Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2016 Melanie C. Daifotis
Implications surrounding body ownership prove to be an enduring struggle from their prevalence in ancient literary sources through more modern, contemporary works. I analyze the notions of body ownership and its lack thereof set forth in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Homeric “Hymn to Demeter” regarding the myth of Persephone. Then, I consider larger meanings through analysis of the following contemporary works, approached in terms of the narrators: Rita Dove’s Mother Love, Louise Glück’s Averno, A.E. Stallings’s “Hades Welcomes His Bride” and “Persephone Writes a Letter to Her Mother,” and D.M. Thomas’s “Pomegranate.”
The complexities within the myth itself amplify the complications in the contemporary interpretations of the myth. There is a range of differing levels of accepting sentiments in the contemporary works about the idea that no one ever has complete ownership or control over his own body.
Comparing the different lenses through with the contemporary authors (and ancient authors!) chose to incorporate the myth of Persephone into their works reveals overarching themes, enlightening the reader about the nuances of the arguably most famous abduction in history.
Daifotis, Melanie, "The Myth of Persephone: Body Objectification from Ancient to Modern" (2017). CMC Senior Theses. 1529.