Saturday, February 4, 2012
Ceyx and Alcyone
Greek. Ovid is the best source for the story.
There's a Greek version of the myth and one for Ovid. Ceyx, is a King of Thessaly and son of Morningstar known as Lucifer (NOT THE CHRISTIAN LUCIFER!!!) Alcyone is the daughter of King of the Winds named Aeolus and Aegiale. Both were madly in love with one another, and according to Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves, Alcyone compared herself to Hera and Ceyx to Zeus which caused later problems, although Edith Hamilton's Mythology omits that fact.
What is known is that Ceyx was compelled to take a trip far away from his beloved Alcyone and on the way back home, a storm comes over (supposedly by angry Zeus,) and drowns him. His last thoughts were of Alcyone.
Alcyone counts off days until his return and busies herself a great deal. She prays to gods and goddesses, and Hera answers her, taking pity on her. She gives instructions to her messenger Iris to fly away into God of Slumber's cave and send Alcyone a dream that Ceyx has passed away.
Later in the night Alcyone has a dream of Ceyx speaking to her, telling her that he has died and that his thoughts were of her. Alcyone is convinced that it wasn't an ordinary dream, that in fact it was Ceyx who visited her and brought her news of his own passing.
After the dream, Alcyone woke up, ran outside and upon seeing Ceyx's body floating on water, ran into the water, but instead of drowning transformed into a bird, as did Ceyx. (Supposedly a kingfisher.) Now the two live together forever and for seven days, on which King Aeolus forbids the winds to blow, Alcyone and Ceyx hatch their children.
Like other stories, this is a beautiful one, and the lesson it might give is that don't let major changes destroy the love you have with your mate.
Romeo and Juliet qualities:
I don't think the forbidden love is the aspect, but in fact its death, that neither can bear living without one another, that's what will cause it to qualify as Romeo and Juliet type story.