Homeric Hymn To Demeter

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The unique bond between mother and child and the nature of death and rebirth are both recurring themes that have resonated with humans for thousands of years, perpetually striking a chord across cultures and societies. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter these archetypal ideas are especially pronounced, transcending the literature and providing an enduring universality to a myth that is over 2700 years old. This paper argues for a Jungian interpretation of the myth of Demeter and Persephone, as the images of mother, maiden, and rebirth manifested in the story are archetypes that are undoubtedly primordial casements into the human collective unconscious. The goddess of corn, grain, and harvest, Demeter portrays the timeless image of a Good Mother,…show more content…
Persephone represents the pure naivety of youth and maidenhood, whilst Demeter represents the potency of a matured woman. As contrasts to one another, Demeter and Persephone represent a pair of opposites that make up the whole of the feminine, highlighting the significance of the mother-daughter bond that has carried through to today. It can be said that femininity comes with the transition from child to maturity, as illustrated by Persephone's transformation. As soon as Persephone "ate the honey sweet fruit" (ibid. Homeric Hymns to Demeter 408) given to her by her captor and husband, she had unwittingly made the transition from innocent child to the wife of a man. However, the essence of the mother-daughter bond is such that they are counterparts to one another, and essentially, a mother is reborn in her daughter. As a result, as all mothers and daughters go, Demeter, the standard protective mother is "trembling with dread" (ibid. Homeric Hymns to Demeter 389) at the thought of letting her young Persephone go and allowing her to mature, as she is afraid that she will lose a part of herself with her daughter. Once Demeter does accept that she must allow her child to become a woman, just as she had to once do, the pair are able to move past the unfortunate event and focus their relationship on the mutual love it was built on. The relationship between Demeter and Persephone is archetypal; an accurate representation of the complex dynamic in mother-daughter relationships that have existed throughout human

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