Pluto in Orpheus Versus Pluto in Sir Orfeo
English and Literature
Submitted By oscar74589
The author of Sir Orfeo changes the character Pluto because the original representation on Orpheus poem contradicts his Christian believes. If we look in the definition of Pluto, it means Rich Father), in Roman religion, god of the infernal regions, the equivalent of the Greek Hades (q.v.), or Pluto (Rich One). Also known to the Romans as Orcus, he was believed to be the brother of Jupiter and was greatly feared. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
In the original poem of Orpheus Pluto is presented as the god of the underworld. For the Christianity is only one god. The following paper will point some of the significant contradiction that we can find in the character Pluto in the two poems. There are too many things in the original character of Pluto that contradict the Christian believes. One of these aspects is the representation of Pluto as all-powerful god. When Orpheus travel to the underworld to rescue his wife He tells Pluto and Proserpine: “ oh deities of the underworld, to whom all we must live must come, hear my words, for they are true” (Orpheus)this is a contradiction for the Christianity that believes that Jesus Christ is the one who all living thing must come. In the same speech Orpheus Said that: “we all are destined to you, and sooner or later will pass to your domain” (Orpheus) This statement is a clear contradiction to the Christian believes that all thing are made for the glory of one almighty God and all living thing will be judge by Jesus Christ the son of God. Now, let look at the character Pluto in Sir Orfeo.
“Sir Orfeo was a King of old… His Father from King Pluto
Came” (Sir Orfeo line 29-31) this passage, the Author of Sir Orfeo dot not preset Pluto as god. He presents him as Sir Orfeos’s grandfather. It is clear that the presentation of Pluto as god in the Poem of sir Orfeo will contradict with his believes. That why he still use the character name but he presented in a completely different way.
The character Pluto in the story of Orpheus has more restrictions, because he is presented as a god. In the contrary in the story of Sir Orfeo he is just a mortal. This transformation of the character from the original Orpheus gives the author more freedom in the way he presented in the story of Sir Orfeo. There are major different in the presentation of Pluto in both stories. What is most important is the motive. Why the author of Sir orfeo makes all this changes?. I believe the reason for the transformation of the character from Orpheus to the Sir orfeo story, is because Pluto in Orpheus contradict the Christian values of the author.
Dis Pater." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2003. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service.
07 Jul, 2003 .
Sir Orfeo. Trans. J.R.R. Tolkien New York: The Ballantine Publishing Group, 1975
Orpheus. Bulfinch’s Mythology. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1970
Sir Orfeo. Trans. A. j. Bliss. 2nd Ed. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1966