Michille: Mythological Romance

gerard_francoispascalsimon-cupid_psyche_endI’m digging back into my limited knowledge of mythology and looking for love stories, even the ones that end in tragedy. Well, if I threw all of those out there would be precious few to work with. A quick check on Wikipedia pulled up a page listing more than 40 pairs in 15+ cultures. A separate list of love/lust deities has more again. There are a lot of stories out there based on mythological couples. I know a friend of Justine has a series based on them. One of my stories is and I am exploring the possibility of adding that element to more of them. So which ones should I dig into?

Depending on which version you read, Cupid and Psyche can be a pretty good one, but talk about some obstacles to Happy Ever After. They sure took the long way around. Baucis and Philomen could be adjusted so that they aren’t an old married couple already, but their story is more about the notion of hospitality. Orpheus and Eurydice could be a good one, too, as long as the idiot doesn’t look back at the end. Take that one little detail out and you’ve got an HEA. For Tristan and Isuelt, I’d have to take out the part where one is married to someone else. That doesn’t work for me in stories. As with my story Antigone Rising, I didn’t find it too difficult to change the event from mythology to suit the modern world. I used something that is representative or symbolic, like turning an actual death in the original story to the point of ritual death in my story. Therefore, Isuelt’s marriage could be turned into a betrothal that doesn’t get as far, a spurned lover who refuses to take no, a stalker who kidnaps, etc.

In googling around, I found some interesting interpretations of Achilles and Patroclus. Homer didn’t depict them as lovers, but rather as close comrades. Lot of people since then have cast them as lovers. Having read Homer’s version first, I’m inclined to keep that one in my repertoire, but authors of LGBT stories could use some of the more modern interpretations as a basis for their stories. Some of those interpretations could also shift over into the erotic market.

So who is your favorite mythological couple? Why? What is it about their story that touches you?

4 thoughts on “Michille: Mythological Romance

  1. Hi Michille,
    I’ve found your blog two weeks ago, and am loving it. I live in Hawaii and the most strange love story wound be about Pele, her sister, Hiiaka, and a love signing man, Lohiau. Lots of twists and a controversial ending.

    My passion is Polynesian, Asian, and Native Peoples mythology.
    I’d love to hear more of your possibilities and what stories you could find in them.
    Good hunting.
    Aloha, Jan

    • Aloha back, Jan. It’s great to have you here. I used Antigone in one of my stories but changed all the suicides to literary devices. I am going to use Euripedes’s Medea for another one, and change the killing of the children to cutting the biological father out of their lives because he has an affair and is abusive. I’ll have to check out the Pele myth. I am also a fan of Carl Jung and his universal archetypes so I like finding myths in various cultures because they all circle back to the never-ending story.

  2. I really like Baucis and Philomen, but I think the Ovid translation was something like a page and a half for the entire story. (-: Not a lot of plot there. But . . . I really like the idea of putting it into the hospitality industry. Maybe B and P are going through middle-age crises, and the strange visitors to their little bed and breakfast make them realize that they really are a great match, especially going into old age. That’d be cute!

    I don’t think we see as many after-the-happily-ever-after romances where they have to work to keep things alive. There are a few Heyers, if I remember right, and possibly some other women’s journeys. (-: We could always use more!

    I don’t know why myths and legends concentrate so heavily on the bad endings. I can think of a couple other romances (for example, the genre where a woman mysteriously appears, warns her new husband not to do something — like peek at her while she’s weaving, or remove her velvet neck band), and then eventually he does, and that’s the end of the relationship. She’s dead, or flies to the moon, or something. Why’d she come down in the first place? Was he that hot?

  3. Baucis and Philomen in the hospitality industry – fabulous. And so many of the old stories would work well in a paranormal so that other influences can come into play. There is a lot of doom in mythology. I think it was a teaching tool. Orpheus didn’t trust enough so he lost his true love. And I have to agree that no man is worth eternal damnation.

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