Descent Into The Underworld

Entertainment / Literature / Descent Into The Underworld: An archetype or motif in folklore, religion, mythology, or literature in which the protagonist must descend into the realm of the dead (usually located beneath the earth in hell, Elysium, or Tartarus) and then return to the realm of the living at the earth's surface, often after rescuing a trapped soul or seeking the advice of the dead. Sometimes, a psychopompos will serve as a guide on this journey. This idea appears in many different cultures. In Mesopotamian legend, the goddess Inanna must enter Queen Erishikegal's realm of the dead unclothed, and she can only return if another soul is chosen to take her place. In Egyptian mythology, the souls descending into the next life must appear before a judge who takes his scales and weighs their hearts against a single feather. Greek examples include Orpheus's expedition to rescue Eurydice from Hades, or Hades' abduction of Persephone to make her the queen of his realm, or Odysseus's necromantic conversation with the shades of his old comrades who regain their power of speech after drinking sacrificial blood from a lamb. In Roman literature such as the Aeneid, Virgil describes how the Sibyl instructs Aeneas to use a golden bough as a bribe so Charon will ferry Aeneas across the river Styx.

Other Words for The

The Adjective Synonyms: drama, the stage, dramaturgy, dramatic or Thespian or histrionic art(s), the boards, show business, showbiz

Other Words for Underworld

Underworld Noun Synonyms: nether regions, abode of the dead, Hades, Hell, Avernus, Dis, Orcus, Egyptian underground


Entertainment / Literature / Underworld: The land of the dead--often depicted as beneath the surface of the earth in a variety of religious literatures. See Descent Into the Underworld. MORE

Restoration Therapy

Health / Massage / Restoration Therapy: Restoration therapy has been practiced in Japan for more than fifteen hundred years and has proven successful in the treatment of migraine headaches, nervous tension, general fatigue, and muscular ach MORE


Business / Finance / Rehypothecation: Pledging to banks by securities brokers of the amount in customers' margin account as collateral for broker loans, which are used to cover margin loans to customers for margin purchases and selling sh MORE