Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

King of Silver, King of Gold (Hadestown #7)

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Detail Of Statue Of Hades And Cerberus From Isis Sanctuary At Gortyna, Crete, 1st Century BC

Is it possible that Hades is a tragic figure, driven by loneliness, jealousy, and doubt?

Orpheus imagines Hades as a King of Pain, trapped in the spider web of his own emotions…

“He thinks of his wife in the arms of the sun
And jealousy fuels him and feeds him and fills him
With doubt that she’ll never come –
Dread that she’ll never come –
Doubt that his lover
Will ever come back”…

How clearly we see the faults of others; how hard it is to see our own. Here we are also given a glimpse of Orpheus’ own undoing, yet to come…

From “Epic II”…

[Orpheus:]

King of silver
King of gold
And everything glittering
Under the ground

Hades is king
Of oil and coal
And the riches that flow
Where those rivers are found
But for half of the year with Persephone gone
His loneliness moves in him crude and black
He thinks of his wife in the arms of the sun
And jealousy fuels him and feeds him and fills him
With doubt that she’ll never come
Dread that she’ll never come
Doubt that his lover
Will ever come back

King of mortar
King of bricks
The River Styx is a river of stones
And Hades lays them high and thick
With a million hands that are not his own
With a million hands, he builds a wall
Around all the riches he digs from the Earth
The pickaxe flashes
The hammer falls
And crashing and pounding
As rivers surround him
And drown out the sound of the song he once heard…

 

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