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GREEK MYTHOLOGY

Δημήτηρ

Demeter was the goddess of harvest, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth, daughter of Cronus and Rhea, sister of Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Hestia and mother of Persephone, Despoina, Arion, Plutus and Philomenus.

Demeter’s virgin daughter Persephone was abducted to the underworld by Hades. Demeter searched for her ceaselessly, preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Persephone back. Hades agreed to release her, but gave her a pomegranate. When she ate the pomegranate seeds, she was bound to him for one third of the year, either the dry Mediterranean summer, when plant life is threatened by drought, or the autumn and winter.

  • michelle fairley as demeter

GREEK MYTHOLOGY

Ἑλένη

Helen was the princess of Sparta, considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world, daughter of Zeus and Leda, sister of Castor, Pollux and Clytemnestra, and wife of Menelaus.

Paris, a Trojan prince, came to Sparta to claim Helen, in the guise of a supposed diplomatic mission. Before this journey, Paris had been appointed by Zeus to judge the most beautiful goddess, Hera, Athena, or Aphrodite. In order to earn his favour, Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. Swayed by Aphrodite’s offer, Paris chose Helen as the most beautiful of the goddesses, earning the wrath of Athena and Hera. When he discovered that his wife was missing, Menelaus called upon all the other suitors to fulfill their oaths, thus beginning the Trojan War.

  • scarlett johansson as helen

GREEK MYTHOLOGY

Ἴκαρος

Icarus was the son of the craftsman Daedalus, who built the Labyrinth of King Minos of Crete to imprison the Minotaur.

To escape from Crete, Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Daedalus tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms.

  • anton yelchin as icarus

GREEK MYTHOLOGY

 Πηνελόπη

Penelope was the queen of Ithaca, wife of Odysseus, mother of Telemachus and daughter of Icarius and Periboea.

She waits twenty years for the final return of her husband, during which she has a hard time snubbing marriage proposals from odious suitors. On Odysseus’s return, disguised as an old beggar, he finds that Penelope has remained faithful. She has devised tricks to delay her suitors, one of which is to pretend to be weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus’s elderly father Laertes and claiming that she will choose a suitor when she has finished. Every night for three years, she undoes part of the shroud.

  • natalie portman as penelope