Comparing the Film Black Orpheus and the Original Greek Myth Essay

Comparing the Film Black Orpheus and the Original Greek Myth Essay

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Comparing the Film Black Orpheus and the Original Greek Myth

The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is one that has been retold countless times over the years. It started as a Greek myth, later being made into a movie titled Black Orpheus. After reading the myth and watching the movie, it is easy to see that there are far more differences in the two works than similarities. These differences are not only in the way the story is told, but also in the organization of the events that take place and in the description of the characters. The main differences in these two versions of the myth are the role of the characters, the main plot scheme, and the journey into the underworld.
The characters in the movie, Black Orpheus, are significantly altered from the Greek myth. In the myth, Orpheus and Eurydice are together from the beginning and are completely in love. Everyone is happy for their love and the only thing that stands in their way is death. In the movie, however, this is notably changed. Orpheus begins as a streetcar conductor that was engaged to Mira, giving the idea that Orpheus was in love with another woman. We quickly see that this is not the case as Orpheus is always very curt and rude with his fiancée. They are slated to get married, but there is an eerie feeling in the air that something is about to go wrong.

The main difference with these characters is that in the movie, Orpheus cheats on his fiancée. We soon see that Eurydice is the wildcard when it comes to Orpheus. It does not matter whether or not he is with another woman, she will do what it takes to win Orpheus’s love. This is where one of the main differences occurs. Contrary to the myth, Orpheus cheats on his fiancée and gives his love and affection to Eurydic...


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... Orpheus thinks that a trick is being played on him and turns around, causing Eurydice to be lost forever. This leads the viewer to believe that Orpheus was not really in the underworld and that this was just a fake journey into a nonexistent underworld. It seems quite odd that anyone can walk down a spiral staircase and be placed at the gates of Hades. This is the main reason the journey into the underworld appears to be a false one.

Overall, the two versions of the story convey the same message, but in very different ways. From the differences in the characters to the plot variances, we can see that the similar messages can be portrayed in a variety of ways. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is an ancient one that will forever be retold and altered. A prime example of this was shown in the differences between the original myth and that movie of Black Orpheus.

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