Oedipus and Proserpina

Each of the poems is written in different countries, and in a different period of times of an ancient world - Oedipus and Proserpina introduction. But, the main characters from both of the stories share some similarities and differences. The main characters of the stories, Oedipus and Proserpina, are born in influential families and they should live happily, however they don’t. In Oedipus, the parents are the set about the tragedy of his life in an effort to avoid their won. In the story Proserpina is fulfilled with love and care of her mother Ceres, who would ultimately be provide her daughter and the world reprieve from what could have been never ending winter and tragedy.

In the text of Oedipus, Laius and Jocasta cast away their son because of a prophecy. Though this may have had altruistic motivations, it was tinged by self-preservation. However, by leaving their son in ignorance of his heritage or the prophecy, he sets upon a journey to distance himself from his adoptive parents and the prophecy to ironically, if not ultimately, to fulfill it. In Proserpina’s story, her mother has always been the primary source of love and care. Ceres represents the parental devotion and gives insight to the desolation of losing one’s child to an unknown destiny.

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In understanding the tragedy and the deliverance of Oedipus and Proserpina respectively, the key is in understanding the role of parents when their children are faced with misfortune and how much of its burden would they willing to bear with them. In Oedipus, the irony of the tragedy is that they all came into fulfillment because of good intentions while in Proserpina’s story, Pluto acted because of love. In both cases, the reasons would have been lauded but because of the consequences tuned into tragedy. Considering the circumstance of the birth of either characters, one can easily assume that hey will live blessed lives but the misfortunes they face are ones that will test them the rest of their lives. Oedipus will forever bare the burned of patricide and incest while Proserpina will be forever torn between the Underworld and her mother.

The tragedy for Oedipus is that fulfillment of the prophecy that everyone so painstakingly tried to prevent. Also, that because of the fulfillment of the prophecy, his life’s work and accomplishments seemingly came at too high price. The burden that will forever be borne by his house, cementing further the tragedy for Oedipus because of his regards for family and heritage. Though Proserpina’s burden of being torn between Hades and Earth seems to be lighter in comparison to Oedipus’ tragedy, one should note that her immortality makes such a burned an eternal one. Hades is such a foreign world to Proserpina, considering her background which is characterized by living an idyllic life, the contrast to the underworld is presented to be a great challenge. In a nutshell, Oedipus tragedy is that his life’s struggle to avoid the prophecy and become a good king is revealed to be a failure after he thought that he has accomplished while Prosperina will always experience the pain of parting form her mother and being bound to two worlds where she will never be fully belong to either.


Buxton, Richard (2004).The Complete World of Greek Mythology. New York: Thames & Hudson.

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