Mythology Tropes and Persephone’s Trouble

gothic tropeAccording to the wiki website Television Tropes, “Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite.” In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.”

One of my favourite tropes is Mythology. It’s such a fascinating subject, because myths–extremely similar myths–persist in the histories of all culture worldwide. Does this point to a common beginning? Shared stories (before social media??)? Or common themes of the human condition?

Whatever the reason, mythology never gets old and continues to reveal the depths, motives, and secrets of the human heart.

One of the most compelling myths is the story of Persephone. Some have called her story ‘the rape of Persephone’. Rape most likely is better translated as ‘abduction’, but ultimately what’s at stake is the loss of innocence.

A young maiden picking flowers in a field wanders away from her mother (Demeter). The earth suddenly opens and Hades emerges from below and abducts her, forcing her into marriage.

Demeter’s grief–which causes crop failure and starvation–makes Hades release Persephone for a few months a year so the earth can recover and mankind can survive.

Kinda like the cycle of the seasons.

In my six book series, Apocalypse Babes, the main character (Seffy–get it? Tricky, I know) is a modern Persephone. She travels to ‘Hades’ against her will and spends her time torn between capitulating or fighting against the forces holding her there.

And instead of pomegranate seeds, a pink Juicy Couture tracksuit might be what holds Seffy in Hades–or is the vehicle for her ultimate release. Either way, she experiences her own personal apocalypse…also another trope.

So check out the TV Tropes wiki and explore the endless story possibilities–and the human condition.


About bellastreet

Living so close to Nashville has provoked Bella to take up fiddle lessons. Until her tunes no longer sound like amorous alley cats, she writes romance with a touch of weird. Visit her at
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8 Responses to Mythology Tropes and Persephone’s Trouble

  1. Jill James says:

    Bella, your books are on my TBR list, I call it a list because it is on my Nook, so hard to be a pile. LOL I love myths, legends, and fairy tales to get an idea for a story.


  2. JoanReeves says:

    Bella, you know I’m a big fan of your Apocalypse Babes books. You’re right about Persephone of mythology.

    Interestingly, I’ve always thought François Girardon’s sculpture of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades used to illustrate your post was very similar in styling and emotion as Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women — at least in photographs.

    I haven’t seen the Girardon sculpture personally. Perhaps Abduction might be the proper word for that, but I can tell you first hand that Giambologna’s statue (in Firenze or Florence) was aptly named. No abduction there. Looking at it in person will give you cold chills.

    In recent years, I’ve seen some re-naming Rape of the Sabine Women as The Abduction of the Sabine Women. I can tell you that abduction is not the proper word for that statue. Rape is.

    Sorry for rambling, but your post made me think about all that. So that means it was a compelling post!


    • bellastreet says:

      I’ve heard of the Rape of the Sabine Women and I wonder if there’s a connection. So many stories are recycles with a cultural twist, so maybe. Hey, sounds like what we do! LOL


  3. As someone who named her son Triton, the god of the tides, how could I not enjoy this post? LOL 🙂


  4. leighmorgan1 says:

    Myth is always a good jumping off point for me. This series sounds fantastic!


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