Journey of the Classical Hero in Demeter and Persephone.

Essay by ananaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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Eons ago, the Earth passed its days with unceasing good weather and harvest. This was the world where Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, knew true happiness. Together, the two goddesses of nature roamed the Earth. And in those days, the world seemed like a boundless paradise with all life in perpetual full bloom. Demeter was the gentle, forgiving goddess of the grain and the harvest. As an infant she was swallowed alive, along with her older siblings, by her father, Cronus. Her youngest brother, Zeus, eventually defeated Cronus and liberated his kin. Being a granddaughter of the primordial Mother Earth, Demeter was an Olympian goddess. But, unlike other Olympian deities, she preferred the open fields and lush forests to the palace of the gods atop Mount Olympus. Demeter had a kind, motherly spirit, and nothing would ever break the bond of love she shared with her daughter.

Like the transient spring, the flower that was Demeter's joy faded when Persephone suddenly disappeared from the face of the Earth on one fateful day.

Thus, Demeter was called to adventure to rescue her beloved daughter from whatever abode that held her hostage. Unknown to the world at the time, this call was a momentous turning point in the saga of humanity. It was a decision chosen with swift certainty and driven by an ancient maternal instinct. What kind of woman could pronounce herself as a mother, if she would not take drastic action for a daughter's sake, as Demeter had? With much grief and desperation Demeter accepted her call to adventure.

Draped in a black veil of mourning, Demeter wandered the Earth in her quest to find Persephone. She refused food and water for nine days and nights. Yet, through starvation and exhaustion, she was determined in her pursuit. Finally, on...