Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cephalus and Procris

My daughter is reading through Bullfinch's Mythology book for part of her school work.  Right now, we're in the Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes.  I like the way this book presents the material, so far, for her age.  It's not watered down but it's not as graphic as I know Greek Mythology stories can be.  It's a good balance. 

Sometimes for her narrations she likes to draw the scene, then tell me what happened using her picture as a guide.  For this story, I encouraged her to draw a few more pictures to tell the whole story.  She did a great job so I thought I'd share them here. 

If you're unfamiliar with the story of Cephalus and Procris (I was) here's a quick recap. 

Cephalus, who was very handsome and loved sports, was out and caught the eye of Aurora.  She instantly fell in love with him and wanted him to marry her.  Cephalus, however, was madly in love with his lovely wife, Procris and told Aurora "No."  This angered Aurora and she told Cephalus, as she let him go, that he would rue the day he ever set eyes on Procris. 

Aurora dismissing Cephalus with displeasure

Procris was favored by the goddess Diana.  Diana had given Procris a hunting dog and javelin that would never miss it's mark.  Procris, in return, gave these presents to her husband, Cephalus. 

Cephalus would go out hunting, alone, and when he was fatigued, he'd sit down in the shade to rest.  He would talk to the breeze that cooled and comforted him.  Someone happened to be walking by one day when he was talking to the breeze and mistook him to be talking to another women.  This person immediately went and told Procris, who wouldn't believe it until she heard it with her own ears. 

Cephalus talking to the breeze 

So, Procris hides in the bushes and waits for her beloved husband who happens along at that time.  He lays down and once again talks to the breeze sending up thanks for the comfort he is receiving.  Procris hearing her husband talking thus, thinks he is indeed talking to another woman and makes a noise.  Cephalus thinks the noise he hears in the bushes is an animal so he throws his javelin, which never misses it's mark, at the noise.  His aim is true and in true Greek tragedy style, his beloved wife is struck w/ a deadly blow. 

Procris is hit by Cephalus' Javelin

As he cradles her in his arms, grief stricken, she begs him to not marry "that odious breeze".  To which Cephalus now understanding what she is saying explains to her there was no other woman.  The breeze is just that, the breeze.  Procris dies in his arms content knowing that her husband loved her and was faithful.

So ends another fun Greek Mythology story. :)  I could actually see this as a Shakespeare play.  Of course, for all I know, it is a Shakespeare play. LOL


Jen Unsell said...

Once again- really amazing artwork Emily! I thought I knew the story you were talking about when you first mentioned it on my blog- but now that I read this I realized- I had never heard that story before. :-)

MichelleL said...

The colors are beautiful. Are they watercolors? If so what kind?