I’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?