Monday, February 13, 2012

It's A Tragedy

Maybe it's the cynic in me, but I've never seen the point in Valentine's Day. I can totally get behind a good romance, but a whole holiday dedicated to it? *coughcommercialismcough*
Anyway, because I am a cynic, and because I enjoy a bit of contrariness, a list of mythological tragic characters:
(and I can already predict that there'll be so, so many more girls' name than boys' names. Sigh.)

  • Alvis (AHL-vis, Norse)--a dwarf beloved of Thor's daughter, Þrúð (anglicized to Thrud). Thor disapproved, and turned him into stone. Anglicized as Elvis.
  • Leander (lee-AN-der, Greek)--Swam across a river nightly to meet his love Hero, until he drowned in a storm. 
  • Tristan (TRIS-tan, English)--a knight who fell in love with the already-betrothed Isolde, leading to their deaths.

  • Cassandra (kas-SAN-drah, Greek)--Rejected the god Apollo's advances, so he cursed her to foretell the future, but never be believed.
  • Daphne (DAF-nee, Greek)--Another girl chased by Apollo, her father turned her into a laurel tree so she could escape him permanently.
  • Deirdre (DEER-dreh, Irish)--Legendary beauty who died of grief after King Conchobhar [Conor] killed her love, Naoise, and forced her to marry him.
  • Echo (EK-oh, Greek)--A nymph cursed to only repeat what others said; she pined away for Narcissus until only her voice remained.
  • Hero (HEER-oh, Greek)--A priestess who killed herself when her love, Leander, drowned.
  • Isolde (ee-ZOL-deh, English)--A princess whose accidental ingestion of a love potion leads to her & Tristan's deaths.  Variants include Eseld, Esyllt, Iseult, Isotta, and Yseult.
  • Klytië (klye-TEE-eh, Greek)--A nymph who pined for the sun-god Helios, until she turned into a flower. Latinized as Clytia.
  • Melusine (MEL-oo-seen or mel-oo-ZEEN, English & French)--fairy cursed to turn half-serpent one day a week. Should her husband see her in that state, she disappears forever. Sometimes written Melusina.
  • Phaedra (FAY-drah, Greek)--Fell in love with Hippolytus (despite already being married to Theseus), and killed herself when he rejected her.
  • Phyllis (FIL-lis, Greek)--despaired and killed herself when her husband Demophon temporarily left to help his father. 
  • Sadhbh (SIVE, Irish)--turned into a deer (while pregnant) because she rejected the advances of a druid. Her son was later found; she was never seen again. Anglicized as Sive or Sabia.
  • Semele (SEM-el-ee, Greek)--accidentally killed by her lover, the god Zeus

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