I must admit that I do not have a favorite character of all time because I have many favorite characters from different times in my life. I have been an avid reader since I was a child, I am the daughter of an avid reader/movie-goer, and I go to the movies almost every weekend. So, I love everyone from Achilles to Captain Jean Luc Picard. However, since I must choose one I will refer back to my middle-school reading days when I was enraptured with Greek mythology. While my friends were grooving to R&B, I was engrossed with the Greek tragedies – especially the love stories. They did not always end in “happily ever after”. One such story is the one about Orpheus and Eurydice.
Orpheus was the son of Apollo (god of the sun, music, medicine, poetry, and the fine arts) and Calliope (the superior of the nine Muses). Therefore, he was gifted musically and poetically. Orpheus met, loved, and wooed Eurydice for her hand in marriage. During the days of their wedding celebration, Eurydice was bitten by a snake and died. Orpheus was so grief stricken that he beseeched permission from Zeus to pursue the restoration of Eurydice’s life from Hades, god of the Underworld. Zeus was so moved by the songs of the grief stricken Orpheus that he granted permission. Orpheus traveled to Hades and conquered all barriers with his beautiful music and songs even bringing Hades and Persephone to tears with his songs. They released Eurydice but with the stipulation that Orpheus not look upon her face until they had departed the Underworld. Eurydice walked behind Orpheus as they traveled away from the Underworld but in his longing to see his wife, Orpheus turned too soon and only glimpsed her face before she returned to the Underworld.
Orpheus became one of my favorite characters because he sparked my imagination about the beauty of his music and songs that moved Hades, with the hardened heart, to tears. The courage Orpheus demonstrated to descend to the depths of Hades for his true love was only diminished by the longing he felt to see Eurydice and hold her again. Orpheus became one of my compass characters to set expectations for a mate – a man who can experience AND express deep emotions.
Thus, he is one of my all-time memorable characters.