myth cont i n u e d , though we c a r e l i t t l e about them today - i n V i e n n a  165 (Fux,  1715), London (Lampe, 174-0),  B e r l i n (Graun, 1752),  P a r i s (Dauvergne, pub. 1770), Munich ( T o z z i , 1775), V e n i c e ( B e r t o n i , 1776), Copenhagen (Naumann, 1786), Hamburg ( D i t t e r s d o r f ) 1788), Parma ( P a e r , 1791) and B r u n s w i c k (Bachmann, 1798).  I n some c i t i e s t h e s e works were succeeded  by s t i l l more operas on Orpheus - Vienna ( W a g e n s e i l , 17^0 D i t t e r s , 1787, and Kanne, c a . 1810), London ( G u l i e l m i , 1780), B e r l i n (Benda, 1785) and Munich (Cannabich, 1802).  Other  t r e a t m e n t s appeared i n Germany ( C h r i s t i a n Bach., 1770, Asplmayr, 1780 and D o r f t e - H u l s h o f f , 1791) and I t a l y ( L a m b e r t i , c. 1800).  Only two Orfeos of t h i s opera-mad c e n t u r y deserve s p e c i a l mention, one because of the eminence of i t s composer, the o t h e r because i t demonstrates anew t h a t the myth of Orpheus i s the o p e r a t i c i d e a l .  The f i r s t i s the  Orfeo ed E u r i d i c e of F r a n z Joseph Haydn, one o f t h a t master's few u n s u c c e s s f u l works. i t waited t i l l  Composed i n 1791, r e v i s e d i n 1805,  1951 f o r i t s f i r s t performance.  Much of i t s  o r i g i n a l music was reworked by Haydn i n t o o t h e r works.  J  The  T h e l i b r e t t o , by Lewis Theobald, i s o u t l i n e d i n W i r l ,  op. c i t . , pp. 7^-5.  I t i s n o t a b l e f o r i n t r o d u c i n g Rhodope,  a T h r a c i a n Queen i n l o v e w i t h Orpheus. j u r e s up the snake t o k i l l  Eurydice.  I t i s she who con-  o t h e r i s , of c o u r s e , Orfeo ed E u r i d i c e (1762), by C h r i s t o p h W i l l i b a l d von G l u c k - a v a s t f o r w a r d s t r i d e , from the machine-made and ephemeral  Baroque opera t o opera as we know  i t i n the r e p e r t o r y t h e a t e r s today. M o n t e v e r d i i t i s the t h i r d landmark  After Politian  and'  i n operatic history;  thus does the music-drama show a g a i n and a g a i n i t s i n d e b t e d ness t o Orpheus by t u r n i n g t o h i s myth at every major  crisis.  Gluck h i m s e l f was a p r o d u c t of the s e v e n t e e n t h cent u r y opera, a mammoth i n d u s t r y comparable the movies of t o d a y .  o n l y t o t h a t of  I t s music was w r i t t e n f o r the v i r t u o s o  s i n g e r - c l i c h e - r i d d e n , ornamental., o f t e n w i t h no b e a r i n g on the drama or s i t u a t i o n ; i t s c o m p l i c a t e d l i b r e t t i were so 14 poetically finished  t h a t t h e y f a i l e d t o communicate any-  t h i n g of the essence of drama, and any hack m u s i c i a n c o u l d 15 set  them.  G l u c k was no hack, but as a composer he had  severe.limitations.  To h i s advantage,  however, was h i s keen  d r a m a t i c sense, as w e l l as h i s growing c o n c e p t i o n of the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of composer, poet and p e r f o r m e r s i n the o p e r a t i c scheme.  Most i m p o r t a n t of a l l , he was  i n touch  w i t h the i n t e l l e c t u a l c u r r e n t s of h i s day - w i t h the F r e n c h e n c y c l o p e d i s t s ; w i t h the i d e a s of Rousseau, e s p e c i a l l y the M e t a s t a s i o ' s l i b r e t t i are s t i l l s t u d e n t s of I t a l i a n  s t u d i e d by a l l s e r i o u s  literature.  15 Handel's famous judgment on Gluck was c o u n t e r p o i n t than my  cook".  "He knows no more  167  d e s i r e f o r a n a t u r a l e x p r e s s i o n of human f e e l i n g ; w i t h Winckelmann,. i n h i s r e t u r n t o a n c i e n t Greece t o f i n d f o r m a t i v e impulse f o r t r u e a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n .  By  the Gluck's  day the f o r m a l o r d e r of the Baroque had d e c l i n e d In the f a c e of the r a t i o n a l i s m of V o l t a i r e , , and c a p r i c i o u s n e s s of the Rococo.  New  s u r v i v e d o n l y i n the o r d e r and new  feeling  were b e g i n n i n g t o emerge i n the s t r i p p i n g away of ornament and the r e t u r n t o s i m p l i c i t y . and Orpheus i s a g a i n the  Gluck r e p r e s e n t s t h i s i n music,  figurehead.  A f t e r composing s e v e r a l c o n v e n t i o n a l operas w i t h o n l y mediocre s u c c e s s , Gluck came under the i n f l u e n c e of the new  a r t i s t i c t r e n d i n the w r i t i n g s of the  Francesco  philosopher  A l g a r o t t i and i n the p e r s o n of a l i t e r a r y  named R a n i e r o C a l z a b i g i , who  was  t h i n g A l g a r o t t i had t o say.  Gluck and C a l z a b i g i t e s t e d the  new  i d e a s i n t h e i r Orfeo.  deeply convinced  Never was  of  adventurer every-  an opera chosen w i t h such  c a r e , and mapped out a l o n g such c o n s c i o u s l y i d e a l i s t i c B o t h were c o n v i n c e d music was  o n l y one  t o be r e a l i z e d .  t h a t the drama must come f i r s t , t h a t the of the means through w h i c h the drama  essence,  was  Gluck even c l a i m e d t h a t i n composing i t ,  t r i e d t o f o r g e t he was the Orpheus-story,  lines.  a musician.  he  He s a t u r a t e d h i m s e l f i n  reduced by C a l z a b i g i t o i t s s i m p l e s t  t o t h r e e c h a r a c t e r s i n a s e r i e s of h i g h l y charged  situations. I n Act I Orfeo and the chorus mourn a t the grave of Euridice.  Amor appears t o him and announces t h a t the gods of  168 the u n d e r w o r l d have been moved by h i s song, and w i l l  allow  him t o descend and r e c l a i m E u r y d i c e , on c o n d i t i o n t h a t he does not l o o k upon her u n t i l he r e a c h e s the l i g h t , . i s comprised of two u n d e r w o r l d scenes:  Act I I  Orfeo s i l e n c e s the  f u r i e s w i t h h i s song, and then e n t e r s the E l y s i a n  fields  (Che puro c i e l ) , where E u r i d i c e i s r e s t o r e d t o him..  In  A c t I I I , E u r i d i c e , f o l l o w i n g a f t e r O r f e o , complains t h a t he does not l o o k a t h e r .  Orfeo t u r n s t o c o n s o l e h e r , and  s i n k s l i f e l e s s t o the ground..  He s i n g s of h i s new  she  sorrow  (Che f a r o senza E u r i d i c e ) , and a g a i n the gods a r e moved. Amor r e t u r n s t o r e s t o r e E u r i d i c e t o l i f e ,  and the opera  c o n c l u d e s w i t h f e s t i v i t i e s i n the temple of t h e god. As the Orfeo was  commissioned  f o r the c o u r t of  M a r i a Theresa, the l i b r e t t o makes some u n f o r t u n a t e concess i o n s t o Rococo t a s t e : f o r the Hermes of the A t t i c r e l i e f , a c o l o r a t u r a Cupid i s s u b s t i t u t e d ; a happy e n d i n g i s t a c k e d on; G l u c k w r i t e s p r e t t y music f o r the Watteau-Fragonard and b e g i n s the, work w i t h a skimpy o v e r t u r e .  finale,  But the r e s t i s  worthy of Winckelmann and the new a r t i s t i c c r e e d .  Always  the s i m p l e s t m u s i c a l means are used; ornament i s r u t h l e s s l y s t r i p p e d away; a r i a s are reduced t o a f o r m a l s i m p l i c i t y , a minimum of harmony.  We hear o n l y what the s i t u a t i o n demands:  i n the opening c h o r u s , Orfeo's g r i e f i s e x p r e s s e d more memora b l y than i t has e v e r been b e f o r e or s i n c e , by the one word, " E u r i d i c e i " , t h r i c e r e p e a t e d and t e a r i n g t h r o u g h the t e x t u r e of the c h o r a l music.  This s i m p l i c i t y , t h i s  deliberate  169 a u s t e r i t y r e s u l t i n a work of e x t r a o r d i n a r y power, and  neither  G l u c k nor C a l z a b i g i nor even the i d e a l s of the p e r i o d q u i t e account f o r i t .  Somehow, a s p e l l i s c a s t i n w h i c h G l u c k ' s  music, f o r a l l i t s t e c h n i c a l i n a d e q u a c i e s , v e r y essence of music, a n d . C a l z a b i g i ' s t h e y are p o o r l y - m o t i v a t e d ' a n d  appears t o be  the  c h a r a c t e r s , though  generalized types,  seem 16  "marble s t a t u e s m i r a c u l o u s l y endowed w i t h l i f e and motion" .. One  c o n c l u d e s t h a t the s p e l l i s c a s t by the p e r v a d i n g  pre-  sence of the myth i t s e l f , , w h i c h remains the p a t t e r n and i n s p i r a t i o n f o r operatic composition.  G l u c k and C a l z a b i g i  approached i t w i t h a f e e l i n g f o r i t s v a l u e s , and t o have e f f e c t e d of i t s e l f n e v e r s e t up any  the r e f o r m t h a t was  have not had  i t seems  sought..  canons of o p e r a t i c c o m p o s i t i o n ,  musical techniques  the  and  Gluck  his  great i n f l u e n c e ; i t i s h i s  i d e a l t h a t has  l a s t e d . H i s c l a s s i c statement: I endeavored t o reduce music t o i t s p r o p e r f u n c t i o n , , t h a t of s e c o n d i n g p o e t r y by e n f o r c i n g the e x p r e s s i o n of the s e n t i m e n t , and the i n t e r e s t of the s i t u a t i o n s , w i t h o u t i n t e r r u p t i n g the a c t i o n , or weakening i t by s u p e r f l u o u s ornament.17  o n l y shows t h a t i t was mind, and  the t e x t t h a t was  uppermost i n h i s  i n h i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y work t h i s t e x t was  f r o m the myth of Orpheus, the p a t r o n  fashioned  of the opera s i n c e  1472.  l6  E d w a r d J , Dent, Opera (Penguin,  Harmondsworth, 1940), p.  17 'Prom the p r e f a c e P.  557.  t o A l c e s t e , quoted i n Lang, op_. c i t . ,  46  170 I r o n i c a l l y enough, G l u c k s r e f o r m s e v e n t u a l l y 1  brought t o an end the vogue f o r operas on c l a s s i c a l  subjects,  f o r these were a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the a r t i f i c e s of the d e c l i n i n g Baroque.  Haydn' s Orfeo f a i l e d not o n l y because i t s composer's 1  g e n i u s d i d not extend t o the s t a g e but because by the  turn  of the c e n t u r y  look  opere s e r i e were h o p e l e s s l y d a t e d .  i n v a i n f o r Orfeos i n the n i n e t e e n t h fragments i n the B r i t i s h Museum of an  century.  We  There are  undistinguished 18  Orpheus w i t h words by the S c o t , John G a i t ( l 8 l 4 ) , before  but  l o n g E n g l i s h o p e r a t i c c r e a t i v i t y ground t o a halt..  I t a l i a n ' o p e r a needed more melodrama than the Orpheus-myth c o u l d p r o v i d e ; the F r e n c h t u r n e d t o h i s t o r i c a l p a g e a n t s ; Germany's g r e a t R o m a n t i c i s t s  touched on the themes of  myth - the a l l - c o n q u e r i n g power of music, the  the  renunciation  i m p l i c i t i n l o v e , the p r i o r i t y of d e a t h over l i f e  - but  Wagner found t h e s e Orphean, e s s e n t i a l l y o p e r a t i c , themes i n German mythology: Tannhauser i s the m i n s t r e l who'descends t o the c o u r t of Venus; E l s a i s the i n q u i s i t i v e v i c t i m undone by a c o n d i t i o n put on her l o v e ; d e a t h and l o v e are one T r i s t a n and Isolde..  for  Wagner seems t o have sensed t h a t these  s t o r i e s were pregnant w i t h music and  drama.  Almost i n s t i n c t -  i v e l y , the. young Wagner chose as h i s f i r s t o p e r a t i c an O r p h e u s - s t o r y i n German f o l k l o r e - Die Feen. Summarized i n W i r l , op.  c i t . , p.  82.  But  subject Orpheus'  171 p r e s e n c e pervades h i s work more d e e p l y s t i l l .  Wagner, l i k e  Gluck, was a r e f o r m e r who found i n s p i r a t i o n , i f not m a t e r i a l , i n the s p i r i t of Greece.  In h i s operatic apologia,  Orpheus  i s r e i n c a r n a t e d , b o t h i n t h e young k n i g h t W a l t h e r , who must win  over by h i s song the i n f e r n a l pedants of h i s day and  r e s c u e from them the c a p t i v e Eva, and a g a i n i n Hans Sachs, who must renounce h i s own l o v e of Eva b e f o r e he can w i n the t r u e reward of h i s a r t . The whole c o n c e p t i o n of D i e M e i s t e r s i n g e r i s l i k e a m e d i e v a l a l l e g o r y of the Orpheusmyth.  1 9  The Romantic programmists d i d not n e g l e c t  Orpheus.  But h i s i n f l u e n c e f l i c k e r s o n l y f i t f u l l y i n L i s z t ' s symphonic poem Orpheus  (1856); he seems t o be more a l i v e ,  taming t h e b e a s t s , i n the second movement of Beethoven's f o u r t h p i a n o c o n c e r t o , though the "programme" here i s not Beethoven ' s. ^ I f s e r i o u s opera was out of sympathy w i t h Greek myths i n t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , o p e r e t t a s t i l l found i n Orpheus' s t o r y e x c e l l e n t m a t e r i a l f o r m u s i c a l satire... Orpheus i n D o r f e by K a r l C o n r a d i n , appeared i n V i e n n a i n 1867.  1 9  In  A much more famous example, however,  i s Orphee aux  t h i s c o n n e c t i o n , see Kerman, op.. c i t . , pp.  48-9.  20 More r e c e n t symphonic poems on Orpheus are those of Conrad Ansorge (Orpheus, 1893), Jean L o u i s M a r t i n e t 1950), and A l a n Hovhaness  (Orphee,  ( M e d i t a t i o n on Orpheus, 1959).  172 E n f e r s , In w h i c h Jacques Offenbach and h i s l i b r e t t i s t s H a l e v y and Cremieux b r i l l i a n t l y r i d i c u l e d v a r i o u s l e v e l s of P a r i s i a n s o c i e t y i n 1858.  Offenbach's Orpheus i s a d u l l  c o n s e r v a t o r y m u s i c i a n , and E u r y d i c e g l a d l y . f o r s a k e s him when advances a r e made by A r i s t a e u s , who, Pluto i n disguise.  i t seems, i s a c t u a l l y  B o t h P l u t o and J u p i t e r show more i n t e r e s t  i n the s t o l e n E u r y d i c e than'does her husband, who to  i s driven  seek her i n Hades o n l y by the promptings of P u b l i c O p i n i o n  - a c u r i o u s r e i n c a r n a t i o n of the Amor of G l u c k and the Hermes of the A t t i c r e l i e f . way:  T h i s Orphee i s a landmark i n i t s own  i t e s t a b l i s h e d the genre of the O f f e n b a c h i a d e , and  21 became "a t o k e n , a p o r t e n t of the t i m e s "  - a controversial  i n d i c t m e n t of the Second Empire w h i c h was the more d e v a s t a t i n g for  i t s obvious a p p e a l t o P a r i s i a n s of a l l s o c i a l  levels,  each of w h i c h t o o k i t as a s a t i r e on the o t h e r s .  In the p r e s e n t c e n t u r y t h e r e i s a new  interest in  Orpheus, f o r composers a r e a g a i n s e e k i n g a new approach t o opera.  P o l i t i a n ' s Orfeo was  C a s e l l a i n V e n i c e i n 1932,  s e t t o music by A l f r e d o  and the e n f a n t t e r r i b l e of  contemporary German opera has reworked M o n t e v e r d i ' s Orfeo  21 S. K r a c a u e r , Orpheus i n P a r i s (New York, 1938), p. Offenbach reduced h i s s a t i r e t o m u s i c a l pantomime i n a second Orphee i n  1874.  l82..  t h r e e t i m e s - i n 1925,  i n 1931  and a g a i n i n 1941  c r i p t i o n so f r e e , so modern i n i t s harmony and mentation  in a transinstru-  t h a t i t has come t o he known as O r f f s Orfeo. 1  Monteverdi's  work has s e r v e d O r f f as a k i n d of e x e r c i s e f o r  h i s i d e a s f o r a new Other new  r e f o r m i n the m u s i c a l t h e a t r e . operas on the myth are the d i s s o n a n t  Orpheus und E u r y d i c e of Krenek and the Malheurs d'Orphee of M i l h a u d , b o t h produced i n 1926, Rieti  the Orfeo of V i t t o r i o  (1928), the s c e n i c o r a t o r i o Der Tod des Orpheus, by  H e l l m u t h W o l f f (1948), and the new  (1955) Orphee of Hans  Haug, an e c l e c t i c o f f e r i n g based on P o l i t i a n , w i t h e x c e r p t s 22 from Ovid sung i n L a t i n by a chorus i n the o r c h e s t r a p i t . Orpheus appears as a c h a r a c t e r i n another experiment, p i e r o ' s O r f e i d e (1915).  Mala-  Roger-Ducasse's Orphee (1914) I s  a "mimodrame l y r i q u e " ; the r e c e n t Orpheus und E u r y d i k e Henk B a d i n g s (1943) i s a " c h o r e o g r a p h i c  of  drama" w i t h a t e x t ;  a much better-known b a l l e t - d r a m a ( w i t h o u t t e x t ) i s S t r a v i n s k y ' s avant-garde  Orpheus (1947).  In s t i l l  another  b a l l e t , H i l d i n g Rosenberg's, Orfeus I Stan, the s t a t u e of Orpheus o u t s i d e the c o n c e r t h a l l a t Stockholm  comes t o  and l o o k s f o r E u r y d i c e among the o t h e r s t a t u e s i n the  life, city.  While none of these t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y works has a c h i e v e d permanent s t a t u r e , i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t , i n a Reviewed i n Opera 6 (1955), PP. 528-9.  174 t r a n s i t i o n a l p e r i o d i n the music-drama, r e c o u r s e i s had  once  more t o Orpheus, e i t h e r by f r e s h approaches or by a r e t u r n t o P o l i t i a n and  Monteverdi-  I t s h o u l d be s a i d , f i n a l l y , t h a t Mozart i n c o r p o r a t e d Orpheus i n t o h i s "amalgam of a l l m u s i c a l  civilizations."  Amid the f a n t a s t i c assortment of Weltmarchen c a r e l e s s l y assembled by Schikaneder  but w o n d e r f u l l y u n i f i e d by Mozart,  Orpheus, i n the person of P r i n c e Tamino, a g a i n p l a y s s i n g s f o r the b e a s t s now  and  (Act l,no.8) and e s c o r t s h i s E u r y d i c e ,  the P r i n c e s s Pamina, t h r o u g h the i n f e r n o of f i r e  and  w a t e r , p l a y i n g a l l the w h i l e on h i s Z a u b e r f l 8 t e (Act 2, no.. ,21).  T h i s i s h i s most c u r i o u s o p e r a t i c r e i n c a r n a t i o n ,  but i t i s c e r t a i n l y the g r e a t e s t of them a l l .  Lang, op, cit..., p.. 645.  T h i s Orpheus-theme comes from  the Abbe' Tessaron's n o v e l Sethos.. and Masonry (New  See P a u l N e t t l , Mozart  York,^ 1957), p.. 78..  CHAPTER V I THE ROMANTIC PERIOD  Orpheus was f o r t h e e i g h t e e n t h and n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s one of t h e g r e a t w r i t e r s of a n t i q u i t y , and i n Germany a t l e a s t he was one o f t h e sources  o f Romanticism:  Goethe, Herder, S c h l e g e l and o t h e r s were steeped Orphic w r i t i n g s . .  i n the  A t t h e same t i m e , p o e t s were r e a c t i n g  a g a i n s t the abuse of c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s , and Macaulay, w r i t i n g i n 1 8 4 2 , d e c r i e s "Orpheus, E l y s i u m and Acheron....and a l l the o t h e r f r i p p e r y w h i c h , l i k e a robe t o s s e d by a proud beauty t o h e r waiting-woman, has l o n g been contemptuously abandoned by genius  t o mediocrity"." " 1  Thus t h e r e seemed t o be two d i s t i n c t Orpheuses the Orphic p o e t , who was seen as an h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e of r a r e m y s t i c a l and p o e t i c i n s i g h t , and t h e m y t h o l o g i c a l  character,  of s m a l l consequence, who f l o u r i s h e d o n l y on t h e m u s i c a l But Gluck's m a s t e r p i e c e  stage.  had a s s o c i a t e d t h i s second  Orpheus w i t h t h e Romantic i d e a l , and g r a d u a l l y , t h r o u g h t h e p e r i o d s o f R e v o l u t i o n and Romanticism, t h e r e i s an i n c r e a s i n g i f n o t always f u l l y c o n s c i o u s  tendency t o i n v e s t t h e m y t h i c a l  Orpheus w i t h t h e power and s t a t u r e of t h e m y s t i c a l one.  F r e d e r i c k t h e Great, 1879),  i n Works, ed. Lady T r e v e l y a n  v o l . 6 , p. 6 9 7 . 175  I n our  (London,  176 own day, t h i s Orpheus-symbol has come t o i t s f u l l f l o w e r - i n the F r e n c h s y m b o l i s t s and e s p e c i a l l y i n R i l k e .  The  g r e a t c u l t u r a l f a c t of the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y  i s t h e r e b i r t h o f t h e c l a s s i c i d e a l i n German g e n i u s ,  effected  most o b v i o u s l y by Winckelmann's r e s e a r c h e s i n t o d l a s s i c a l a r t , by L e s s i n g ' s Laocottn and by t h e t r a n s l a t i o n s o f Johann V o s s . T h i s was l e s s a Romantic than a H e l l e n i z i n g movement, and as Orpheus' descent was l a r g e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h L a t i n  authors  and I t a l i a n opera i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t o f i n d t h a t i t i s g i v e n l e s s prominence than some o f t h e more a u t h e n t i c a l l y  2 Greek myths..  Thus i n L e s s i n g ' s Weiber s i n d Weiber,  i n the  Anhang t o h i s Odes, i n An den Herrn Marpurg,^ the descending Orpheus i s o n l y t h e s t a n d a r d l a t e - R e n a i s s a n c e f i g u r e .  But  the Orphic poet i s quoted i n L e s s i n g ' s more s e r i o u s w r i t i n g s , and t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l  e n t h u s i a s t i c pages about the Orphic  "Wundermann" i n the A l t e s t e Urkunde des Menschengeschlechts by t h e l e a d e r of t h e Sturm und Drang movement, Johann G o t t f r i e d von Herder ( l l , 6 ) .  K l o p s t o c k , h i m s e l f dubbed the  German Orpheus, sees the Orphic poet as t h e t r u e type o f 2  1,5,10-12:. L i n e s 59 and 85.  Orpheus i s a l s o mentioned i n a poem  e n c l o s e d i n a l e t t e r of Feb.. .22, 1759-  177  German a r t , and F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l h a i l s him as the "Vater II 4  •  der P o e s i e .  When i t was  Romantic Orpheus was  b e g i n n i n g t o l o o k as though the  t o be the Orphic w r i t e r  exclusively,  t h a t the myth of the descent would be d i s m i s s e d as more s u i t e d t o comedy 5 and b u r l e s q u e 6 than t o s e r i o u s l i t e r a t u r e , two German Romantics appeared who,  c o n s c i o u s l y or n o t ,  charged  the Orpheus of the descent w i t h some of the power of the U r d i c h t e r by a t t e m p t i n g through p o e t r y t o p e n e t r a t e the mystery of d e a t h .  These were N o v a l i s ( F r i e d r i c h L e o p o l d ,  Baron von Hardenburg) and F r i e d r i c h H 8 l d e r l i n . . ' -Orpheus i s f o r them an almost subconscious he i s e x p l i c i t .  symbol;  today,, w i t h R i l k e ,  I t i s i m p o s s i b l e here t o analyse- the e f f e c t  of the myth on t h e i r workj  i t may  be i m p o s s i b l e i n any  E r i c h H e l l e r , s p e a k i n g m a i n l y of N i e t z s c h e and R i l k e , "The  attempt  case . :  says,  of s c h o l a r s t o u n r a v e l the complex of h i s t o r i -  c a l r e m i n i s c e n c e s , images, i n s i g h t s , f e e l i n g s t h a t make up  the  s t o r y of D i o n y s u s , • A p o l l o and Orpheus i n modern German l i t e r a t u r e and thought, and then t o ' r e l a t e i t t o what may  be  the Greek r e a l i t y of these d i v i n e c r e a t u r e s , i s a s h e r o i c as S t l o p s t o c k i n the -Ode An_ des D i c h t e r s Freunde ( 9 - 1 6 ) ,  and  S c h l e g e l i n G e s c h i c h t e der P o e s i e der Gries.chen und- R-flmer. • E...g., the p o p u l a r s c h a u s p i e l , Orpheus und E u r y d i c e , produced  by J-.F, Schuck i n 1777,  and K l i n g e r ' s Orpheus, a  t r a g i c o m e d y w i t h p o l i t i c a l overtones  (1778, rev. 1790).  c  • E.g.., the t r a n s l a t i o n of Quevedo by B r o c k e s , and a s a t i r i U  c a l poem by Salomon von Golaw, b o t h of w h i c h are quoted i n Quevedo, Obras, p. 1 4 7 3 .  i t i s doomed t o f a i l u r e . F o r a s c h o l a r ' s guarded s t e p s cannot p o s s i b l y keep pace w i t h the r u s h and dance of the p a s s i o n s of the  mind s w i r l i n g around those names,."'  8 But a t l e a s t we can r e p e a t what o t h e r s t h a t Orpheus can be found i n a l l of N o v a l i s  1  have s a i d ,  work.  The  r e f e r e n c e s are few, but the i n f l u e n c e i s u n m i s t a k e a b l e .  The  t e a c h e r i n D i e L e h r l i n g e zu S a l s i s o n l y Orpheus under a d i f f e r e n t name; i n the Hymnen an d i e Nacht, a sequence of poems o f t e n compared t o Dante's Commedia, Novalis'  1  unnamed  guide t h r o u g h the unknown, a "Sanger aus H e l l a s " , seems t o be the Orphic p o e t ; as f o r the l y r i c n o v e l H e i n r i c h von O f t e r d i n g e n , one of the monuments of e a r l y Romanticism, ."the i n v i s i b l e hero of t h i s n o v e l . . . i s O r p h e u s ,  whose presence  7 The D i s i n h e r i t e d Mind: E s s a y s i n Modern German L i t e r a t u r e and Thought  (Cambridge, 1952), p. 109..  M. K i s t l e r ,  Orphism and the.Legend of Orpheus i n 18th  A r e c e n t "attempt" i s Century  German L i t e r a t u r e , a d o c t o r a l d i s s e r t a t i o n f o r the U n i v e r s i t y of I l l i n o i s ,  1948,.  ^Walther Rehm, Orpheus: der D i c h t e r und d i e Toten  (Dussel-  d o r f , 1950), pp. 57-66, P r i e d r i c h H i e b e l , N o v a l i s (Bern, 1951), pp.. 42-50 and 190-1., and M i c h a e l Hamburger, Reason and Energy: S t u d i e s i n German L i t e r a t u r e (London, 1957), esp.. p. 83.  The  E u r y d i c e - m o t i f i n N o v a l i s i s s t u d i e d by Joachim Rosteut'cher, Das Usthetische I d o l (Bern, 1956), pp. 87-98.-. ^ M i c h a e l Hamburger, op_. c i t , , p.  83.  is felt  i n the f o u r "dreams" i n Chapter I , w h i c h t e l l of a  s e a r c h f.or " d i e G e l i e b t e " i n strange i n the f i r s t  and f a r - o f f  regions;  of the i n t e r p o l a t e d Marchen, the s t o r y of a poet  whose a r t wins him a p r i n c e s s and a kingdom, and  i n the main  o u t l i n e of the n o v e l i t s e l f , w h i c h t r a c e s a p o e t ' s l i f e from the f i r s t b r e a t h of i n s p i r a t i o n t o the moment when he  plucks  at l a s t the u n a t t a i n a b l e B l u e F l o w e r , the symbol of wisdom, song and l o v e .  N o v a l i s ' answer t o Goethe's W i l h e l m Me'ister  i s t h u s t h a t the i d e a l . o f p o e t r y i s found not i n human experience  or i n p h i l o s o p h i c d i s c u s s i o n , but i n the  magical  atmosphere of the Orpheus myth. H o - l d e r l i n was German R o m a n t i c i s t s ,  the most t h o r o u g h l y  Greek of  and by f a r the b e s t s c h o l a r .  the  Walther  •Rehm says t h a t from the w r i t i n g of the Hymne an den  Genius  Griechenlands, Du kommst, und Orpheus L i e b e Schwebet empor .zum Auge der W e l t , Und Orpheus' L i e b e W a l l e t n i e d e r zum Acheron ( 3 5 - 8 ) , the f i g u r e of Orpheus never l e f t i n f l u e n c i n g him..  h i s s i d e , but was  "Ungennant und u n s i c h t b a r b l e i b t  constantly der  a l l f u h l e n d e , a l l i e b e n d e Sanger im Werk des Deutschen gegenwartig.. ""^  C e r t a i n l y H o l d e r l i n ' s dream-world r e -  c r e a t i o n of H e l l a s , h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n and  the c o n s t a n t  Op. . c i t . , p.  t h r e a t of d e a t h owe  159-.  w i t h the.power of song something t o Orpheus:  i8o Die S e e l e , der im Leber) i h r g c t t l i c h Recht N i c h t ward, s i e r u h t auch drunten Im Orkus n i c h t ; Doch i s t mir e i n s t das H e i l ' g e , das am Herzen mir l i e g t , das Gedicht gelungen, Willkommen dann, 0 S t i l l e der S c h a t t e n w e l t ! (An d i e P a r z e n , 5 - 9 ) • But the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h i s i n f l u e n c e must be l e f t t o the psychologist. S c h i l l e r was  a b l e t o use the Orpheus-myth w i t h  more detachment, y e t i t embodied f o r him the most melancholy remembrance of a n t i q u i t y - t h a t the beauty t h a t once was f a d e d , even as. E u r y d i c e s  l o v e l i n e s s was  r  has  r e c l a i m e d by Hades:  Auch das Sch8ne muss s t e r b e n ! Das Menschen und G t i t t e r bezw.inget, N i c h t d i e eherne B r u s t r u h r t es des s t y g i s c h e n Zeus,. E i n m a l nur e r w e i c h t e d i e L i e b e den Schattenbeherrscher, Und an der Schwelle noch, s t r e n g , r l e f e r zuruck s e i n Geschenk (Nanie, 1-T4) . These l i n e s from a s h o r t poem t o the goddess of f u n e r a l s r e p e a t the theme of S c h i l l e r ' s g r e a t H e l l e n i c poem The of Greece - t h a t the b e a u t i f u l must p e r i s h , even as l o v e l y Greek d i v i n i t i e s are gone and men  Gods  the  are l e f t today w i t h  o n l y the m a t e r i a l universe.. Goethe p l a n n e d t o i n t r o d u c e Orpheus i n t o the second p a r t of F a u s t H i s  hero was  f r o m her Helen of Troy.  1  t o v i s i t P r o s e r p i n e and  T h i s scene was  l e f t unwritten,  obtain but  "'"Noted i n Wilmon Brewer, Ovid''s Metamorphoses In European  C u l t u r e (Francestown, N.H.,  1 9 4 1 ) , vol.. 2, p.  317.  the H e l e n - e p i s o d e s as they stand now a r e v a g u e l y Orphean i n f l a v o r - Faust v i s i t s Helen i n t h e a f t e r - l i f e and t w i c e l o s e s h e r ; Manto, a d m i t t i n g Faust t o Hades, c r i e s : H i e r hah' i c h e i n s t den Orpheus e i n g e s c h w a r z t ; B e n u t z es b e s s e r ! f r i s c h l beherztl 1  (11,2,7493-4),  and Orpheus i s d e s c r i b e d by C h i r o n as z a r t und immer s t i l l b e d a c h t i g , S c h l u g e r d i e L e i e r a l i e n {Toermachtig  (11,2,7375-6). He i s a l s o mentioned (1,4312).  by a F i d e l e r i n t h e W a l p u r g i s n a c h t s t r a u m  But t h e legend o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e does n o t  b u l k l a r g e i n t h e immensely v a r i e d c l a s s i c a l s t r a t a i n Goethe's works-. personage,  R a t h e r , 'Orpheus i s f o r Goethe an h i s t o r i c a l  t h e a u t h o r o f hymns r i c h i n symbols and i d e a s ,  w h i l e E u r y d i c e i s an i d e a l f i g u r e f o r a r t - Goethe h o l d s the o p i n i o n t h a t pathos i s b e s t e x p r e s s e d i n a r t by d e p i c t i n g t h e t r a n s i t i o n from one s t a t e t o a n o t h e r , and s a y s , f o r example, t h a t E u r y d i c e would make a s u b j e c t o f g r e a t pathos i f t h e t w o f o l d s t a t e , h e r . j o y f u l advance t h r o u g h t h e meadow and h e r sudden and p a i n f u l death, were e x p r e s s e d by the f l o w e r s she l e t s f a l l ,  t h e w a v e r i n g of h e r l i m b s and  12 the h e s i t a n t f l u t t e r i n g o f h e r garments.  See fiber Laocoon, V o l . 33, p. 132 i n Works, ed. E. von d e r H e l l e n and o t h e r s ( S t u t t g a r t and L e i p z i g ,  1902-12).  182 In eighteenth-century  Prance t h e r e I s a t f i r s t a  s i m i l a r d i s t i n c t i o n made between the s e r i o u s h i s t o r i c a l 1^ Orpheus - a concern t o V o l t a i r e ^ and D i d e r o t - and t h e 14 s l i g h t l y r i d i c u l o u s Orpheus of the E u r y d i c e - . s t o r y . D i d e r o t ' s a t t i t u d e i s e s p e c i a l l y noteworthy.  After  speaking  l e a r n e d l y and a t l e n g t h about the h i s t o r i c a l Orpheus and v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f h i s myth, he d i s m i s s e s the descent i n t o Hades w i t h the words, "j'abandonne c e t t e f i c t i o n aux pontes."  1 5  Rousseau uses the myth f o r a s a t i r i c a l e p i g r a m : Quand, pour r a v o i r son epouse E u r y d i c e , Le ^bon Orphee a l i a jusqu'aux e n f e r s , L'etonnement d'un s i r a r e c a p r i c e En f i t c e s s e r tous l e s tourments divers-. On admira, b i e n p l u s que ses c o n c e r t s , D'un t e l amour l a b i z a r r e s a i l l i e j E t P l u t o n meme, embarrasse du c h o i x , La l u i r e n d i t pour p r i x de sa f o l i e , P u i s l a r e t i n t en f a v e u r de sa v o i x (Epigrammes, I I , 1) .. Rousseau was, however, g r e a t l y impressed by Gluck-'s Orphee, and became a p a r t i s a n and a d m i r e r o f Gluck's.. 13 ^The twelve r e f e r e n c e s l i s t e d i n the index t o Oeuvres Completes, ed.. Beuchot ( P a r i s , 1885), are a l l concerned w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l figure.. 14 E.g., Quevedo.  t h e Orphee o f Senece, a n o t h e r t r a n s l a t i o n from See Quevedo, Obras, pp.. 1471-2..  15 In the e n t r y under Grecs . See Oeuvres Completes, e d . :  J. Assezat  ( P a r i s , 1877), v o l . 15, p. 53.  1 Orpheus was made a symbol of the R e v o l u t i o n by the poet Andre C h e n i e r , who,  born i n C o n s t a n t i n o p l e of a Greek  mother, p r o u d l y p r o c l a i m e d h i m s e l f the c o m p a t r i o t of Orpheus: P u i s s e aux v a l l o n s d'Hemus, ou l e s r o c s et l e s b o i s Admlrerent d'Orphe'e e t s u i v i r e n t l a ^ v o i x , L'Hebre ne m'avoir pas en v a i n donne n a i s s a n c e ! Les Muses avec moi vont c o n n a l t r e Byzance ( L ' A r t d'aimer, 1,5-8) F o r Chenier Orpheus s y m b o l i z e s the poet who honor of a l l g r e a t  deserves  the  men:  Autour du demi-dieu l e s p r i n c e s immobil.es Aux a c c e n t s de sa v o i x demeuraient suspendus, E t 1' e'coutaient encor quand i l ne c h a n t a i t p l u s (Hermes, 11,11,14^6). T h i s i s n.ot the Orpheus of the descent, but Chenier i s the b e g i n n i n g , i n Romantic F r e n c h l i t e r a t u r e , of the f u s i n g of the m y t h i c a l Orpheus w i t h the m y s t i c a l one. By the m i d - n i n e t e e n t h  c e n t u r y , a f t e r the sub-  c o n s c i o u s use of the myth by N o v a l i s and H o l d e r l i n and  the  c o n s c i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n s of S c h i l l e r , Gluck and C h e n i e r ,  the  s t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e took on an a l l e g o r i c a l meaning, but more Romantic than m e d i e v a l , b e s t s t a t e d i n the  forward  t o Franz L i s z t ' s symphonic poem .Orphe'e; Orphee, c e s t a d i r e l ' A r t . .. . p l e u r e E u r y d i c e c e t embleme de 1 ' I d e a l e n g l o u t i p a r l e mal e t l a d o u l e u r , ^.qu' i l l u i e s t permis d ' a r r a c h e r aux monstres de l ' E r e b e , de f a i r e s o r t i r du fond des' t e n e b r e s cimmeriennes, mais qu.'.il ne s a u r a i t , h e l a s c o n s e r v e r sur c e t t e t e r r e . 1  1.84 In Romantic I t a l y popular  classical  themes were  b u t t h e Orpheus-myth was c o n s i d e r e d  of the o p e r a t i c t r a d i t i o n  t o serve  still  t o o much a p a r t  as l i t e r a r y  material.  16 Vico, of  a l w a y s i n t e r e s t e d i n myths, n o t e s  nations,  Orpheus i n c l u d e d ,  I p p o l i t o Pindemonte, r e t o l d some d e b t t o V i r g i l ,  the  i n A Giovanni  d e a t h o f Caldero'n.  rapidly,  and I t a l i a n  melodrama.La L i r a and  suffered a long  i s doubtless  de O r f e o by A g u s t i n  neo-Classic  period  decline after  Rosi.  i n E n g l i s h l e t t e r s was a  sions  of the f o u r t h Georgic  And  B u t we n o t e t h a t  Ovid' was l a r g e l y n e g l e c t e d .  favor, who  by Dryden, L o r d  h a l t s at the episode  i n new  ver-  M u l g r a v e and  t h e young A d d i s o n ' s of Aristaeus  and O r p h e u s .  M y t h o l o g y had f a l l e n  from  a f t e r ' c e n t u r i e s o f abuse a t t h e hands o f p o e t a s t e r s  s p e c i a l i z e d i n accumulating  In  f o r the  de M o n t i a n o y L u y a n d o  age o f t r a n s l a t i o n , and Orpheus a p p e a r e d  translation  dwindled  responsible  great  John S h e f f i e l d .  and w i t h  d a l Pozzo..  Ovid's former .influence  opera  A minor poet,  a t some l e n g t h ,  t h e b a i l e O r f e o y E u r i d i c e b y Domingo  The  a l l the f o u n d e r s  descend t o Hades.  the t a l e  Spanish l i t e r a t u r e  that  Scienza  Nuova  N o t e d i n Cabanas,  dozens o f f r i g i d a l l u s i o n s .  VIII,1. op. c i t . , p p .  60-1.  185 The most f r e q u e n t use o f the myth i n . e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y England i s f o r humorous p u r p o s e s . negligible..  G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , these poems a r e  Poets who, l i k e John Dennis, are u n s u c c e s s f u l i n  s e r i o u s attempts a t mythology (Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , a_ masque) descend t o b o u r g e o i s  humor and coarseness  (The S t o r y o f Orpheus  18 Burlesqu d) f o r popular success. 1  There are s a t i r i c a l  Orpheus  and E u r y d i c e s by W i l l i a m K i n g (1704) and W i l l i a m Woty (1798); t h e r e are the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s o f Quevedo's s a t i r e " " ; 1  John Gay,  9  who was h i m s e l f c a l l e d the "Orpheus o f highwaymen",  quips; So f i e r c e A l e c t o ' s snaky t r e s s e s f e l l , When Orpheus charm'd the r i g ' r o u s powers o f h e l l . (Trivia,  I,204-5),  2 0  and a c e r t a i n . Scot named S t a r r a t , compares A l l a n Ramsay's m u s i c a l s k i l l t o h i s who  21 Could w h i s t l e an o u l d dead w i f e f r a e hell..' The  best o f these humorous a l l u s i o n s t o the myth i s i n Tom  J o ni eft s.  F i e l d i n g ' s approach t o mythology i s c e r t a i n l y n o t  See H..G. P a u l , John Dennis (New York, i 9 . l l ) , pp. 20 and 44. Paul l i s t s three other eighteenth-century  dramas on Orpheus,  by M a r t i n Bladen (1715), J . Weaver "(1718) and Mr. M a l l e t (1731). ^ B y .Lady Monck, anon.,.-and Robert D o d s l e y . Obras, p. .1475. 9  See Quevedo,  20 See a l s o T r i v i a 11,393-8 f o r a wry and v i g o r o u s passage on Orpheus dismemberment. 1  21 Quoted i n W i r l , op_. c i t . , p. 68.  186 r e v e r e n t , b u t I t i s always a p t and w i t t y and g e n e r a l l y developed.  fully  The comparison of Tom e s c o r t i n g Mrs. Waters t o  Upton t o Orpheus l e a d i n g . E u r y d i c e from H e l l c o u l d w e l l serve as a model f o r l i g h t m y t h o l o g i c a l a l l u s i o n s : Thus our hero and t h e redeemed l a d y walked i n t h e same manner as Orpheus and E u r y d i c e marched h e r e t o f o r e ; but though I cannot b e l i e v e t h a t Jones was d e s i g n e d l y tempted by h i s f a i r one t o l o o k b e h i n d him,. .yet as she f r e q u e n t l y wanted h i s a s s i s t a n c e t o h e l p h e r over s t i l e s , and had b e s i d e s many t r i p s and o t h e r a c c i d e n t s , he xvas o f t e n o b l i g e d t o t u r n about. However, he had b e t t e r f o r t u n e than what a t t e n d e d poor Orpheus, f o r he brought h i s companion, o r . r a t h e r f o l l o w e r , s a f e : i n t o t h e famous town o f Upton (Book IX, .chapter 2 ) . The e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y c r a z e . f o r opera i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e d e d i c a t i o n of'Orpheus and Hecate, an anonymous Ode i n the B r i t i s h Museum, w r i t t e n f o r Lady Brown, p a t r o n e s s of t h e 22 I t a l i a n opera. plot:  The ode i t s e l f might be a condensed  opera  Hecate f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h Orpheus and a t t e m p t s t o keep  him i n h e l l .  The i d o l of t h e opera c i r c l e i n London,  Handel, was o f t e n c a l l e d the Orpheus of h i s t i m e .  Addison,  who v i o l e n t l y opposed t h e f l i p p a n t use o f c l a s s i c a l mythology, r i d i c u l e s t h i s s o b r i q u e t i n a s c a t h i n g a t t a c k on opera i n t h e 2^> Spectator. See W i r l , op_. c i t . , pp. 75-6. 2 3  I n No.- 5 (March 6, 1.710).  A d d i s o n a l s o a l l u d e s t o Orpheus  b r i e f l y i n h i s e p i l o g u e t o L o r d Lansdowne's The B r i t i s h E n c h a n t e r s and i n The V i s i o n of the Table of Fame ( T a t l e r , j  Oct. 15, 1709).  But  Orpheus r e a l l y means v e r y l i t t l e t o an age t h a t  c o u l d r e f e r t o him as c a l l o u s l y as does Lady W i n c h i l s e a i n h e r Answer t o Pope's  Impromptu:  You, of one Orpheus, sure have r e a d , Who wou'd, l i k e you, have W r i t t , Had He i n London Town been b r e d , And P o l l i s h J d , t o h i s W i t ; But He, poor s o u l , thought a l l was W e l l , And g r e a t shou'd be h i s Fame, When he had l e f t h i s W i f e i n H e l l And B i r d s , and B e a s t s cou'd tame ( 8 - 1 5 ) . T h i s , says Douglas Bush, " i s enough t o suggest t h e tone o f a mass o f poems and a l l u s i o n s i n w r i t e r s t o o f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e c l a s s i c s f o i g n o r e mythology, and t o o s o p h i s t i c a t e d t o t a k e i t t o t h e i r h e a r t s as w e l l as t h e i r heads. The g r e a t w r i t e r s o f t h e p e r i o d , Dryden and Pope, b o t h make g r a c e f u l , even memorable use o f t h e Orpheus-myth, w i t h o u t i t s coming t o mean a n y t h i n g t o them.  To Dryden t h e  Orpheus o f E n g l i s h music i s n o t Handel, b u t P u r c e l l : We beg n o t H e l l , our Orpheus t o r e s t o r e (Ode on t h e Death of Mr. Henry P u r c e l l , 1 6 ) . The r e f e r e n c e i s a t l e a s t s i n c e r e , and extended f o r s e v e r a l graceful l i n e s .  Orpheus p r e d i c t a b l y - t u r n s up i n Dryden's  g e n t l y expanded t r a n s l a t i o n s o f t h e A e n e i d , t h e E c l o g u e s and the G e o r g i c s , b u t h i s appearance i n The Cock, and.the Fox, a m o d e r n i z a t i o n o f Chaucer's Nun's P r i e s t ' s T a l e , comes as a complete s u r p r i s e : t h e song of t h e cock, w h i c h Chaucer Mythology and t h e Romantic T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h P o e t r y (Cambridge, Mass., 1937), -P. 2 7 .  188  l i k e n e d t o t h a t o f an a n g e l , becomes w i t h  Dryden:  A Song t h a t wou'd have charm'd t h ' i n f e r n a l Gods, And b a n i s h ' d H o r r o r from t h e d a r k Ahodes: Had Orpheus sung i t i n t h e n e a t h e r Sphere, So much t h e Hymn h a d - p l e a s ' d the T y r a n t ' s E a r The Wife had been d e t a i n ' d , t o keep t h e Husband there ( 6 0 3 - 7 ) . F i n a l l y , i n t h e Song f o r S t . C e c i l i a ' s Day, Orpheus' power over n a t u r e i s g r a c e f u l l y  musical  contrasted to C e c i l i a ' s  over  supe mature.. T h i s happy i n s p i r a t i o n r a t h e r mixed r e s u l t s . expression  i s t a k e n up by Pope w i t h  Tt i s readily  conceded t h a t  i s n o t one o f Pope's s p e c i a l t i e s , and t h e Ode on  S t . C e c i l i a ' s Day i s almost u n i v e r s a l l y failure.  lyric  Y e t i t i s o n l y symptomatic  w r i t t e n o f f as a  of the i n a b i l i t y of the  n e o - C l a s s i c e r a t o d e a l a d e q u a t e l y w i t h c l a s s i c myths, and i s i n f a c t t h e b r a v e s t , almost t h e s o l e attempt t o do s o . Joseph Warton,  i n h i s essay on Pope, n o t e s t h e many d e t a i l s  " e l e g a n t l y t r a n s l a t e d " from V i r g i l and " h a p p i l y adapted t o the s u b j e c t i n q u e s t i o n " , ^ b u t laments t h a t t h e y a r e f o l l o w e d 2  by l i n e s t h a t a r e c l o s e t o John D e n n i s , o r "some hero -of t h e D u n c i a d " o r "a d r i n k i n g song a t a c o u n t r y e l e c t i o n " .  There  are l a p s e s , i n d e e d : D r e a d f u l Gleams, D i s m a l screams, F i r e s t h a t glow, S h r i e k s of Woe ( I V , 5 6 - 9 ) . An Essay on_ t h e Genius and W r i t i n g s of Pope I.762), .vol.. 1, pp.. 5 4 - 5 . .  (London,  But Pope has a t l e a s t attempted t o t e l l t h e s t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e w i t h some genuine f e e l i n g and t o i n v e s t i t w i t h some s i g n i f i c a n c e .  V e r y s u c c e s s f u l i s the c l o s i n g  comparison  Of Orpheus now no more l e t P o e t s t e l l ; To b r i g h t C e c i l i a g r e a t e r Pow'r i s g i v ' n ; His Numbers'raised a shade from H e l l , Hers l i f t the S o u l t o Heaven ( V I I , 1 3 1 - 4 ) .  26  T h i s f i n e c o n c l u s i o n , w i t h i t s somewhat B o e t h i a n t o n e , is 27 28 w o r t h more than a l l the o t h e r p r e t t y ' or t o p i c a l or 2Q 30 humorous or c o n v e n t i o n a l r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus i n the w r i t i n g s of a busy and urbane e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y c r a f t s m a n . The most famous a l l u s i o n t o Orpheus i n e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y E n g l i s h " l e t t e r s does not mention him by name - but s u r e l y the opening l i n e s of Congr'eve s The Mourning B r i d e 1  refer to  Orpheus: Music h a t h charms t o soothe a savage b r e a s t , To s o f t e n r o c k s , or bend a k n o t t e d oak  (i,1,1-2),  In two more s a t i r e s Orpheus r e f l e c t s the changing t i m e s : an anonymous Orpheus, p r i e s t of n a t u r e and- prophet of • i n f i d e l i t y , dated I 7 8 I ,  t e l l s of a B r i t i s h Orpheus enthroned  i n the Margaret c h a p e l , r e c e i v i n g homage from V o l t a i r e and 26D:T. Johnson noted the B o e t h i a n s t r a i n i n Pope's Orpheus i n the Rambler, J u l y 30, 2  7Summer 8 l f f .  2 8  T o Mr. Lemuel G u l l i v e r 19-20.  290n Mrs. T o f t s 3  1751.  1-4-.  °Temple of Fame 83-4;  Successio  9-10.  To the Author of a_ Poem, e n t i t l e d ,  190 31  Benjamin F r a n k l i n ,  w h i l e John Hookham F r e r e , i n K i n g A r t h u r  and h i s Round T a b l e , r e f e r s f l i p p a n t l y t o t h e Orphic  mysteries  i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e J e s u i t s i n Paraguay ( I I I , s t . 9 - 1 1 ) .  The p a s s i n g from c l a s s i c t o Romantic i s marked by the young Thomas Moore, f o r whom Orpheus i s a poet i n s p i r e d 32  by t h e genius o f harmony  ; by Mark Akenside,  on  h i m s e l f w i t h t h e Orphic w r i t i n g s ,  J  who concerns  and by W i l l i a m Gowper,  who  i s n e o - C l a s s i c i n h i s use o f Orpheus' s i n g i n g head i n t h e  Ode  on t h e Death o f Mrs.. Throckmorton s B u l l f i n c h ( 6 l - 6 ) , 1  i  but Romantic i n t h e Ode on t h e Marriage  o f a F r i e n d , where  he c l a i m s t h a t l o v e i s t h e s t r o n g e s t power of' a l l , f o r E u r y d i c e awakened sweeter s t r a i n s from Orpheus' l y r e did  r o c k s , r i v e r s and t r e e s .  Walter  than  Savage Landor's  f i n e s t e a r l y works a r e The Descent of Orpheus, a t r a n s l a t i o n of V i r g i l w h i c h marks h i s break w i t h e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y  style,  and The B i r t h o f Poesy, w h i c h t e l l s us of t h e l o s s of E u r y d i c e and Orpheus' d e a t h a t c o n s i d e r a b l e l e n g t h and w i t h g r e a t  skill  35  for  a man s c a r c e l y out of h i s t e e n s . ^  3 1  J  33  See W i r l , op_. c i t . , pp. 77-8. See The Genius o f Harmony, an i r r e g u l a r ode 46,.58-72. .  .  .  •^The commentator A l e x a n d e r Dyce n o t e s t h a t Akenside uses the Orphic poems i n h i s Hymn t o t h e N a i d s . 3^Lines 1-18. F o r b r i e f a l l u s i o n s t o t h e power o f Orpheus' song see a l s o The Task 111,587 and V,694. 3  ^ T h e r e i s a humorous r e f e r e n c e t o Orpheus i n a l e s s e r e a r l y  work, An Address t o t h e F e l l o w s o f T r i n i t y C o l l e g e , 57~60.  I n l a t e r l i f e , Landor dubbed t h e Orpheus-episode "the m a s t e r p i e c e o f V i r g i l " , "the b e s t " .  and Dryden's t r a n s l a t i o n o f i t  H i s own t r a n s l a t i o n "has s m a l l m e r i t " , but  Wordsworth's, he s a y s , i s "among t h e w o r s t " .  Indeed t o t r a c e  the r e f e r e n c e s t o Orpheus t h r o u g h Wordsworth i s t o g e t no i d e a of t h a t po.et 's s t a t u r e o r of h i s r o l e i n r e s t o r i n g mythology :  t o t h e mainstream of E n g l i s h p o e t r y j t h e r e i s o n l y i n s i g h t " ^ and "Orphean l y r e - " ; O s s i a n i s dubbed 3  3 8  "Orphean Orpheus,  39  40 as i s a f i d d l e r i n O x f o r d S t r e e t .  This i s the best the  a u t h o r o f The Power o f Music and The Power o f Sound can do w i t h t h e c l a s s i c embodiment o f music's power'! L o r d Byron, p r e d i c t a b l y , f i n d s an anonymous Orpheus i n t h e Greece o f h i s day: Thus sung, o r would, o r c o u l d , .or s h o u l d have sung, The modern Greek, I n t o l e r a b l e v e r s e ; I f n o t ' l i k e Orpheus q u i t e , when Greece was young, Yet i n t h e s e t i m e s he might have done much worse. (Don Juan 111,87,1-4). 41 The o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s a r e s t a n d a r d a l l u s i o n s . 3  3  ^Works, e d . Stephen Wheeler (London, 1935), vol.. 14, p. 251, ^The Power o f Sound,  115.  oO  Z2. t h e C l o u d s , 60; The Source of the Danube, 9; P r e l u d e  1,233. 3  - ^ W r i t t e n I n a_ B l a n k L e a f of MacPherson' s O s s i a n , 38.  40 The Power of M u s i c , 1.  The remarks a r e based on Lane  Cooper, A Concordance t o t h e Poems o f W i l l i a m  Wordsworth  (London, 1911).. ^ H i n t s _ From Horace 663-6; The W a l t z 18; ;The I r i s h A v a t a r ; 1  1.2,1  Stanzas, w r i t t e n i n p a s s i n g t h e Ambracian G u l f .  192 S h e l l e y ' s Orpheus., a d i a l o g u e between a Greek chorus and a messenger, i s l i s t e d  among h i s fragments,  but i t i s  complete i n i t s e l f , and h a r d l y seems p a r t o f any 42  contemplated  tragedy.  l e f t by  I t s p i c t u r e o f t h e b l i g h t e d landscape  E u r y d i c e ' s death and then of t h e f r e s h growth t h a t comes t o l i f e a t Orpheus' song a r e e x c e l l e n t i n themselves,  b u t not  representative of Shelley.  Orpheus does n o t appear i n any  of t h e m y t h o l o g i c a l l y r i c s ,  and S h e l l e y ' s r e f e r e n c e t o him'  i n H e l l a s (1034) i s n e g l i g i b l e . to  Presumably Orpheus had l i t t l e  o f f e r t h e e a r l y Romanticists'' overblown t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m .  He i s n o t mentioned i n t h e poems o f C o l e r i d g e o r , l a t e r , o f 43 Tennyson,  But i n K e a t s , each o f t h e r e f e r e n c e s i s so  r i c h l y and s t r i k i n g l y o r i g i n a l as t o warrant  quotation  here.  In t h e l u x u r i a n t Endymion, K e a t s ' i m a g i n a t i v e way o f t e l l i n g us t h a t t h e s p i r i t 'of music pervades a l l n a t u r e i s : from t h e t u r f , a l u l l a b y doth pass In every p l a c e where i n f a n t Orpheus s l e p t  (1,793-4).  42 Most s c h o l a r s r e g a r d i t as an impromptu j e u d e s p r i t i n 1  i m i t a t i o n o f t h e famous I m p r o v i s a t o r S g r i c c i .  As i t i s  found o n l y i n t h e t r a n s c r i p t s of Mary S h e l l e y some c o n s i d e r i t h e r work.  See Works, ed. W i l l i a m M i c h a e l R o s s e t t i ,  vol.. 3, PP. 417-8, 4^  f  A c c o r d i n g t o t h e concordances o f S.E.. Logan ( I n d i a n a , 1940) and A.'E.v Baker (London, 1914), r e s p e c t i v e l y . Tennyson t e l l s of t r e e s assembling (Amphion 17-56).  t o hear, not Orpheus, b u t A m p h i o n  The same poem c o n t a i n s two compressed, and f a n c i f u l  allusions  to the Eurydice-:story: by t h e Orphean l u t e When mad E u r y d i c e i s l i s t e n i n g t o ' t ('II, 1.64-5), and: Thou l e d d e s t Orpheus t h r o u g h t h e gleams o f d e a t h  (111,98).  And i n Lamia, L y c i u s l o o k s a t t h e serpent-maiden not w i t h c o l d wonder f e a r i n g l y , But O r p h e u s - l i k e a t an E u r y d i c e (247-8). E v e r y r e f e r e n c e i s n o t a b l e f o r s u g g e s t i v e power and economy. O l i v e r E l t o n uses t h e Orphic fragments i n r e t e l l i n g t h e whole o f t h e s t o r y i n h i s two poems The Dream  44 of  Orpheus and The Song o f Orpheus..  "Various a s p e c t s o f  the  myth a p p e a l t o some of t h e l e s s e r R o m a n t i c i s t s : Orpheus  the  Argonaut s i l e n c e s the s i r e n s i n t h e poem o f R i c h a r d  Chevenix T r e n c h ; i n Robert Southey's Thalaba (VI,21,7-15) 4 5  and i n Thomas Campbell's M o o n l i g h t (40-4), t h e n i g h t i n g a l e s i n g s a t Orpheus' g r a v e ; -but Campbell a l s o uses E u r y d i c e w i t h charming e f f e c t i n h i s .Lines o_n _a P i c t u r e o f a_ G i r l i n the A t t i t u d e of Prayer: L i k e Orpheus, I adore a shade, And dote upon a phantom (3-4).  44  Por a d i s c u s s i o n o f these see "Thoughts  Blackwood's  on Orpheus" i n  E d i n b u r g h Magazine 44(l838) pp. 21-33.  45 ^Orpheus and t h e Sirens..  Trench a l s o t r a n s l a t e d t h e  f o u r t h G e o r g i c 452-516 i n t o E n g l i s h v e r s e , as Orpheus and Eurydice.  194 As we move i n t o t h e l a t e Romantic e r a , t h e descent o f Orpheus proves t h e most p o p u l a r i n c i d e n t i n h i s myth.  E u r y d i c e i s g i v e n . a s much a t t e n t i o n as Orpheus  h i m s e l f , and o f t e n t h e s t o r y i s t o l d from h e r p o i n t o f view. There i s a l s o a new s e r i o u s n e s s i n e v i d e n c e . stage where "Orphean" i s an ornamental  We move p a s t t h e  t a g , where t h e myth i s  used m e r e l y t o evoke mood o r add c o l o r , t o a new phase i n w h i c h i t i s a p p l i e d t o t h e deepest problems o f human l i f e .  The l o v e  o f t h e poet Orpheus f o r h i s t w i c e - l o s t E u r y d i c e now r e f l e c t s the growing awareness among n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y p o e t s o f t h e i r relationship to society.  S e r i o u s i s t h e word f o r t h r e e new  E u r y d i c e s , by W i l l i a m J V L i n t o n , Coventry Patmore and Robert Browning.  L i n t o n ' s i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y f e r v i d lament;  Patmore's i s one o f s e v e r a l odes s e t i n a p r o f o u n d l y  Christian  c o n t e x t - t h e husband dreams he seeks h i s w i f e t h r o u g h t h e most s q u a l i d s u r r o u n d i n g s , and f i n d s h e r a t l a s t ,  dying, 46  n e g l e c t e d by a l l t h e w o r l d , most o f a l l by h i m s e l f  ;  Browning's i s l e s s s i g n i f i c a n t , but even more i n t e n s e . I n s p i r e d by t h e famous p a i n t i n g by L o r d L e i g h t o n , i t i s an e i g h t - l i n e a p p e a l o f E u r y d i c e f o r one glance from Orpheus: Patmore's Orpheus, a poem i n Canto I of The E s p o u s a l s , sees i n Orpheus'' subduing  t h e S i r e n s t h e s o c i a l , m o r a l , even  r e l i g i o u s f u n c t i o n of t h e p o e t .  195 But g i v e them me, the mouth, the eyes, the brow! L e t them once more absorb me I One l o o k now W i l l l a p me round f o r e v e r , not t o pass Out of i t s l i g h t , though darkness l i e beyond; Hold me but s a f e a g a i n w i t h i n the bond Of one immortal l o o k ! A l l woe t h a t was, F o r g o t t e n , and a l l t e r r o r t h a t may be, h.7 D e f i e d , - no p a s t i s mine, no f u t u r e : l o o k at me! The  i n c r e a s e d importance of women i n s o c i e t y was  d o u b t l e s s p a r t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r E u r y d i c e ' s new vogue.  Edward Dowden, the b i o g r a p h e r  v a r i o u s d i s t a f f views on men  middle-class  of Browning,  and marriage i n The  expresses  Heroines:  Helen, A t a l a n t a , Europa, Andromeda and l a s t l y E u r y d i c e speak i n dramatic monologues, E u r y d i c e s t r e s s i n g s e l f e f f a c e m e n t , d e d i c a t i o n , the complete submerging of the w i f e ' s s e l f i n the husband's.. The  Heroines,  1876,  The y e a r of p u b l i c a t i o n of  a l s o saw t h e appearance of the second book  of S i r Lewis M o r r i s ' E p i c of Hades, i n w h i c h Orpheus makes the s a c r i f i c e : as a man  of g e n i u s , he l i v e s a h i g h e r  life  than E u r y d i c e can know, but f o r l o v e of her he renounces h i s c a r e e r ; E u r y d i c e asks h i s f o r g i v e n e s s f o r the demands she makes on him, and Orpheus comforts sentiments-.  her w i t h s t u f f y V i c t o r i a n  A more s t r i k i n g poem by a n o t h e r man  of  letters  i s Edmund G.osse's The Waking of E u r y d i c e : Orpheus asks Persephone f o r p e r m i s s i o n t o s i n g t o the  invisible  E u r y d i c e , and a t h i s song her l a n g u i d shade appears, awakes, 47 'Browning mentions the Orphic poet i n E a s t e r Day  VII,23,  and Orpheus e x p e c t e d l y t u r n s up i n the p a r a p h r a s e of the A l c e s t i s w h i c h the h e r o i n e r e c i t e s i n 3 a l a u s t i o n ' s Adventure , 865,  as w e l l as i n the Browning v e r s i o n of the Agamemnon,. I69.L.  196 t r e m b l e s and g r a d u a l l y t h r i l l s w i t h l i f e ; even Gosse's monotonous t r o c h a i c rhymes seem t r a n s f o r m e d by t h i s p o e t i c i d e a . 48 Almost as d e l i b e r a t e l y i n s p i r a t i o n a l i s the passage  in  L o r d L y t t o n ' s The L o s t T a l e s of M i l e t u s , i n w h i c h Orpheus' song b r i n g s new  hope t o the tormented  Sisyphus.  Another d r a m a t i c monologue, Orpheus the M u s i c i a n , by Robert Buchanan, e x p r e s s e s the p o e t ' s d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t i n a t t e m p t i n g t o improve s o c i e t y .  Por a time Orpheus subdues  the w i l d and b e s t i a l w o r l d , but i n the end, n a t u r e a s s e r t s itself: when I ceased t o s i n g , the s a t y r - c r e w Rush-'d back t o r i o t and carouse; S e l f - f e a r f u l f a c e s b l u s h i n g l y withdrew I n t o l e a f y boughs ( 8 0 - 3 ) . Orpheus l e a r n s the b i t t e r t r u t h t h a t the a r t i s t ' s  spell.,  however c o m p e l l i n g , i s o n l y t r a n s i t o r y . The was  s o c i a l g o s p e l imbibed by many V i c t o r i a n  t h a t p r o v i d e d by Thomas C a r l y l e , who  r e v i v e s the  poets Christ-  Orpheus theme i n S a r t o r R e s a r t u s : Our h i g h e s t Orpheus walked i n Judaea, e i g h t e e n hundred y e a r s ago: h i s sphere-melody, f l o w i n g i n w i l d n a t i v e t o n e s , took c a p t i v e and r a v i s h e d the s o u l s of men (ill,8). A r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of C h r i s t and  Orpheus  i s seen i n a s e r i e s of t o r t u r e d but c l e a r - s i g h t e d sonnets C h a r l e s Tennyson-Turner, c a l l e d C h r i s t and Orpheus. p o i n t i n t h i s appeal t o d i s s o c i a t e the two f i g u r e s i s touching  indeed:  Summarized i n W i r l , - op_. c i t . , p. 8 3 .  The  by high  The s o r r o w i n g manhood of the K i n g of k i n g s , The double n a t u r e , and the d e a t h of shame, The tomb - the r i s i n g ' - are s u b s t a n t i a l t h i n g s , I r r e l e v a n t t o Orpheusj What h a t h made Thy wisdom match M e s s i a s w i t h a shade? (Sonnet 127,10-4). But d e s p i t e t h i s a p p e a l , V i c t o r i a n p i e t i s m and consciousness for  continued to turn to mythological  expression.  Even the p r e - R a p h a e l i t e s  c e r t a i n amount of t h i s . t o whom he appeals  social subjects  indulge i n a  Swinburne's Orpheus i s V i c t o r Hugo,  t o t u r n and l o o k upon E u r y d i c e ,  v i p e r - s t r i c k e n embodiment of J u s t i c e . ^  And  one  the  of W i l l i a m  M o r r i s ' most famous passages i s the s e r i e s of a n t l p h o n a l songs of Orpheus and the S i r e n s i n The L i f e and Death of .Jason;' the S i r e n s hymn the s e n s u a l l i f e of a m a t e r i a l i s t U t o p i a w h i l e Orpheus answers w i t h p l e a s f o r what i s , i n e f f e c t , s o c i a l i s m - but the v e r b a l t e x t u r e of h i s song i s as l i s t l e s s and u n w o r l d l y as i s t h a t of the Sirens''. the pre*-Raphaelite genius  I t seems  i s b e t t e r adapted t o a t m o s p h e r i c  s t o r y - t e l l i n g than t o " s i g n i f i c a n t " themes, and S t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e  Morris'  i s a t y p i c a l specimen:.-  of l a n g u o r o u s dreaming p r o t r a c t e d t o p r o d i g i o u s  lengths,  w i t h an u n d e r w o r l d of hidden v o i c e s and a hero g i v e n t o l y r i c i s m of the most s w e e t l y e f f u s i v e v a r i e t y .  Dante 50  G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i ' s Orpheus l o n g s o n l y f o r E u r y d i c e ' s 49 ^See E u r y d i c e , i n Songs B e f o r e S u n r i s e . 50 See Sonnet 6,7-8, i n The House of L i f e .  lips,^  w h i l e George A. Simcox's laments h i s t w i c e - l o s t l o v e i n l o n g , 51  dreamy musings of t h e v a g u e s t p h i l o s o p h i c a l substance 52 Thomas I r w i n ' s Orpheus  i s of the same stamp.  ;  The p r e -  R a p h a e l i t i s m of the H o m e r i s t , Andrew Lang, was somewhat l e s s remote: The Song of Orpheus i s a t r a n s l a t i o n of p a r t of the Orphic A r g o n a u t i c a ; the Grave of Orpheus t e l l s  again  of the n i g h t i n g a l e s ; l a t e r Lang s a t i r i z e s h i s pre^R a p h a e l i t e days and the way We twanged the m e l a n c h o l y l y r e . . . j-o When f i r s t we heard R o s s e t t i s i n g , and t h i s p a l i n o d e i s put i n the mouth of The New  Orpheus to^  h i s E u r y d i c e •. A Hornerist of a d i f f e r e n t s o r t , Matthew Arnold> longed t o escape t o "a p r i m i t i v e m y t h o l o g i c a l w o r l d of s i m p l e j o y and h a r m o n y , a 1 1  longing c l e a r l y r e f l e c t e d  i n T h y r s i s , h i s p a s t o r a l lament f o r A r t h u r Hugh Clough. I t c o n t a i n s a b r i g h t p a r a p h r a s e of the Orphean passage i n Moschus' lament f o r B i o n , w i t h a d d i t i o n a l j u d i c i o u s l y chosen images and p i q u a n t language, p a r t i c u l a r l y 55 i l l u s t r a t i v e of A r n o l d ' s p a g a n i z i n g C h r i s t i a n i t y . ^ 5 1  .  S e e  At  Orpheus, i n C o r n h i l l Magazine 25(1867), p. 218.-.  I n D u b l i n U n i v e r s i t y Magazine 6 3 ( l 8 6 4 ) , pp. 528-43. Another p r e - R a p h a e l i t e Orpheus i s by R i c h a r d Watson D i x o n . 5 2  -^Quoted i n Bush, Romantic T r a d i t i o n , p.  4l6.  -^Douglas Bush, op_. c i t . , p. 247. 5 5 T h y r s i s . 81-90.  See a l s o Memorial V e r s e  34-40, i n w h i c h  Wordsworth's coming t o Hades i s l i k e n e d t o Orpheus*..  199 the same t i m e , John R u s k i n was  r e j e c t i n g mythology as a  p e d a g o g i c a l d e v i c e , i n The Cestus of A g l a l a . f i g u r e s asked t o "put up  One  of the  ( h i s ) p i p e s and be gone" i s  Orpheus, because he r e p r e s e n t s the sentiment and pure soul-power of Man, as moving the v e r y r o c k s and t r e e s , and g i v i n g them l i f e , ' b y i t s sympathy w i t h them; but l o s i n g i t s own b e s t - b e l o v e d t h i n g by mere venomous a c c i d e n t : and a f t e r w a r d s g o i n g down t o h e l l f o r i t , i n v a i n ; b e i n g i m p a t i e n t and unwise, though f u l l of g e n t l e n e s s ; and, i n the issue., a f t e r as v a i n l y t r y i n g t o t e a c h t h i s g e n t l e n e s s t o o t h e r s , and t o guide them out of t h e i r lower p a s s i o n s t o s u n l i g h t of t r u e h e a l i n g l i f e , i t d r i v e s the s e n s u a l h e a r t of them, and the gods t h a t govern i t , i n t o mere and pure f r e n z y of r e s o l v e d rage, and g e t s t o r n t o p i e c e s by them, and ended; o n l y the n i g h t i n g a l e s t a y i n g •• by i t s grave t o sing.56 The c o n t i n u i n g p o p u l a r i t y of G l u c k s opera i s 1  seen i n an anonymous poem (l882) d e d i c a t e d t o J.E.C., i n 57 the B r i t i s h Museum, ' which f o l l o w s C a l z a b i g i c l o s e l y ; i n Vernon LeeJs Orpheus i n Rome (1889), r e f l e c t i o n s on a r t prompted by Gluck's music, and i n the p o e t i c drama Armgart, by George E l i o t , which t e l l s the O r p h e u s - l i k e s t o r y o f a prima donna who and who art;  Orfeo,  s a c r i f i c e d e v e r y t h i n g , i n c l u d i n g m a r r i a g e , f o r her  when she l o s e s her v o i c e , the o f f e r of marriage  renewed. 5  enjoyed g r e a t success as G l u c k ' s  The l i b r e t t i s t  Works, ed. E..T.  i s not  James R. Planche" p r o v i d e d two p l a y s  Cook (London, .1905), vol.. 19, p.  66.  R u s k i n ' s o t h e r a l l u s i o n s t o Orpheus (see Cook's index) are negligible. 5 ?  S e e W i r l , op. c i t . , pp. 89-90.'  200 d e a l i n g w i t h the myth - Olympic D e v i l s and Qrpheus i n the i  Haymarket - f o r l i g h t opera purposes..  Beethoven was  some-  what b e l a t e d l y dubbed Orpheus by E r i c MacKay i n Beethoven 58 at, the P i a n o .  Two poems by Americans deserve mention a t t h i s point.  P h i l i p Preneau's The P r a y e r of Orpheus i s a b e a u t i f u l  p a r a p h r a s e of the p l e a Ovid put i n the p o e t ' s mouth when he appeared b e f o r e P l u t o ; what was v e r y t o u c h i n g here..  The E u r y d i c e of James R u s s e l l L o w e l l ,  f o r a l l i t s vagueness n o t a b l e poem.  c o n v e n t i o n a l i n Ovid i s made  and mediocre c r a f t s m a n s h i p , i s a l s o a  L o w e l l . r e g r e t s the d e c l i n e of a r t i s t i c  f e e l i n g i n h i s day, and the p a s s i n g of h i s own y o u t h , and sees t h e s e f l e e t i n g b e a u t i f u l t h i n g s as E u r y d i c e , the "more t e n d e r dawn" t h a t f l e e s b e f o r e the f u l l moon: At t h a t e l m - v i s t a ' s end I t r a c e D i m l y t h y sad l e a v e - t a k i n g f a c e , Eurydice* Eurydice! The tremulous l e a v e s r e p e a t t o me Eurydice! Eurydice* . No g l o o m i e r Orcus swallows thee Than the unclouded s u n s e t ' s glow; Thine i s a t l e a s t E l y s i a n woe; Thou h a s t Good's n a t u r a l decay, And f a d e s t l i k e a s t a r away (67-76). L o w e l l seems t o haye heard of Max M u l l e r ' s t h e o r i e s . John W i t t R a n d a l l wrote a Lament of Orpheus i n 1856.  Another American, John Godfrey Saxe, b u r l e s q u e d  See i b i d . , p.  84.  the s t o r y i n l 8 6 l , ^ w h i l e Emma L a z a r u s gave i t l y r i c treatment ten years l a t e r y ^  A.B. A l c o t t composed some  c r y p t i c Orphic Sayings i n 1840.  Emerson p r e f e r r e d t h e  a c t u a l Orphica ( i n t r a n s l a t i o n ) t o b o t h A l c o t t ' s and Miss  61 Lazarus' e f f o r t s ,  and r e l a t e s the s a y i n g o f h i s own  Orphic b a r d near t h e c l o s e o f Nature^ The descent o f Orpheus was a p t m a t e r i a l f o r American  melodrama and b u r l e s q u e , as i s w i t n e s s e d by such  stage p r o d u c t i o n s as Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , a p l a y (Henry J . B y r o n , 1884); Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , an op_eratic b u r l e s q u e ( p r e s e n t e d i n B u f f a l o i n 1897) and Orpheus, a_ one a c t p l a y ( i n Throw t h a t l i g h t on me, by O.M. S c o t t and G. F o r d , p r e s e n t e d i n Chicago I n 1912). B o t h England and America produced, of  a t the t u r n  t h e c e n t u r y , so many l y r i c poems on Orpheus by so many  r e l a t i v e l y u n i m p o r t a n t w r i t e r s t h a t i t s h o u l d be enough for of  our purposes merely t o l i s t them.  The sheer q u a n t i t y  t h i s work i s i m p r e s s i v e , and t e s t i f i e s t o t h e c o n t i n u e d  i n t e r e s t i n Orpheus and E u r y d i c e .  But t h e s w o l l e n r h e t o r i c  of many of these poems has doomed them t o e x t i n c t i o n .  -^Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , a_ travesty_, i n Poems ( l 8 6 l ) . 60  O r p h e u s , i n Admetus (1871).  6l See L e t t e r s , ed. R.L. Rusk, v o l . 2, p. 291 and vol.. p. 114.  6,  202 1882  V i r g i n i a Vaughan, Orpheus and the S i r e n s , a drama i n lyrics  1884  Henry N i l e s P i e r c e , The Death. Chant of Orpheus (The Agnostic);  1885  E u r y d i c e (The A g n o s t i c )  E l i z a b e t h S t u a r t P h e l p s , E u r y d i c e (Songs of the S i l e n t World)  1887  ( C h a r l e s J . P i c k e r i n g ) , Orpheus ( M e t a s s a i )  1886  W a l t e r Malone, The Song of the Dying- Orpheus (The O u t c a s t ) j Orpheus and the S i r e n s (1893)  1888  D a v i d Atwood Was son, Orpheus  (Poems)  1889  P r a n k T. M a r z i a l s , Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , a sonnet (Death s Disguises);. 1  Two Sonnet Songs:  The Siren.S S i n g |  Orpheus and the M a r i n e r s Make Answer I89I  I s a b e l l a T.. A i t k e n , Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (Bohemia)  1891  James R. Rodd, The Lute of Orpheus (The V i o l e t Crown)  1891  Mrs,. E r n e s t R a d f o r d ,  1893  W i l l i a m B e l l S c o t t , Orpheus (A P o e t s Harvest Home);  Orpheus (A L i g h t Load) 1  Eurydice 1893  F r a n c i s W.. B o u r d i l l o n , E u r y d i c e (Sursum Cor da)  1894  S. W i l e y , C o r o t s Orpheus (Poems L y r i c a l and D r a m a t i c)  1895  L o r d de T a b l e y , Orpheus^ i n Hades;  1  Orpheus i n , Thrace (19,01) I898  J.B, Dabney, Orpheus S i n g s (Songs of D e s t i n y )  1898  E.W.  Watson, The Song of Orpheus (Songs of F l y i n g Hours)  203 I898  F l o r e n c e E,. C.oates, E u r y d i c e  1900  A r t h u r S. C r i p p s , E u r y d i c e  1900  Annie A.. F i e l d s , Orpheus: a masque  1901  Laurence B i n y o n , Orpheus i n Thrace (.Odes)  1901  L l o y d M i f f l i n , E u r y d i c e ; The L a s t Song of Orpheus;  (Poems)  (Titania)  The S i l e n c e A f t e r Orpheus' Death ( C o l l e c t e d Sonnets) 1901  L i l y T h i c k n e s s e , E u r y d i c e t o Orpheus (Poems)  1903  Joseph Cook, Orpheus and.the S i r e n s (Overtones)  1904  R u t h Young,'Orpheus  1904  E>L, Cox, Orpheus i n Hades (Poems L y r i c and D r a m a t i c )  1904  T. 'Sturge Moore, A Lament F o r Orpheus  1905  A l e i s t e r Crowley, Orpheus; §_ l y r i c a l l e g e n d  19.06  C h a r l e s Gibson, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (The S p i r i t  1907  A r t h u r D i l l o n , Orpheus  19.07  B e r n a r d Drew, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (Cassandra)  1907  A l f r e d Noyes, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e ( F o r t y S i n g i n g Seamen)  19.07  L o u i s A l e x a n d e r R o b e r t s o n , Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (Through  (Verses)  of Love)  P a i n t e d Panes) 1909  E d i t h Wharton, Orpheus ( A r t e m i s t o Actaeon)  1910  H.V.  S u t h e r l a n d , Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (.Idylls of Greece, Second S e r i e s )  1912  S i r H. Tree, Orpheus i n the Underground, a p l a y I n two acts.  1912  Eva Gore-Booth, The Death of Orpheus (The Agate Lamp)  1913  Margaret S a c k v i l l e , Orpheus among the .Shades, a p l a y (Songs of A p h r o d i t e )  204 n.d-.  S..S. Creamer, Orphean  Tragedy  n.d.  Norman G a l e , Orpheus  n..d.  A l f r e d P.. Graves, Orpheus (Dark B l u e 2:4l)  n.d..  E l i z a b e t h 0. Smith, R e g r e t s  There i s a l s o a p o e t i c drama, of s l i g h t m e r i t , by t h e Vancouver  p o e t , E.A. Jenns, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (1910).  Of t h e s e , B o u r d i l l o n ' s i s a popular, b u t commonplace poem, I n w h i c h E u r y d i c e b r i e f l y t e l l s  o f h e r awaking t o t h e  w o r l d a t Orpheus' c a l l , and of .the sorrow she caused when she, t u r n e d t o l o o k back..  A l f r e d Noyes t e l l s , w i t h  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c n a r r a t i v e magic, how A p o l l o sent the snake because Orpheus had n e g l e c t e d h i s god-given powers t o woo Eurydice.  The h u m i l i a t e d Orpheus o f P l a t o ' s Symposium  r e a p p e a r s i n E d i t h Wharton's poem, w h i l e most of t h e o t h e r s show t h e i r i n d e b t e d n e s s t o Browning and W i l l i a m M o r r i s by t h e i r very titles.. of  Perhaps t h e b e s t o f these poems - those  de T a b l e y , B i n y o n , D i l l o n and Moore - a r e those w h i c h  d e a l w i t h Orpheus-' d e a t h , i n t h e l u x u r i a n t , o v e r r i p e neopagan c a s t of S h e l l e y and Swinburne,  a t r a d i t i o n which died  62 hard i n m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t r y .  ^De T a b l e y and D i l l o n a r e a n a l y z e d a t l e n g t h i n W i r l ,  op. c i t . , pp. 85-9 and 90-101.  Moore i s b e t t e r known f o r t h e p l a y Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , one o f h i s many m y t h o l o g i c a l dramas d e a l i n g s y m b o l i c a l l y and one might say P l a t o n i c a l l y w i t h i d e a l beauty and t h e e f f o r t s of t h e human s o u l t o grasp i t .  In the  Orpheus, t h e gods of t h e t i m e l e s s , i d e a l w o r l d o f t h e s p i r i t i n v i t e Orpheus t o s t a y w i t h them as t h e i r son, but E u r y d i c e , who has r e f u s e d t o d r i n k of L e t h e ' s w a t e r s , her back t o t h e m a t e r i a l w o r l d .  begs him t o take  On t h e t e r r i f y i n g upward  j o u r n e y she i s overcome by t h e d a r k n e s s and h i s apparent l a c k of t e n d e r n e s s ,  and b r i n g s about t h e c a t a s t r o p h e .  The  h o r r o r o f t h e w o r l d o f m a t t e r i s unmasked i n t h e c o n c l u d i n g scene:  a B a s s a r i d e x u l t s over Orpheus' s e v e r e d ' l i m b s .  It is  a f i n e p l a y , one i n w h i c h t h e i d e o l o g y a c t u a l l y enhances t h e mythical s t o r y .  6 3  E u r y d i c e a l s o appears i n U l y s s e s , one o f t h e g r a n d i o s e p o e t i c dramas o f Stephen P h i l l i p s ,  l o n g enough t o t e l l h e r  brief story: I am E u r y d i c e , That f o r one moment was so near t h e day, When Orpheus backward l o o k e d , and a l l was n i g h t  (ll,2).  Yet i n t h i s w e a l t h of E n g l i s h m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t r y so much of i t d e e p l y f e l t and i n t e n s e l y s e r i o u s - t h e one poem w h i c h f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s  J  a r e most l i k e l y t o r e a d and t o  A r e v i s e d v e r s i o n appeared i n C o l l e c t e d Poems, v o l , 3  (London, 1 9 3 2 ) .  Here, when Orpheus r e t u r n s a second  time,  E u r y d i c e p r e f e r s t o d r i n k t h e p o t i o n and remain among the ideals,  a s s o c i a t e w i t h the myth does not mention Orpheus and Eurydice at a l l . how  Hermes met  In A S h r o p s h i r e Lad, A.E,  Housman t e l l s  him one morning and accompanied him on h i s  j o u r n e y t h r o u g h p a s t u r e l a n d , v a l l e y s and woods; And m i d s t the f l u t t e r i n g l e g i o n Of a l l t h a t ever d i e d I f o l l o w , and b e f o r e us Goes the d e l i g h t f u l guide, With l i p s that brim w i t h laughter But never once respond, And f e e t t h a t f l y on f e a t h e r s , And s e r p e n t - c i r c l e d wand (42: The  Merry Guide,  53-60]  Contemporary m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t r y a s p i r e s t o t h i s s t a t e the use of one  or a t most a few d e t a i l s of the myth,  d i v e s t e d of any o u t s i d e of  time.  s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e and  s e t , as i t were,  CHAPTER V I I CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE  Orpheus was one o f t h e Greek m y t h o l o g i c a l f i g u r e s adopted by t h e s y m b o l i s t p o e t s of F r a n c e . saw  While Baudelaire  t h e p o e t as I c a r u s , Rimbaud as Prometheus, and V a l e r y as  N a r c i s s u s , Orpheus appears i n t h e w r i t i n g s o f almost a l l t h e symbolists.  1  The  supra-human c h a r a c t e r s o f Greek myths, w i t h  t h e i r t r a g i c s t o r i e s , a p p e a l e d s t r o n g l y t o men who l e f t "human v a l u e s " t o t h e n o v e l i s t and t h e p l a y w r i g h t , and sought t o r e a c h poetry i t s e l f i n i t s purest s t a t e . Orpheus o b l i q u e l y .  The s y m b o l i s t s approach  In. t e l l i n g h i s s t o r y , t h e y g i v e t h e d e t a i l s  w h i l e t h e e s s e n t i a l s a r e o n l y suggested.  Thus t h e s y m b o l i s t  Orphee l i v e s i n - a n a l l u s i v e , dreamy, s i g n i f i c a n t w o r l d — b u t the a l l u s i o n s a r e n o t t h e meaningless t a g s o f t h e R e n a i s s a n c e , the dreaminess i s n o t t h e s a c c h a r i n e l a n g u o r o f t h e p r e Raph.ael.ites, t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e i s n o t e x p l i c i t , owes n o t h i n g t o s o c i a l problems, as w i t h t h e V i c t o r i a n s . . The myth i s n o t so much used as contemplated, and p e n e t r a t e d . The was  Orpheus t h a t f a s c i n a t e d t h e e a r l y s y m b o l i s t s  Orpheus t h e m a g i c i a n ,  mated.  a t whose song a l l n a t u r e was  ani-r  Maliarme saw t h e modern p o e t ' s r o l e as a s i m i l a r one -  207  203  c o n j u r i n g , a l t e r i n g n a t u r e i n m y s t e r i o u s ways.  T h i s concept  of the poet as m a g i c i a n dominated the F r e n c h p o e t r y of our c e n t u r y . Rimbaud's T h e o r i e du Voyant, the m a n i f e s t o of t h i s i d e a l , stems from the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . p h i l o s o p h e r B a l l a n c h e , i n whose v i s i o n the day would come when a l l the p e o p l e s of the e a r t h . w o u l d be u n i t e d i n the one empire of p o e t r y , and t h i s must be a c c o m p l i s h e d by a -new Orpheus f o r Orpheus h i m s e l f was a voyant who u n d e r s t o o d the s y n t h e s i s  2  of the w o r l d .  '  That t h i s was the meaning of the myth t o P a u l  V a l e r y i s c l e a r from a l e t t e r he wrote t o Debussy about  their  proposed c o l l a b o r a t i o n on a b a l l e t : J ' a v a l s songe incidemment au Mythe d'Orphee, c ' e s t - a - d i r e 1'animation de t o u t e chose p a r un e s p r i t , - l a f a b l e meme de l a m o b i l i t e e t de . 1'arrangement.3  "'"See A r t F o r A l l , i n Ma l i a r me', t r a n s l a t e d by B r a d f o r d Cook ( B a l t i m o r e , 1956), pp. 9-13, on p. 116.  and the note "Orphic e x p l a n a t i o n "  "' . •  ^ B a l l a n c h e ' s Orphee (1829) i s a h u m a n i t a r i a n e p i c i n n i n e books.  The descent i s g i v e n o n l y c u r s o r y t r e a t m e n t i n book  I I I , and the mythology i s h i g h l y unorthodox t h r o u g h o u t .  See.  A l b e r t Joseph George, P i e r r e - S i m o n B a l l a n c h e ( S y r a c u s e 1 9 4 . 5 ) ,  pp.. 111-8. ^Quoted from F r a n c i s S c a r f e , The A r t of P a u l V a l e r y  (London,  1954), p. 290.. The b a l l e t never m a t e r i a l i z e d , and V a l e r y ' s o n l y Orphee i s an e a r l y sonnet i n w h i c h the theme of music moving mountains i s r a t h e r c o n v e n t i o n a l l y h a n d l e d . More ample t r e a t m e n t of t h i s theme i s g i v e n i n Vale'ry.'s melodrama Amphion.  209  But t h e s t o r y of Orpheus' descent was e v e n t u a l l y taken up and i n time t h e image of Orpheus i n t h e w o r l d beyond e c l i p s e d t h a t o f Orpheus t h e magician..  In A l a i n -  F o u r n i e r ' s n o v e l Le Grand Meaulnes, t h e E u r y d i c e - s t o r y l i e s beneath t h e s u r f a c e , and t h e r e i s t h e c o n s t a n t h i n t o f a d i s p a r i t y between t h e a e s t h e t i c E u r y d i c e o f Orpheus' song, of t h e w o r l d o f l i g h t , and t h e a c t u a l E u r y d i c e g i v e n him by the w o r l d o f shadows..  With the s u r r e a l i s t Paul E l u a r d , a l l  p o e t i c experience i s a journey through h e l l , l i k e  Orpheus',  w h i c h f i n d s f u l f i l l m e n t i n t h e woman who, l i k e E u r y d i c e , always ness.  sees t h e dawn o f a new w o r l d emerging from the darkMost r e c e n t l y t h e tormented  5  "poet o f C h r i s t i a n  6 myth", Orpheus.  P i e r r e Emmanuel, has devoted two books o f poems t o I n t h e Tombeau d Orphee, s e x u a l p a s s i o n i s t h e 1  t h e cause of Orpheus' s u f f e r i n g - b o t h i n h i s f a i l u r e t o r e c o v e r E u r y d i c e and i n h i s death a t t h e hands of t h e u n s a t i s f i e d Maenads; a t t h e c l o s e o f h i s l i f e he renounces human l o v e , becomes b o t h man and woman l i k e T i r e s i a s , a symbol o f t h e whole cosmos.  E u r y d i c e t o o renounces human  p a s s i o n , p r e f e r r i n g t o remain  i n e t e r n i t y r a t h e r than  F o r an a n a l y s i s o f t h i s theme i n A l a i n - F o u r n i e r , see Robert Champigny, P o r t r a i t of_ §_ S y m b o l i s t Hero  (Bloomington,  1954).  ^ T h i s theme i s e s p e c i a l l y n o t a b l e i n L,'Amour du Poe'sie and' C a p i t a l e de l a D o u l e u r . See Joseph C h i a r d i , Contemporary F r e n c h P o e t r y (Manchester,  1 9 5 2 ) , p.. 1 4 7 .  T i t l e f o r Chapter 4 i n C h i a r d i , op_. c i t .  210 return to conjugal l i f e ;  she d i d n o t c a l l t o Orpheus t o t u r n  and l o o k upon h e r - r a t h e r he m i s t o o k t h e promptings of h i s own d e s i r e f o r h e r . v o i c e .  B o t h of them w i n redemption by  t h e i r r e n u n c i a t i o n , and as t h e poem c l o s e s Orpheus, who has p r a y e d f o r martyrdom, i s surrounded w i t h t h e shroud, t h e spear and t h e crown o f t h o r n s .  The second book, Orphiques,  tells,  i n t h e f i r s t p a r t (Musique de l a N u i t ) , of Orpheus t h e music i a n , w i t h t r i b u t e s t o Bach and Beethoven; i n t h e second (Aube s u r l e s E n f e r s ) , o f t h e d e s c e n t , w i t h homage p a i d t o Gerard Manley Hopkins, and i n t h e t h i r d ( I n v e n t i o n des Menades),  o f t h e dismemberment - a l l a t g r e a t l e n g t h and  w i t h much o b s c u r i t y .  The i n f l u e n c e o f t h e myth o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e upon t h e e a r l y poems o f R a i n e r M a r i a R i l k e i s an almost s u b c o n s c i o u s one, as i t was e a r l i e r w i t h N o v a l i s and H o l d e r l i n - a n a t u r a l consequence  of t h e p o e t ' s f a s c i n a t i o n  w i t h h i s own powers, h i s s e a r c h f o r beauty and h i s attempt t o p e n e t r a t e t h e mystery o f d e a t h .  Even though t h e y a r e  not named, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e seem t o be t h e l o v e r s R i l k e speaks o f i n .Per Tod d e r G.eliebten: E r wusste n u r vom Tod, was a l l e w i s s e n : dass e r uns nimmt und i n das Stumme s t 8 s s t . A l s aber s i e , n i c h t von ihm f o r t g e r i s s e n , n e i n , l e i s aus s e i n e n Augen ausgel8st, h i n u b e r g l i t t zu unbekannten S c h a t t e n , und a l s e r f u h l t e , dass s i e drftben nun wie e i n e n Mond i h r MadchenlMcheln h a t t e n und i h r e Weise w o h l z u t u n :  211 da wurden ihm d i e Toten so bekannt, a l s ware e r d u r c h s i e m i t einem jeden ga'nz nah verwandt; ,er l i e s s d i e andern reden und g l a u b t e n i c h t und nannte jenes Land das gutgelegene, das immersusse -  Und t a s t e t e es ab f u r i h r e Fusse.7 Joachim R o s t e u t s c h e r ,  i n Das  a.sthetische I d o l , f i n d s t r a c e s Q  of the myth i n a h a l f - d o z e n more of R i l k e ' s e a r l y poems. Only one  of these i d e n t i f i e s the characters..  Orpheus, E u r y d i k e , Hermes, and was  It i s called  d i r e c t l y i n s p i r e d by  A t t i c r e l i e f , w h i c h R i l k e saw In the Naples copy i n  the  1904.  I t i s a t h o r o u g h l y modern poem, however, i n i t s s e n s i b i l i t y , i t s i r r e g u l a r form, and i t s use of symbols.  I t i s also  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of R i l k e i n i t s m y s t i c a l p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h death and the maiden.; E u r y d i c e i s the f o c u s of the poem, as of the r e l i e f , but she i s a s t r a n g e E u r y d i c e , f i l l e d w i t h her great  death, Wie  e i n e F r u c h t von S u s s i g k e i t und Dunkel  (65).  She i s not c o n s c i o u s t h a t she i s f o l l o w i n g her husband, f o r Sie war i n einem neuen Madchentum und unberuhrbar; i h r G e s c h l e c h t war  zu  (68-70). (1908) .  wie e i n e junge Blume gegen Abend ^In 8  P e r Neuen G e d i c h t e , Anderer Te.il  D a s Buch von der P i l g e r s c h a f t ; Worpsweder Tagebuch  Oct.  1900);  Madchengestalten;  Buch der B i l d e r ) ; Das  Das  (28  j u n g s t e G e r i c h t ( i n Das  Stundenbuch I I I ; Orpheus.. E u r y d i k e .  Hermes ( i n Der Neuen G e d i c h t e , E r s t e r . Te.il) . R o s t e u t s c h e r , op_; c i t . , pp.  249r-53.  See  212 Loosened as l o n g h a i r , abandoned as the f a l l e n r a i n , 1  distri-  buted as b l e s s i n g s abundant,S i e war  schon Wurzel  (82).  Orpheus r e p r e s e n t s the human w o r l d ,  restless,  i m p a t i e n t , touched w i t h genius but c u r s e d w i t h s e l f - s e e k i n g . Through the phantasmagoria of r o c k s , shadows, f o r e s t s , "Brucken uber L e e r e s "  (8)  he l e a d s the way,  his lyre  for-  g o t t e n , grown i n t o h i s l e f t hand, h i s senses w a v e r i n g l i k e a h u n t i n g dog w h i c h r a c e s ahead, then t u r n s back t o the t u r n of the  path. Hermes i s s h i n i n g - e y e d  and l i g h t of f o o t , w i t h h i s  s l e n d e r wand h e l d out b e f o r e him and the wings f l u t t e r i n g about h i s a n k l e s . a s t e r : he i t i s who -".  He i s a god,  but he i s moved by human d i s -  c r i e s i n anguish  "Er had  s i c h umgewendet  E u r y d i c e , the b r i d e of death, knows n o t h i n g , and  asks  o n l y "Wer?" ( 8 5 - 6 ) . A f t e r t h i s s t a r t l i n g c l i m a x , Orpheus i s f o r g o t t e n . We  do not hear h i s laments even as we  song b e f o r e P l u t o ,  d i d not hear of h i s  W i t h E u r y d i c e , we have f o r g o t t e n  we r e t u r n t o the w o r l d where the m y s t e r i o u s stands  "dunkel v o r dem  him;  f i g u r e of d e a t h  k l a r e n Ausgang" (87),  where  E u r y d i c e has a l r e a d y p a s s e d , den S c h r i t t beschrankt von langen L e i c h e n b a n d e r n , u n s i c h e r , s a n f t und ohne Ungeduld ( 9 4 - 5 ) . T h i s e a r l y poem of R i l k e s c o u l d s t a n d , w i t h 1  Housman's,as a model f o r the p o e t i c treatment myths, f o r i t i s no s e n t i m e n t a l or p e d a n t i c  of  classical  i n v o c a t i o n of  213 a n t i q u i t y , but an e x t r a o r d i n a r y e f f o r t t o grasp the s p i r i t of the myth i t s e l f , a j o u r n e y i n t o p r e - c l a s s i c Orpheus..-  Eurydike.  time.  Hermes was w r i t t e n a t a time  when R i l k e ' s p o e t r y was l a r g e l y an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f v a r i o u s o b j e t s d a r t ; i n h i s mature p e r i o d , R i l k e t u r n e d a g a i n t o 1  Orpheus.  T h i s time E u r y d i c e i s not c a l l e d f o r t h from the  9 b e t t e r w o r l d of h e r new v i r g i n i t y ; o n l y Orpheus i s i n v o k e d and he i s not the husband of E u r y d i c e so much as the c r e a t i v e Orpheus who knows the m y s t e r i e s of l i f e and death, whose song permeates the whole w o r l d .  The famous i d e a l of the  Sonette an Orpheus, the c u l m i n a t i o n of a c e n t u r y o f Orphean p o e t r y from N o v a l i s and H o l d e r l i n through the F r e n c h s y m b o l i s t s , has been compared"^ t o N i e t z s c h e ' s Z a r a t h u s t r a and Superman:  Dionysus,  f o r R i l k e , the p o e t , s y m b o l i z e d i n  Orpheus, i s the redeemer and t r a n s f i g u r e r o f a l l e x i s t e n c e i n d e e d , when he s i n g s he c a l l s e x i s t e n c e i n t o b e i n g : . Da s t i e g e i n Baum. 0 r e i n e U b e r s t e i g u n g I 0 Orpheus s i n g t i 0 hoher Baum im Ohri ( S o n e t t e an Orpheus: 1,1,1-2). R i l k e f i n d s the s e c r e t of a l l p o i e s i s i n a s e l f - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h i s p o w e r f u l f i g u r e , and h i s l a t e r work i s a c o n s t a n t attempt t o c a s t h i m s e l f i n the mold o f h i s Orpheus-symbol.  ^In  Sonette An Orpheus: 11,12,4, R i l k e speaks of b e i n g dead  " i n E u r y d i k e " , i . e . i n the h a b i t u a l death of E u r y d i c e i n the e a r l i e r poem. 1 0  S e e M i c h a e l Hamburger,  op_. c i t . , pp. .105-13.  214 As f o r E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g s y m b o l i s t s , James Joyce chose U l y s s e s as h i s m y t h i c a l hero, w h i l e T i r e s i a s i s t h e most important  c l a s s i c a l f i g u r e i n T.S. E l i o t ' s The Waste  Landj b u t t h e t h r e e S i t w e l l s have a l l d e a l t w i t h Orpheus: Sir  Osbert's' Orpheus t e l l s how t h e f o r e s t animals were  charmed, w h i l e S a c h e v e r e l l s E u r y d i c e 1  ( i n The T h i r t e e n t h  Caesar) makes Orpheus t h e sun; t h e E u r y d i c e of Dame E d i t h i s , o f t h e t h r e e , t h e poem t o be reckoned with.. 1946,  Written i n  i t has none of t h e f l a s h i n g w i t o f t h e famous poems,  but i t s symbolism, weaving i n and out o f i r r e g u l a r l o n g l i n e s , i s gorgeous, and i t s approach (a new one f o r t h e myth, i f n o t f o r Dame E d i t h , who has w r i t t e n many s i m i l a r death-poems) i s brilliant. E u r y d i c e begins h e r s o l i l o q u y w i t h the l i n e s : F i r e s on t h e h e a r t h ! F i r e s i n the. heavens^! F i r e s i n t h e h e a r t s o f Men! I who was welded i n t o b r i g h t g o l d i n t h e e a r t h by Death S a l u t e you! (1-3)• She who i s now t h e golden b r i d e o f Death s a l u t e s t h e f i r e s t h a t l i g h t the w o r l d above.  B u t she has another r i p e n i n g  sun below - Death, who has taught h e r h e a r t t o f o r g i v e . Then she t e l l s how "Orpheus came w i t h h i s s u n l i k e s i n g i n g " (17)j and she moved t o t h e mouth o f t h e tomb and walked, a golden f i g u r e , a c r o s s The dark f i e l d s where t h e sowers s c a t t e r g r a i n L i k e t e a r s (26-7), r e c a l l i n g P r o s e r p i n e o f t h e golden h a i r , h e a r i n g the  golden-  v o i c e d man o f goa^warn h e r t o l o o k t o t h e l i g h t , w h i l e i n 1 1  A  39^41  q u o t a t i o n from M e i s t e r E c k h a r t and addressed t o E u r y d i c e .  i s paraphrased i n l i n e s  215  the " f e r i n e d u s t " (43) t h a t r i s e s around h e r , Death b i d s her remember t h a t he s t i l l has power over h e r .  Par o f f  she h e a r s the sounds a r i s e from the g o l d e n - r o o f e d d w e l l i n g s of men,  and wonders•why t h e y weep f o r the  d e a t h of golden n a t u r e , w h i c h i s not l o s t but o n l y changed i n the sweet d a r k n e s s .  Still,  her sweet d e a t h o f f f o r Orpheus-  1  she has c a s t  sake, and f o l l o w s him  homeward t o the s m a l l t h i n g s of Love, the b u i l d i n g of the h e a r t h , the kneading of the d a i l y b r e a d , The c r i e s of b i r t h , and a l l the weight of l i g h t Shaping our b o d i e s and our s o u l s . Come home t o y o u t h , And the n o i s e of summer growing i n the v e i n s , And t o o l d age, a serene a f t e r n o o n , An element beyond t i m e , or a new c l i m a t e ( 7 0 - 5 ) » But i n the f i n a l s t a n z a i t i s she, not Orpheus, who  t u r n s , and w i t h s t a r t l i n g  effect:  I w i t h the o t h e r young who were born from d a r k n e s s , R e t u r n i n g t o d a r k n e s s , s t o o d a t the mouth of the Tomb W i t h one who had come g l i t t e r i n g l i k e the wind To meet me - Orpheus w i t h the golden mouth, You - l i k e A d o n i s born from the young m y r r h - t r e e , you, the v i n e - b r a n c h Broken by t h e wind of l o v e . . . .1 t u r n e d t o g r e e t youAnd when I touched your mouth, i t was the Sun ( 7 6 - 8 2 ) . So the themes pf g o l d , f i r e and the sun t h r e a d t h e i r way t h r o u g h the poem.  I t i s i m p o s s i b l e , i n a summary,  t o suggest as w e l l the o t h e r themes of wheat, of the l i o n , the honeycomb and the maiden b e a r i n g death as a c h i l d  216 w i t h i n her.. the  Some of these are t r a d i t i o n a l w i t h Dame E d i t h )  d e a t h - b e a r i n g maiden i s borrowed, w i t h c r e d i t , from R i l k e .  But t h e two imposing themes, t h e sun and the wheat, a r e d e r i v e d from the suggested o r i g i n s of the myth i t s e l f . : In the  l a s t l i n e E u r y d i c e the golden s h a f t of wheat,  the  seeds of her own d e a t h w i t h i n h e r , awakes t o Orpheus  the  sun.  For  bearing  the r e s t , t h e r e a r e dozens of E n g l i s h and  American p o e t s on the contemporary scene who have w r i t t e n about Orpheus and E u r y d i c e : 19.18  George R p s t r e v o r H a m i l t o n , Orpheus (Escape and Fantasy) Orpheus  1919  1  song, i n contemporary language.  B.K.. Van S l y k e , Orpheus i n the S t r e e t ( P o e t r y 13:2.52) Orpheus as a hurdy-gurdy  1921  man.,  Brookes More, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e (The B e g g a r s 1  Vision) a somewhat Romantic r e v i s i o n of V i r g i l and O v i d , but o r i g i n a l ( i n American l e t t e r s ) i n a s s o c i a t i n g the  husband and w i f e and s e r p e n t of the Orpheus  myth w i t h G e n e s i s , the c l o s e of the golden age and the coming of sorrow i n t o the w o r l d . 1921  Laurence Housman, The Death of Orpheusj Orpheus and The Phoenix (The Love Concealed,  1928)  o n l y the p h o e n i x remains a l o o f f r o m Orpheus'' song.  217 1924  E l i z a b e t h Maddox R o b e r t s , Orpheus ( P o e t r y 24:201) a n a i v e t r e a t m e n t o f Orpheus and t h e trees..  19.24  F..-.W. Bateson, Orpheus i n Thrace ( S p e c t a t o r 133*506) a b r i e f lament f o r E u r y d i c e .  1925  F r a n k Kendon, Orpheus (London Mercury 11: 571) •a l o n g n a r r a t i v e poem, i n which Orpheus' descent i s summed up i n t h e l i n e : To l o s e , t o f i g h t , t o w i n , t o hope, t o l o s e  ( s t . 40,1,2). 1925  L.. H u l l e y , Orpheus and E u r y d i c e ( F a b l e s and Myths from the S i b y l s Book) 1  1925  H>D'. (Mrs. R i c h a r d A l d i n g t o n ) , E u r y d i c e ( C o l l e c t e d Poems) E u r y d i c e r e p r o a c h e s Orpheus f o r h i s arrogance and r u t h l e s s n e s s , b u t adds, "my h e l l i s no worse than y o u r s " ,  1927  L(oyd) H ( a b e r l y ) , Orpheus a t H e l l ' s Gate S i n g s (Poems)  1928  D>R. W i l l i a m s o n , Orpheus and E u r y d i c e ( C o l l e c t e d Poems)  1929  Alice Wills,  19,29  Helen G i l b e r t , E u r y d i c e (Sewanee Review 37:322)  Orpheus  an o v e r l y - R o m a n t i c n a r r a t i v e . . 1935  Joseph A u s l a n d e r , E u r y d i c e (No T r a v e l l e r R e t u r n s ) E u r y d i c e urges Orpheus t o l o o k and come t o death with her.  1937  J y E v e l y n , E u r y d i c e and Orpheus (Poems)  218 1943  Yvor W i n t e r s , Orpheus: I n Memory Of Hart Crane (The G i a n t Weapon) the l o s s of E u r y d i c e and t h e dismemberment, i n a b r i e f , oblique n a r r a t i o n .  1944  Marya Z a t u r e n s k a , The R e c a l l o f E u r y d i c e (The Golden Mirror) a l y r i c v e r s i o n o f t h e s t o r y w i t h no mention of Orpheus ..  1945  E d i t h Grabmann, E u r y d i c e ( P o e t r y 66:16) a w a r n i n g t o Orpheus n o t t o make h i s f r u i t l e s s journey t o the underworld.  1945  W.H. Auden,. Orpheus ( C o l l e c t e d S h o r t e r Poems) b r i e f and e n i g m a t i c .  1946  Helen Bevingt.on, Song o f Orpheus ( A t l a n t i c Monthly, 178: Nov.., -74) the .shades weep a t Orpheus  1949  1  song.  M u r i e l Rukeyser,. Orpheus ( S e l e c t e d Poems) a l o n g , e l a b o r a t e poem d e a l i n g w i t h Orpheus"  1  apotheosis. 1952  E. K r o l l , Orpheus (Cape Horn and Other Poems)  1952  H e r b e r t Henry Marks, Orpheus, a p l a y i n verse..  1953  John Hearne, Orpheus (New Statesman and N a t i o n  45:582) Orpheus t h e m u s i c i a n , t h e Argonaut, t h e l o v e r , the m a r t y r and a moral - i n f i v e b r i e f , stanzas.  flippant  219  1953  Edwin M u i r , O r p h e u s Dream ( C o l l e c t e d Poems) 1  Orpheus o n l y imagines E u r y d i c e i s r e s t o r e d ; he t u r n s and sees her S t i l l s i t t i n g i n her s i l v e r c h a i r Alone i n Hades' empty h a l l (17-.18) . 1954  E l i ' M a n d e l , Orpheus ( T r i o ) Orpheus as a Welsh c o a l miner.  1954  Anne Goodwin Winslow, Orpheus To P l u t o (New Y o r k e r , 30:  .Dec 11,  161)  Orpheus, .a p e a c e f u l homebody, a s k s f o r E u r y d i c e because "Home was where she l i k e d t o be". 1955  S i d n e y G o o d s i r Smith, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , §_ d i d a c t i c poem.. a drama i n S c o t t i s h d i a l e c t , . w i t h a few random quotes from Henryson.  1956  H a r o l d F r a n c i s S t e w a r t , Orpheus and Other Poems  1956  Roy Campbell, Orpheus: f o r Gene Tunney Orpheus, i n h i s n i n t h r e - i n c a r n a t i o n , r e t e l l s h i s l i f e - s t o r y i n modern terms b e f o r e b e i n g shot by the  1959  s t a t e police:.  James D i c k e y , Orpheus B e f o r e Hades (New Y o r k e r Dec.  35:  5,52)  Orpheus  1  l y r i c p l e a f o r the renewal of s p r i n g ,  n.d.  Newton M;.Baskett, Orpheus and E u r y d i c e  n.d.  D a v i d Gascoyne, Orpheus i n t h e Underworld 1  Orpheus dreams of " t e a r s and wet l e a v e s , c u r t a i n s of r o c k " .  cold  220 But d e s p i t e t h i s s t e a d y output of m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t r y , Orpheus  1  a b i d i n g p o p u l a r i t y i n our c e n t u r y I s due t o h i s r e -  i n c a r n a t i o n s on t h e stage and i n t h e f i l m s .  Our most famous  Orpheus i s Cocteau's Orphee, w h i c h appeared on t h e stage i n  12 1926 and, w i t h many changes,  on t h e s c r e e n i n 1951.  This  f i g u r e i s l a r g e l y t h e s y m b o l i s t Orphe'e t r a n s p l a n t e d by Cocteau t o t h e t h e a t r i c a l medium: he i s n o t a m u s i c i a n , but a poet i n c o n t a c t w i t h a n o t h e r w o r l d , and d e a t h i s a r e a l i t y w h i c h hovers over him. Orphe'e h i m s e l f i n t r o d u c e s h i s p l a y w i t h a r e q u e s t f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g from t h e audience.:  He and E u r y d i c e l i v e  i n a modern Thrace, surrounded by m a r v e l s o f a l l sorts.-. the  In  opening scene, Orphee i s shown d e t e c t i n g p o e t i c messages  from t h e w o r l d beyond from t h e h o o f b e a t s o f an o r a c u l a r horse  1^ w h i c h he keeps i n h i s house. ^  T h i s i n f u r i a t e s t h e con-  v e n t i o n a l E u r y d i c e , b u t t o Orphee " l a moindre de ces p h r a s e s e s t p l u s e'tonnante que t o u s l e s poemes". ^"  He  1  seems t o be d i s c o v e r i n g h i m s e l f i n t h e s e messages, one of which,"Madame E u r y d i c e r e v i e n d r a des e n f e r s " , he e n t e r s i n t h e a n n u a l p o e t r y c o m p e t i t i o n sponsored by a women's Many of t h e changes a r e i n t r o d u c e d from C o c t e a u s f i r s t 1  f i l m , L_e Sang d'un Poete 1 3  (1933).  T h e p o i n t seems t o be t h a t Orpheus, .who enchanted the  b e a s t s w i t h h i s song, i s i r o n i c a l l y enchanted by a b e a s t ' s poetry. l^Oeuvres Completes de Jean Cocteau ( P a r i s , 1951) > vol.  5, p. 24.  221  club c a l l e d the Bacchantes.  Eurydice i s e v e n t u a l l y poisoned  by t h e j e a l o u s l e a d e r of t h i s group, and Death, i n t h e person of a b e a u t i f u l young woman, .comes w i t h two s u r g e o n - l i k e a s s i s t a n t s t o c l a i m her.  Orphee i s warned of t h e t r e a c h e r y 15  by an a n g e l named H u e r t e b i s e , ^ b u t he a r r i v e s t o o l a t e t o save h i s w i f e .  Death has a c c i d e n t a l l y l e f t h e r g l o v e s  behind,  however, and H u e r t e b i s e t e l l s Orphee he can f o l l o w E u r y d i c e i n t o t h e next w o r l d by donning t h e g l o v e s and p a s s i n g  through  the m i r r o r ; J-e vous l i v r e l e s e c r e t des s e c r e t s , L e s m i r o i r s sont l e s p o r t e s p a r l e s q u e l l e s l a Mort va e t v i e n t . Ne l e d i t e s a personne. Du r e s t e , regardez-vou.s t o u t e v o t r e v i e dans une g l a c e e t vous v e r r e z l a Mort t r a v a i l l e r comme des a b e i l l e s dans une ruche de verre.l° The  r e c o v e r y o f E u r y d i c e b e h i n d t h e m i r r o r i s accomplished  i n the' s p l i t second i t t a k e s t h e postman t o d e l i v e r a l e t t e r . The  c o n d i t i o n imposed on Orphee i s t h a t he never l o o k upon  his  wife again.  But i n a q u a r r e l he a c c i d e n t a l l y does so,  and she d i s a p p e a r s .  Orphee opens t h e l e t t e r and d i s c o v e r s  t h a t h i s poem "Madame E u r y d i c e r e v i e n d r a des E n f e r s " has aroused  t h e f u r y p f t h e Bacchantes because i t s i n i t i a l  l e t t e r s s p e l l out "un mot i n j u r i e u x " .  "Le c h e v a l m'a  jouej"  15  H u e r t e b i s e " , C o c t e a u s angel., appears o f t e n i n h i s 1  poetry.  F o r t h e o r i g i n of t h e name, see Neal  Scandal and Parade: The Theater p. 8 8 , Oeuvres, loc.. c i t . . , p. 5 8 .  Oxenhandler,  o f Jean Cocteau ( R u t g e r s , 1 9 5 7 ) ,  c r i e s Orphee, ' h u t he b r e a k s t h e h o r s e ' s s p e l l by j o y f u l l y a c c e p t i n g h i s martyrdom.  I n t h e c l o s i n g scenes, Orphe'e i s p a i d  the u s u a l posthumous honors of t h e m i s u n d e r s t o o d p o e t ; h i s s e v e r e d head announces t h a t h i s name i s r e a l l y Jean Cocteau, and then w i t h h i s w i f e and g u a r d i a n a n g e l H u e r t e b i s e he mounts to  heaven. T h i s o u t l i n e omits hundreds  of d e t a i l s which are  u n d o u b t e d l y s i g n i f i c a n t t o Cocteau and h i s f o l l o w i n g , b u t i t a t l e a s t i n d i c a t e s some ways i n w h i c h t h e myth has been used, •as w e l l as some of t h e s e r i o u s , comic, analogous, and scandalous l e v e l s of the p l a y . In t h e f i l m t h e h o r s e , t h e p o e t r y c o n t e s t , and t h e s e v e r e d head a r e gone; t h e tone i s almost u n r e l i e v e d l y serious..  The scope of t h e motion p i c t u r e camera a l l o w s us t o  e n t e r t h e w o r l d beyond s e v e r a l t i m e s , and t h e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r seems t o be l e s s Orphee than Orphee's Death, a m y s t e r i o u s P r i n c e s s who t r a v e l s about e s c o r t e d by two motorcyclist's.  In the f i l m , Huertebise i s her chauffeur,  and t h e p o e t i c messages from t h e o t h e r w o r l d come over t h e short-wave r a d i o i n h e r R o l l s - R o y c e .  Orphee i s a c e l e b r a t e d  P a r i s i a n poet who i s s e e k i n g a f r e s h approach t o p o e t r y . When a b r i l l i a n t young l e f t - b a n k w r i t e r named Ce'geste i s r u n down and k i l l e d by t h e P r i n c e s s and h e r c y c l i s t s , Orphee  I b i d . , p. 74.  r i d e s o f f i n t h e c a r , and l e a r n s t h a t t h e young poet has been r e c e i v i n g h i s i n s p i r a t i o n t h r o u g h h i s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the P r i n c e s s .  He l o n g s t o r e c e i v e t h e same p o e t i c s e c r e t s  he hears c r a c k l i n g over h e r c a r - r a d i o . As a r e s u l t o f h i s o b s e s s i o n , h i s u n l o v e d , pregnant E u r y d i c e i s c l a i m e d by the P r i n c e s s and, as i n t h e p l a y , Orphee i s t o l d by H u e r t e b i s e t o r e c o v e r h e r by donning t h e g l o v e s and p a s s i n g through the m i r r o r .  But he r e a l i z e s t h a t he i s making t h e  j o u r n e y t o t h e beyond more out o f f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h h i s Death, t h e P r i n c e s s , than out o f l o v e f o r h i s wife.. The  Judges o f t h e w o r l d of t h e dead - t h r e e b l u e -  serged businessmen - r e s t o r e E u r y d i c e t o l i f e because t h e P r i n c e s s has c l a i m e d h e r p r e m a t u r e l y .  I t i s discovered that  the two agents o f death have f a l l e n i n l o v e w i t h m o r t a l s the P r i n c e s s w i t h Orphee, H u e r t e b i s e w i t h E u r y d i c e . S t e r n warnings  a r e i s s u e d them t o a b i d e by t h e decrees o f death,  and Orphee i s t o l d he must never a g a i n l o o k a t E u r y d i c e . The c o u p l e ' s new l i f e  i s s h o r t , however - E u r y d i c e i s  d i s p a t c h e d by Orphee s a c c i d e n t a l g l a n c e i n t o a m i r r o r , and !  he i s shot down by t h e Bacchantes of  as t h e supposed murderer  Cegest'e. But g r e a t p o e t s a r e i m m o r t a l : i n t h e memorable  c o n c l u d i n g scene o f t h e f i l m , t h e P r i n c e s s and H u e r t e b i s e t e l l Orphee and E u r y d i c e t h a t t h e y a r e ready t o d i e i n t h e i r s t e a d , and go t o be p u n i s h e d by t h e judges.  224 Both the f i l m and the p l a y are u n c o n v e n t i o n a l : Orphee was  Cocteau's f i r s t i m p o r t a n t p l a y , and the  Orphee i s a compendium of h i s screen t e c h n i q u e .  film  In. b o t h  media l o g i c and c o n v e n t i o n are scorned i n an attempt  to  surround the s t o r y w i t h an atmosphere of u n r e a l i t y . i r o n i c a l l y a c h i e v e d by i n t r o d u c i n g the most r e a l i s t i c , even m e c h a n i c a l  elements.  But the d e l i b e r a t e shock element  of the p l a y has been r e p l a c e d , a f t e r t w e n t y ^ f l v e y e a r s , by the marvelous and the p i c t u r e s q u e i n the f i l m .  The  theater  audience  i s s t a r t l e d i n t o a c c e p t i n g the s t o r y ; the cinema  audience  i s drawn t o do so by c u r i o u s , e v o c a t i v e images. Cocteau's a t t i t u d e towards the myth has  as w e l l .  changed  I n the p l a y i t i s the power of p o e t r y t h a t i s  c e n t r a l . : because he i s a p o e t , Orphee can c o n t a c t the unknown r e g i o n s beyond; these seek t o communicate w i t h him i n ways m a l e v o l e n t  (the horse) and benignant  (Huertebise).  The marvels w h i c h surround the poet b r i n g h i s d e s t r u c t i o n ' and h i s a p o t h e o s i s .  To an e x t e n t these i d e a s a r e . a l s o p r e s e n t  i n the f i l m , but the emphasis has s w i t c h e d from the poet t o the w o r l d of death, w h i c h i s seen no l o n g e r - a s c o n t r a s t e d good and e v i l ,  but as a t e r r i b l e w o r l d w h i c h almost absorbs  poet and h i s w i f e .  The t r u e poet (Ce'geste) must c o n t a c t t h i s  w o r l d ; the immortal•poet i t s love.  the  (Orphee) must conquer i t by  winning  Death i s not cheated, however, and e x a c t s i t s  vengeance from i t s own E u r y d i c e t o Orphee;.  agent, the P r i n c e s s - who  i s the r e a l  225 These themes, the power of p o e t r y i n the p l a y , the power of d e a t h i n the f i l m , a r e u n q u e s t i o n a b l y i n h e r e n t i n the  Orpheus-myth; t h e y are found i n the e a r l i e s t  literary  t r a c e s - the one i n E u r i p i d e s , t h e o t h e r i n P l a t o , b o t h in the  the C u l e x .  U n f o r t u n a t e l y Cocteau evokes them, not t h r o u g h  Orpheus— E u r y d i c e s t o r y i t s e l f , but by i m p o s i n g some  mythology o f h i s own upon the c l a s s i c myth.  By h i s own  a d m i s s i o n he uses Orpheus because he f e e l s " q u i t e n a t u r a l l y 18  drawn t o a myth i n w h i c h l i f e and d e a t h meet f a c e t o f a c e " . But i t i s l i f e and d e a t h , not Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , t h a t i n s p i r e him.  The m y t h i c a l . f i g u r e s are o b s c u r e d , almost  submerged i n the c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the two w o r l d s between w h i c h t h e y are drawn. The d e t a i l s of the s t o r y , even the c r u c i a l backward g l a n c e , t e n d o n l y t o get i n the way erratic vision.  of C o c t e a u s l  They are e v e n t u a l l y f i t t e d i n , but w i t h  c o n s i d e r a b l e adjustment.  I n the l a s t a n a l y s i s , i t must be  s a i d t h a t the importance of Cocteau's Orphe'e i s due not t o the c l a s s i c a l f i g u r e of Orpheus but t o Cocteau's s t r a n g e l y e v o l v i n g sense of s t y l e and h i s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the power of p o e t r y and d e a t h , w h i c h themes he c o n v e n i e n t l y f i n d s i n the  Orpheus-  myth.  Jean Cocteau and Andre P r a i g n e a u , Cocteau on the F i l m (London, 1 9 5 4 ) , p. .101..  226 Cocteau i s a t p r e s e n t a t work on a new. f i l m , Le. Testament d Orphe'e.. Meanwhile, p l a y s and f i l m s on the -t  19  subject continue.  A n o u i l h ' s E u r y d i c e ^ r e t e l l s the myth  i n the drab s e t t i n g s of a p r o v i n c i a l r a i l w a y s t a t i o n a shabby M a r s e i l l e s hotel-room.  and  Orpheus and h i s f a t h e r are  I t i n e r a n t c a f e m u s i c i a n s and E u r y d i c e and her mother a c t r e s s e s i n a down-at-the-heel t h e a t r e t r o u p e . t r a i n s t h e y meet and f a l l for  Between,  i n l o v e , escape from t h e i r p a r e n t s  a few hours, i n w h i c h the whole w o r l d and a l l t h e  people  i n i t are t r a n s f o r m e d f o r them.  i n l i f e i s impermanent;  But the sweetness  E u r y d i c e s scandalous p a s t p u r s u e s l  h e r ; she l e a v e s Orpheus and i s k i l l e d i n a s t r e e t a.cc.iden.t. Then Death, i n the p e r s o n of the m y s t e r i o u s M. H e n r i , a r r a n g e s t h a t the g r i e f - s t r i c k e n Orpheus s h o u l d meet her a g a i n i n the d e s e r t e d s t a t i o n and win her back, p r o v i d e d does not l o o k her i n the f a c e b e f o r e dawn. is  But now  he  Orpheus  c u r i o u s about E u r y d i c e ' s p r e v i o u s l o v e r s , and i n h i s  l o n g i n g t o p r e s e r v e her as he had once known h e r , f a c e s her and has the t r u t h out,  E u r y d i c e fades i n t o the n i g h t , as  h e r e s s e n t i a l goodness i s a s s e r t e d by a p p a r i t i o n s of a l l the c h a r a c t e r s In the p l a y .  In the f i n a l a c t , as Orpheus.'?  f a t h e r e x t o l s the p l e a s u r e s and a m b i t i o n s of the ^ E n t i t l e d P o i n t of Departure of L o v e r s i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s .  bourgeois  i n Great B r i t a i n and Legend  227 life,  Orpheus i s persuaded by M. H e n r i t o meet E u r y d i c e i n  death that n i g h t . T h i s i s the d i s i l l u s i o n e d A n o u i l h o f the y e a r s o f the German o c c u p a t i o n o f F r a n c e ,  s a v o r i n g the sweetness of l i f e  and l o v e , but c o n v i n c e d t h a t i t can' never s u r v i v e i n a sordid world.  F o r Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , a n y t h i n g i s p r e f e r -  a b l e t o t h e compromise t h e i r p a r e n t s have made; they choose death, which, p r o m i s e s t o g i v e some permanence t o t h e i r l o v e . D e s p i t e i t s s u c c e s s , c r i t i c s have been h a r s h w i t h the  20 play  ; i t has been judged a r t i s t i c a l l y unsound i n i t s  s e n t i m e n t a l , p s e u d o - e x i s t e n t i a l i s t approach t o s e r i o u s problems and m o r a l l y shabby i n i t s s e l f - p i t y , i t s r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of p r o m i s c u i t y , i t s mawkish d e a t h - w i s h i n g .  But i t has  moments of beauty and humor and - more than Cocteau's p l a y i t seems t o have touched  on, i f n o t sounded t h e f u l l  possi-  b i l i t i e s o f , t h e myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e .  The  c u r r e n t f i l m The F u g i t i v e K i n d i s adapted from  Tennessee W i l l i a m s ' p l a y Orpheus. Descending..  The movie i s  more honest than t h e p l a y as f a r as t h e t i t l e  i s concerned:  2 0  S e e W a l t e r K e r r i n Commonweal 55(1952) pp.. 373-4; Joseph  Wood K r u t c h i n The N a t i o n 174(1952) p-. 44; H a r o l d Clurman i n The New R e p u b l i c 126(1952) p. 23; Brooks A t k i n s o n i n The New York.Times, Oct. 29, 1959, P- 37.  The CBC r e c e n t l y  c a n c e l l e d a scheduled t e l e v i s i o n . p r e s e n t a t i o n , on moral grounds.  228 n e i t h e r has a n y t h i n g much t o do w i t h Orpheus,  I t i s no  c r e d i t t o W i l l i a m s ' a r t t h a t he can i n v e s t an o l d p l a y w i t h " c l a s s i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e " merely by e q u i p p i n g h i s  21 hero w i t h a g u i t a r . '  The myth i s more e x p l i c i t l y d e a l t w i t h i n another c u r r e n t f i l m , Orfeu Negro ( B l a c k Orpheus).  This i s , again,  22 an e x p e r i m e n t a l work, almost a b a l l e t , based on a p l a y by the B r a z i l i a n d i p l o m a t V i n i c i u s de Moraes and f i l m e d i n B r a z i l by the F r e n c h d i r e c t o r M a r c e l Camus.  The myth of  Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i s h e r e r e - e n a c t e d by the f a v e l a s , 1  the negroes who off  l i v e by the thousands i n shacks made of c a s t -  o i l - c a n s and perched  Bay of R i o de J a n e i r o .  on the steep c l i f f s o v e r l o o k i n g the Among t h e i r number I s Orpheus,  whose g u i t a r - p l a y i n g , a c c o r d i n g t o the f a v e l a . c h i l d r e n ,  21 Orpheus Descending of  i s a r e w r i t e of the u n s u c c e s s f u l B a t t l e  A n g e l s , w h i c h had no r e f e r e n c e t o Orpheus.  I t must be  said  however t h a t i n the r e v i s i o n the myth g i v e s some u n i t y t o a b r u t a l melodrama t h a t would o t h e r w i s e be merely a s u c c e s s i o n of  scenes a r b i t r a r i l y  motivated.  22 Orfeu de Conceicao.  The p r e s e n t t i t l e may  have been sug-  g e s t e d by J e a n - P a u l S a r t r e ' s Orphee N o i r ( P a r i s , 1948), a c o l l e c t i o n of F r e n c h negro p o e t r y . .'orphique'' c e t t e p o e s i e p a r c e que  S a r t r e s a y s , J e nommerai M  c e t t e i n l a s s a b l e descente  negre en soi-meme me f a i t songer a Orphee a l l a n t E u r y d i c e a, P l u t o n (p. x v i i ) . "  reclamer  du  makes the sun r i s e e v e r y day. streetcar-conductor'.  By o c c u p a t i o n he i s a  E u r y d i c e i s a peasant g i r l newly come  t o the s e t t l e m e n t , f o l l o w e d by a r e j e c t e d l o v e r who on k i l l i n g h e r .  i s intent  She meets.the c a r e f r e e m i n s t r e l and  together  t h e y descend t o R i o t o dance i n the c a r n i v a l , Orpheus costumed as the sun and E u r y d i c e as the n i g h t .  Here amid the  b i z a r r e f i g u r e s and the f r e n z i e d , w h i r l i n g rhythms t h e y are s e p a r a t e d , and E u r y d i c e I s t r a p p e d i n a p.ower p l a n t by p u r s u e r , who  i s masquerading as Death.  i s Orpheus who  her  Ironically i t  u n w i t t i n g l y causes h e r death when he t u r n s on  the power s w i t c h t o l o o k f o r h e r ;  The h e l l s i n w h i c h B l a c k  Orpheus then seeks h i s E u r y d i c e are the bureau of m i s s i n g p e r s o n s , the s p i r i t - c o n j u r i n g r i t u a l s of the Macumba and, f i n a l l y , the morgue, where he f i n d s her body and it,  carries  a t dawn, t h r o u g h the a f t e r m a t h of the c a r n i v a l t o h i s  home h i g h above the c i t y .  Here, as he s i n g s t h a t h a p p i -  ness i s o n l y an i l l u s i o n , he i s s t r u c k by a r o c k thrown by a jealous, "bacchant" he plunges  and, w i t h E u r y d i c e s t i l l  over the c l i f f t o h i s death.  One  r e n p i c k s up h i s g u i t a r t o p l a y as t h e s u n -  another  In h i s arms, of the  rises  child-  on  day. Camus', f i l m i s most e f f e c t i v e i n i t s f a n t a s t i c  a r r a y of c o l o r , rhythm and sound.  I t s weakness l i e s i n . the  d i s p a r i t y between t h i s heady atmosphere and the Greek myth w h i c h i s f o r c e d i n t o i t . f i l m i s a sympathetic  The  fragile  f i r s t h a l f of the  and i m a g i n a t i v e r e - c r e a t i o n of the  230 myth i n modern terms; then suddenly v a r i o u s m y t h i c a l d e t a i l s are v i o l e n t l y and' a r b i t r a r i l y f i t t e d i n t o a c o n t e x t t h a t s t e a d i l y r e s i s t s them..  Thus the c a r e t a k e r of the power  p l a n t must be named Hermes; t h e d i a b o l i c r i t u a l s must be guarded by a f e r o c i o u s dog named C e r b e r u s ; d u r i n g the i n c a n t a t i o n Orpheus must be t r i c k e d i n t o b e l i e v i n g he hears E u r y d i c e '•s v o i c e c a l l i n g him, t e l l i n g him not t o l o o k back. These d e v i c e s are clumsy enough, but what e v e n t u a l l y wreaks havoc w i t h the myth i s the s o c i a l commentary a b r u p t l y  intro-  duced by Camus: One of my themes was the d e n u n c i a t i o n of apathy: apathy i n r e l i g i o n (as shown i n the r e l i g i o u s s e c t of the Macumba); apathy i n p u b l i c o f f i c e , s y m b o l i z e d by the advance of red-tape b u r e a u c r a c y ; :apathy i n the f a c e of the d i s t r e s s w h i c h r u l e s those w h i t e h e l l s of the h o s p i t a l and the mortuary.23 W h i l e Camus has something i m p o r t a n t t o say, the Orpheus^ myth hardly.seems the a p p r o p r i a t e v e h i c l e i n w h i c h t o say it.  Por the d e t a i l s of the myth obscure the message:  i n s t e a d of a d d i n g an e x t r a dimension t o the work (as i t d i d f o r the s o c i a l l y - o r i e n t a t e d m y t h o l o g i c a l poems of the V i c t o r i a n s ) the myth makes a b s t r a c t t y p e s of what s h o u l d be sympathetic c h a r a c t e r s .  And on the o t h e r hand, the message  i s never r e l a t e d t o the meaning of the myth: the m y s t e r i o u s power of music over death, the problem of the c o n t r o l of  Quoted i n Georges S a d o u l , "Notes on a New G e n e r a t i o n " , S i g h t and Sound 28 (1959), p.  112.  231 human p a s s i o n , the l o s s of beauty won by song - these are submerged i n a s w i r l i n g mass of c o l o r and m i s p l a c e d s o c i a l indignation.  I n the end, the award-laden Orfeu Negro  makes no r e a l c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the l i t e r a t u r e of Orpheus..  Joseph G h i a r d i , s p e a k i n g of Cocteau i n p a r t i c u l a r , makes some o b s e r v a t i o n s on the problem of a d a p t i n g c l a s s i c myths t o modern drama w h i c h can be a p p l i e d t o A n o u i l h , •Williams and Camus as w e l l : The o n l y way of r e v i t a l i z i n g myths i s . . . .from the s o u r c e , and not by making o l d shapes and a n c i e n t c h a r a c t e r s speak i n modern ways.. The s e r i o u s use of a myth i n modern s e t t i n g s and s i t u a t i o n s i n v o l v e s an attempt t o l i n k t o g e t h e r a r e l i g i o u s and s p i r i t u a l element w h i c h i s no l o n g e r ours and i s , t h e r e f o r e , d i f f i c u l t t o e x p e r i e n c e , w i t h events and human a c t i o n s and r e a c t i o n s w h i c h cannot f i t i n i t . The r e s u l t i s u n c o n v i n c i n g and d a n g e r o u s l y near the b u r l e s q u e , f o r t h e r e i s n o t h i n g w h i c h comes n e a r e r l a u g h t e r than a s e r i o u s n e s s w h i c h cannot be grasped, or t h i n g s w h i c h were once a w e - i n s p i r i n g and have now c o m p l e t e l y l o s t t h e i r aura of r e v e r ence. Orpheus p l i g h t , f o r i n s t a n c e , ..can o n l y be f u l l y a c c e p t e d w i t h i n the atmosphere of Greek l i f e and thought, and not by b e i n g t r a n s f e r r e d i n t o our modern l i f e . The Orpheus o f Greek l i f e , w i t h h i s t r a i l of mystery, i s f a r more c o n v i n c i n g than . the wandering m i n s t r e l of our modern playwrights.. The myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e s t i l l r e t a i n s f o r us i t s former power and p a t h o s , f o r the mystery w h i c h gave i t b i r t h i s not s o l v e d . . .The o n l y way i n w h i c h an o l d myth can be g i v e n new l i f e i s , I b e l i e v e , by u s i n g not i t s e x t e r n a l form, but the a f f e c t i v e t a n g l e w h i c h gave i t b i r t h , 2 4 1  I t remains f o r us now  to reinvestigate that " a f f e c t i v e  The Contemporary F r e n c h Theater (London, 1958), pp.  tangle".  110-1..  CONCLUSIONS THE MEANING OF THE MYTH  We have noted t h r e e f a c t s about myths: t h e y e v o l v e In  l i t e r a t u r e ; t h e i r meanings change o r deepen as t h e y a r e  used by men o f d i f f e r e n t ages; some p o t e n t myths new a r t - f o r m s i n w h i c h t o e x p r e s s themselves. l a s t of these f a c t s have been demonstrated,  generate  The f i r s t and  w i t h regard t o  the myth o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e , i n Chapters I and V, respectively.  I t remains t o o u t l i n e t h e meaning o f t h e  myth as i t has r e v e a l e d i t s e l f i n l i t e r a t u r e , as we have t r a c e d i t t h r o u g h t h e Culex and V i r g i l  t o B o e t h i u s and S i r  O r f e o , t o P o l i t i a n , N o v a l i s , R i l k e and Cocteau.'.  The meaning Orpheus and E u r y d i c e have f o r t h e men of  any age i s l a r g e l y c o n d i t i o n e d by t h e way i n which t h a t  age uses myth.  Among p r i m i t i v e p e o p l e s i t i s customary t o  d i s t i n g u i s h between myth p r o p e r ( t h e e x p l a n a t i o n of n a t u r a l phenomena), legend ( t r a d i t i o n a l h i s t o r y ) and f o l k l o r e  (purely  i m a g i n a t i v e n a r r a t i o n ) . • I t i s e x t r e m e l y d i f f i c u l t , howe v e r , t o c a t e g o r i z e Greek myths a l o n g these l i n e s , , as many o f them p a r t a k e of t h e n a t u r e of myth, legend and - f o l k l o r e a t one and t h e same t i m e .  The s t o r y o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i s  c e r t a i n l y one of t h e s e .  I t has been a s s i g n e d a number o f  232  " m y t h i c a l " o r i g i n s because i t f i t s underworld  i n t o the g e n e r a l c l a s s of  descent-myths w h i c h e x p r e s s the o p p o s i t i o n of  and n i g h t and l i f e and d e a t h ; i t was  day  t r e a t e d , even i n a n c i e n t  t i m e s , as l e g e n d "because of i t s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Orpheus, the l e g e n d a r y founder  of Greek c i v i l i z a t i o n ; i t can be  safely  c l a s s e d as f o l k l o r e because the c l i m a x of it's a c t i o n - the backward l o o k - i s a p a r t of the f o l k l o r e of the world..  The  myth of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e meant a t l e a s t t h r e e t h i n g s t o the a n c i e n t w o r l d : . i t s y m b o l i z e d the e t e r n a l s t r u g g l e of the elements;  i t r e c o u n t e d the l e g e n d a r y power of a g r e a t  i t t o l d a t r a g i c love story. to  Each l e v e l of myth had  civilizer something  c o n t r i b u t e t o the r i c h n e s s of the r e s u l t i n g whole.  And  as the s t o r y c o n t i n u e d t o appear i n l i t e r a t u r e , p a r t myth, p a r t l e g e n d , p a r t f o l k l o r e , , i t came t o g r i p s w i t h t h r e e subj e c t s : the mystery of l i f e and death; the power of p o e t r y  over  the elements of n a t u r e and the powers beyond n a t u r e ; the problem of the c o n t r o l of emotion, n e c e s s a r y f o r the s u r v i v a l of love. We themes,.  noted t h a t the Culex d e a l s w i t h a l l t h r e e of these V i r g i l ' s b e a u t i f u l account  a l s o shows t h e i r  inter-  r e l a t i o n i n the s t o r y - b u t , i n the o v e r a l l c o n t e x t of the G e o r g i c s , emphasizes the second, Orpheus the  civilizer.  234  The M i d d l e Ages approached c l a s s i c a l myth i n two ways by means of a l l e g o r y , i n an attempt t o p e n e t r a t e t o t h e u n i v e r s a l meaning i n the n a r r a t i v e , and by romance, i n an attempt t o r e c r e a t e the n a r r a t i v e i n new terms.  I f we  think  of myth as symbol, then we must say t h a t t h e s e m e d i e v a l phenomena a r e opposed t o myth: a l l e g o r y o f t e n b r u t a l l y unmasks the symbol; romance i g n o r e s the symbol and o v e r l a y s the myth w i t h contemporary d e t a i l s -.. Myth i s f o r c e d t o become r e a l i t y .  Por Boethius, P u l g e n t i u s , King A l f r e d  and a l l the m o r a l i z e d Metamorphoses, t h e Orpheus-myth e x p r e s s e s a h i g h e r r e a l i t y ; i n S i r Orfeo i t i s r e t o l d i n r e a l , i f f a n c i f u l , terms.  Perhaps the myth was l i t t l e  understood  i n the M i d d l e Ages.  As Douglas Bush s a y s , "Whatever went  into  t h e c a p a c i o u s m e l t i n g p o t , the Aeneid or a t a l e from t h e Metamorphoses, came out a romance, or a sermon, or both."" " 1  But no one w i l l deny t h a t the Orpheus-myth was "a l i v i n g source of c u l t u r e "  as i t was i n almost no o t h e r age, and  t h a t I t was embodied i n works o f beauty.  Douglas Bush, Mythology and the R e n a i s s a n c e T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h P o e t r y (New York, 1 9 5 7 ) , p. 23* 2  I b i d . , p. 2 4 .  235  F o r the R e n a i s s a n c e ,  myth was  a r e v o l t against  r e a l i t y , a symbolic r e t u r n to ancient times. myths were seen as p o w e r f u l l y s u g g e s t i v e . were c e r t a i n l y b e t t e r u n d e r s t o o d  But w h i l e t h e y  than i n the M i d d l e Ages,  t h e y were, on the whole, l e s s w e l l served.. Renaissance  Classical  Because  a u t h o r s r e f u s e d t o p e n e t r a t e myth, p r e f e r r i n g t o  use i t a l l u s i v e l y , s y m b o l i c a l l y , most of the Greek and Roman myths were e x p l o i t e d , then s a t i r i z e d , and a t l a s t discarded.. In t h i s p e r i o d the t r a g i c , r o m a n t i c  Orpheus of the descent i s  l e s s i m p o r t a n t than the s y m b o l i c f i g u r e of Orpheus the c i v i l i z e r , who  i s e x t o l l e d i n P o l i t i a n s Orfeo, but e x p l o i t e d 1  i n hundreds of f r i g i d a l l u s i o n s i n a l l languages, s a t i r i z e d and e v e n t u a l l y d i s c a r d e d . t h a t he was  Perhaps we  then  should  say  abandoned t o the o p e r a t i c stage..  M y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t r y i n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y  was  s t i l l p r o d u c i n g " p l a s t e r r e p r o d u c t i o n s of the a n t i q u e " . But the Romantics saw myth i n a new defense  light.  I t became the  of p o e t r y a g a i n s t s c i e n c e , a k i n d of supra-  s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. p o e t assumed new  The m y s t i c a l p o e t r y of the  importance  Orphic  i n t h i s movement, and N o v a l i s  and H o l d e r l i n found an i n s i g h t i n t o p o e t r y i t s e l f i n the myth of Orpheus' d e s c e n t .  The warmly human Orpheus bequeathed  Douglas Bush, Mythology and the Romantic T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h P o e t r y (Cambridge, Mass.., 1 9 3 7 ) , p.  529-.  236  t o l i t e r a t u r e by t h e operas o f M o n t e v e r d i  and G l u c k became  an a p t s u b j e c t f o r Romantic p o e t r y , and, as myth became a means f o r e x p r e s s i n g s o c i a l a t t i t u d e s , t h e s t o r y was o f t e n t o l d by Eurydice.  Today myth i s a g a i n used s y m b o l i c a l l y , and Orpheus i s .a symbol o f the s u p r a - r a t i o n a l power o f a r t ( R i l k e and t h e F r e n c h s y m b o l i s t s ) w h i l e h i s descent r e f l e c t s t h e m i s s i o n o f the a r t i s t t o e x p l o r e u n c h a r t e d r e g i o n s  (Cocteau).  D e s p i t e t h i s change i n t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f and t h e approach t o myth, t h e s t o r y o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e has c o n t i n u e d , t h r o u g h t h e ages, t o e x p r e s s some .of the most b a s i c human t r u t h s .  -As embodied i n t h e w r i t i n g s of poets., i t has  had something t o say about death, about a r t , and about l o v e . I n v a r i a b l y .in t h e course of i t s l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y i t has been burdened w i t h extraneous by men who had l i t t l e  meanings; i t has been used and abused  o r no sympathy w i t h i t ;  of i t s meaning t h r o u g h overuse,  i t has been d r a i n e d  o n l y t o re-emerge w i t h f r e s h  s i g n i f i c a n c e i n a new age; Some o f t h e b e s t t r e a t m e n t s myth do n o t h e l p us u n d e r s t a n d  of the  i t : w i t h Ovid and J a u r e g u i  and Ronsard i t i s c h i e f l y a s t o r y t o be w e l l t o l d ; w i t h Keats and Offenbach  and M a r c e l Camus i t i s t h e o c c a s i o n f o r some  f e l i c i t o u s or i m p r e s s i v e work, but work w h i c h does not r e v e a l any o f t h e myth's s i g n i f i c a n c e .  A score o f men have, however,  237  g i v e n some i n d i c a t i o n of i t s l a t e n t meaning. them under t h r e e  The m y s t e r y of  We  shall  treat  headings.  death  The v a r i o u s t h e o r i e s of the o r i g i n of the myth of Orpheus' descent agree i n e x p l a i n i n g i t w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o l i f e and d e a t h .  E u r y d i c e l o s t , r e g a i n e d and l o s t a g a i n  r e p r e s e n t the c r o p - c y c l e , or (among the Orphic  may  initiates)  the r e i n c a r n a t i o n of the s o u l e v e r y thousand y e a r s , a f t e r its  l o n g p u r i f i c a t i o n i n the a f t e r l i f e .  b e f o r e the glance of Orpheus may summer, the n i g h t b e f o r e the day, the f u l l morning of the sun..  Eurydice  retreating  be s p r i n g f l e e i n g b e f o r e the m i s t s of dawn b e f o r e  These t h e o r i e s have been used  by some modern p o e t s , n o t a b l y E d i t h S i t w e l l , but g e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g p o e t s do not view the myth as a r e c u r r e n t cycle.. R a t h e r i t i s a s t o r y w h i c h comes t o a t r a g i c end: c l a i m s a v i c t o r y over l i f e . to  death  In c l a s s i c a l t i m e s , from P l a t o  the S t o i c p o e t s of Rome, we are warned t h a t death i s  n e v e r cheated;  i n C h r i s t i a n t i m e s , from K i n g A l f r e d  through  Ovide M o r a l i s e t o Caldero'n, we are warned t h a t the s t a t e of grace can be l o s t f o r e v e r ; i n the Romantic e r a , i n S c h i l l e r and L o w e l l , we f e e l r e g r e t t h a t the b e a u t i f u l must perish.  Some w r i t e r s have i d e n t i f i e d themselves  and attempted  t o p e n e t r a t e the mystery of death:  w i t h Orpheus Novalis  found i t the i d e a l w o r l d of p o e t r y ; Housman went t o meet i t j o y f u l l y ; R i l k e saw  i t as sweet f u l n e s s and complete a b s o r p t i o n ;  for  Moore I t i s a b e a u t i f u l w o r l d of I d e a l s ; f.or A n o u i l h i t  means p u r i t y and permanence; f o r Cocteau i t i s f a n t a s t i c and terrifying.  The power of music The s t o r y of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e i s unique among the  myths of l i f e and d e a t h i n t h a t i t s hero s y m b o l i z e s not  o n l y man, ing  but man  i n the s p e c i f i c r o l e of a r t i s t .  The  unify-  element i n a l l the myths connected w i t h Orpheus i s the  a l l - c o m p e l l i n g power of h i s song, w h i c h h o l d s sway over a l l n a t u r e , h a r m o n i z i n g and t r a n s f o r m i n g i t .  T h i s i s the con-  t r i b u t i o n t h a t l e g e n d has made t o the s t o r y of the d e s c e n t : i t i s the l e g e n d a r y , c i v i l i z i n g Orpheus who  seeks h i s  E u r y d i c e ; he overcomes Hades, not by .force, as H e r c u l e s does, or by magic, as do the e p i c heroes Odysseus and Aeneas, by a r t .  but  In the o p t i m i s m of the R e n a i s s a n c e , e s p e c i a l l y i n  P o l i t i a n , Orpheus s y m b o l i z e s the c i v i l i z i n g f o r c e of human wisdom.  W i t h the F r e n c h s y m b o l i s t s and w i t h the l a t e R i l k e  he i s more p r o p e r l y a r t , w h i c h g i v e s meaning and even e x i s t e n c e to a l l t h i n g s .  But V i r g i l reminds us t h a t the a r t i s t , who i s  i n d e e d the c i v i l i z e r , must meet w i t h f a i l u r e , f o r he seeks t r u t h i n a w o r l d I n a c c e s s i b l e t o o t h e r men, f i n d s i t , he can never f u l l y p o s s e s s i t . t h a t the a r t i s t  and, though he  Cocteau r e a l i z e s  must e n t e r t h i s w o r l d , but he r e f u s e s t o  239  admit t h a t he i s foredoomed t o f a i l u r e .  The n a t u r e o f human l o v e F i n a l l y , Orpheus and E u r y d i c e a r e l o v e r s , and t o e v e r y age t h e i r myth has been one of t h e c l a s s i c e x p r e s s i o n s of human l o v e - l o v e w h i c h i s courageous enough t o brave the t e r r o r s o f h e l l t o f i n d i t s f u l f i l l m e n t .  For the e a r l i e s t  c l a s s i c a l w r i t e r s , l o v e i s s t r o n g e r than death, and overcomes it..  I n o p t i m i s t i c ages t h i s meaning i s r e - a f f i r m e d :  H i g h M i d d l e Ages ( S i r O r f e o ) , i n t h e Renaissance  i n the  (the experi-i  ments o f the Camerata) and, h a l f - h e a r t e d l y , - in. t h e l a s t s t a g e s o f n e o - C l a s s i c i s m ( G l u c k ) . "But i n t h e overwhelming m a j o r i t y o f i t s i n c a r n a t i o n s , t h e myth i m p l i e s t h a t d e a t h has t h e f i n a l v i c t o r y .  Orpheus and E u r y d i c e a r e s t a r -  c r o s s e d l o v e r s (haunted, i n S p a n i s h l i t e r a t u r e , by a g u e r o s ) , f l e s h - a n d - b l o o d c r e a t u r e s o f p a s s i o n ' ( M o n t e v e r d i , Robert Browning).  Here i s t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n o f f o l k l o r e - Orpheus'  backward l o o k undoes a l l t h a t h i s a r t had a c c o m p l i s h e d . T h i s t r a g i c ending t o t h e s t o r y has prompted p o e t s t o use i t t o e x p r e s s v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f human l o v e : f o r A n o u i l h , l o v e i s impermanent; f o r t h e a u t h o r o f t h e C u l e x , i t can s u r v i v e only i f p a s s i o n i s c o n t r o l l e d ; f o r the V i c t o r i a n s ,  Cocteau s 1  f o r t h c o m i n g f i l m , Le Testament d'Orphee, which  he says w i l l be h i s l a s t c i n e m a t i c statement, may make t h i s admission.  240  husband and w i f e must r e a l i z e t h e i r mutual o b l i g a t i o n s . Almost a l l t h e t r e a t m e n t s  conclude  t h a t human l o v e , i f i t  i s t o grow s t r o n g and deep, must be s e l f l e s s .  Thus, w h i l e i t I s p r o p e r t o say t h a t myth means somet h i n g d i f f e r e n t t o e v e r y age, i t i s a l s o c l e a r t h a t t h e myth'of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e has a c o n t i n u i n g , almost u n i f o r m t r a d i t i o n from V i r g i l t o t h e p r e s e n t , t h a t i t 'owes i t s p e r e n n i a l v i t a l i t y t o three strands which are b e a u t i f u l l y interwoven  i n i t s story.  Other myths t e l l o f the  c y c l e of l i f e and death; o t h e r l e g e n d s ,  of t h e u n i v e r s a l  power of music; o t h e r f o l k l o r e , of t r a g i c a l l y lovers.  separated  The myth o f Orpheus and E u r y d i c e b r i n g s t h e t h r e e  strands together,  The r e s u l t i s a r i c h l y r e w a r d i n g  literary  theme w h i c h i s more a l i v e today, and i n t h e most v i t a l a r t forms, than ever  before.  Myth i s , i n t h e l a s t a n a l y s i s , a b e a u t i f u l way of e x p r e s s i n g t r u t h - not reasoned, f a c t u a l , t r u t h , but t r u t h as grasped imagination..  conceptualized  by t h e i n t u i t i o n and t h e  We must n o t go t o o f a r , t h e n , i n any a n a l y s i s .  F o r myths a r e d e s t r o y e d by p r e c i s i o n ; t h e i r can never be documented.  significance  I t can o n l y be r e v e a l e d anew  each time t h e myth i s r e b o r n i n t h e w r i t i n g s of g e n i u s .  241  • BIBLIOGRAPHY  1, ANCIENT AUTHORS Aeschylus Septem Quae Supersunt T r a g o e d l a e ed.  G i l b e r t Murray  Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s (1937-j A n t h o l o g i a L y r a Graeca 2 v o l s . , ed, E r n e s t D i e h l L e i p z i g : B,G, Teubner (1925) Antiphanes The Fragments of A t t i c Comedy, 2 v o l s . ed.  J.M. Edmonds  Leyden: E , J . B r i l l  (1957)  Apollodorus The L i b r a r y , .2 v o l s . ed. 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London: The B o d l e y Head (1957) Campbell, Thomas Poems o f Thomas Campbell ed. Lewis Campbell London.: M a c m i l l a n (1904) Campion, Thomas Campion * s Works ed.. P e r c i v a l  Vivian  Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s (1909) C a r l y l e , Thomas The Works of Thomas C a r l y l e , London: Chapman and H a l l  c e n t e n a r y e d i t i o n , 30 v o l s .  (l897)  C e r v a n t e s , M i g u e l de Obras Completas, 10th ed. ed. A n g e l Valbuena P r a t M a d r i d : A q u i l a r (1956) Chapman, George The Poems o f George Chapman ed. P h y l l i s B. B a r t l e t t New York: Modern Language A s s o c i a t i o n o f America Chaucer, G e o f f r e y The Works o f G e o f f r e y Chaucer, 2nd ed. ed. E.N. Robinson B o s t o n : Houghton M i f f l i n (1957) C h e n i e r , Andre Oeuvres Completes de Andre Che^nier, 3 v o l s . ed. P a u l Dimoff P a r i s : D e l a g r a v e (n.d.)  (l94l)  250 C h r i s t i n e de P i s a n , t r . 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Dent (1914) Drayton, Michael The Works, of M i c h a e l D r a y t o n , 5 v o l s . ed. J . W i l l i a m Hebel Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l (1931) Drummond, W i l l i a m The Poems o f W i l l i a m Drummond of Hawthornden, 2 v o l s . ed... W i l l i a m C-. Ward London: Laurence and B u l l e n Dryden,  (l894)  John  The Poems o f John Dryden, 4 v o l s . ed. James K i n s l e y Oxford:. Clarendon P r e s s (1958) E l i o t , George (Mary Ann Evans) The Legend of J u b a l and o t h e r Poems Edinburgh.: W i l l i a m Blackwood (n.d.) Emmanuel., P i e r r e Orphiques P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d (1942) Tombeau d Orphee Paris: Seghers 1  (1944)  Emerson, R a l p h Waldo The L e t t e r s . o f R a l p h Waldo Emerson, 6 v o l s , ed. R a l p h L. Rusk New York: Columbia U. P r e s s (1939) N a t u r e , Addresses and L e c t u r e s New York and B o s t o n : Thomas Y. C r o w e l l .(n.d.)  253 Erasmus, D e s i d e r i u s The Poems o f D e s i d e r i u s Erasmus ed. C<. 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W a l l e r Cambridge: U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s (1905-12)  Fletcher,  F o r d , John The Works of John F o r d , 2nd ed.., 3 v o l s ed. W i l l i a m G i f f o r d London: James Toovey (1869)Freneau, P h i l i p M o r i n The Poems of P h i l i p Freneau ed.. F r e d L e w i s P a t t e e P r i n c e t o n : U n i v e r s i t y L i b r a r y (1902) F r e r e , John Hookham The Works of John Hookham F r e r e , 2 v o l s ed. W.E.  and S i r B a r t l e F r e r e  London: B.M. P i c k e r i n g (n.d.) Froumond of Tegernsee PL 141, ed. J.-P. Migne P a r i s : G a r n i e r F r e r e s (1880) Fulgentius, Fabius Planciades Opera ed. Rudolph Helm L e i p z i g : B.G.. Teubner (1898) *  G a r c i l a s o de l a Vega Obras New York: De V i n n e P r e s s (1903)  Gascoyne, D a v i d The Faber Book o f T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y 'Verse ed. John Heath-Stubbs and D a v i d W r i g h t London: Faber and Faber (1953) Gay, John Poems by John Gay London: Chapman and Dodd (n.d.) 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