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Hades and Persephone

Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, and her daughter Persephone is her greatest pride in life. Demeter’s love for her daughter is what makes the crops and flowers grow every day. One day, Persephone was playing in the fields and Hades looked up at her from the underworld, and immediately fell in love with her. As she passed over, Hades grabbed her from above, and dove back into the underworld before anyone would notice.

Although Hades spoiled Persephone with foods and riches, she never did not accept any of it. Meanwhile, Demeter was so worried about her daughter that she forgot about all the crops, so they began to die. Back in the underworld, Persephone was so desperate for food that she snuck into the garden and stole six pomegranate seeds. In the meantime, Demeter had found out where her daughter was, and she commanded Zeus to get Persephone, otherwise, she would never let anything grow again, so he sent Hermes down to the underworld. Even Hades had to listen to Zeus, so he agreed to free Persephone, however, the gardener of the underworld appeared and reported that he had seen Persephone eating food of the underworld, so she must always return. Hades and Persephone made a deal that she would stay in the underworld for six months every year, for every pomegranate seed she had eaten.

She was then free to return to Demeter, and all the plants grew again. The myth of Hades, Persephone, and Demeter has an important purpose, which is the explanation of how winter and spring were formed. As seen in the myth, during the six months Persephone spends in the underworld, Demeter gets very depressed, and forgets about making the crops grow and the flowers bloom. During this time is winter because in modern day winter, all the trees become barren and nothing blooms. However, when Persephone returns to her mother from the underworld, the flowers immediately bloom again and Demeter’s happiness returns. This part of the year is spring because spring is when all of the flowers start to bloom, and the plants are healthier. There are also a few important values that are shared throughout the myth of Hades, Persephone, and Demeter. One value is the importance of promises and oaths. Even though Persephone had no desire of going back to Hades in the underworld, she kept her promise, and returned every year for six months.

In addition to promises, another value shared is the importance of family. When Persephone goes missing, Demeter works her hardest to find her and get Zeus to make Hades free her. If Demeter had never cared about her daughter, Persephone would have stayed in the underworld forever causing “spring” to never happen.

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