Mariah T. Lapiroff

Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-6-2013

Major Department or Program

Classical Studies


David A. Lupher


Written record of the Persephone myth spans from the 8th century in Ancient Greece, beginning with Hesiod's Theogony and extending up through contemporary English literature. Over the years, western authors have presented allusions, new interpretations, and new representations of the Persephone myth – yet themes of fertility, mortality, gender roles and the paradoxical contrasts of Persephone's character permeate throughout receptions of the myth. This thesis explores the best known classical presentations of the myth, The Homeric Hymn to Demeter and the two versions from Ovid's Metamorphoses book 5 and Fasti book 4. In comparison with these classical works, this thesis examines three twentieth century poems: D.H. Lawrence's "Bavarian Gentians," Sylvia Plath's "Two Sisters of Persephone" and Bob Dylan's "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands." By incorporating Persephone into their works, both the classical and the modern authors, reveal interest in Persephone's power and autonomy.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D. or 18 A.D.) -- Metamorphoses, Poetry -- Classic, Poetry--20th century, Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D. or 18 A.D.) -- Homeric Hymn to DemeterD. H. Lawrence (David Herbert) (1885-1930) --Poetry -- Bavarian Gentians, Sylvia Plath--Poetry - Two Sisters of Persephone, Bob Dylan (1941- ) -- Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Cross-cultural studies -- Poetry, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2013 -- Classics Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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