The ancient Greeks portrayed the underworld as a place for all the dead and clearly visualized it in their myths and legends.
The underworld in Greek mythology was not a lively place, for it was where all the dead souls went. When a person died, the soul would be sent to Hades, a more formal name for the underworld. "The dead would go to Hades because there was no annihilation in the Greek mythology. The dead are dead because they have a flavorless and unhappy existence".
The primary ruling god of the underworld is Hades whose brother is Zeus, king of the gods, and whose parents are Cronus and Rhea. Hades is a greedy god with his greatest concern being to increase the number of his subjects. He is very stubborn about letting people out of the underworld. Hades himself, rarely leaves the underworld. In one myth, however, we know of a time when he did leave his soulful domain. Hades became very lonely in the underworld, and went above and kidnapped Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, for his wife.Persephone, nonetheless, was not Hades’ only significant other. Hades had a mistress called Minthe whom Persephone later transformed into a plant. Hades is also known as the god of wealth due to the precious metals mined from the earth. He has been said to possess a helmet that was given to him by the Cyclops. This helmet has been said to make him invisible. Hades lent it to gods and mortal men. Perseus used the helmet on his quest for Medusa’s head and Athena, goddess of battle skills, put to use the helmet so the god of war, Ares, could not notice her.
Persephone, Hades’ wife, is the goddess of spring and the Queen of the underworld. She resides in the underworld for only six months of the year due to Hades kidnapping her. She was told not to eat anything for then she would have to remain in the underworld. While in the underworld, Persephone consumed six pomegranate seeds. Her mother Demeter, goddess of agriculture, threw a fit. Demeter complained to her brother Zeus. To be fair, Zeus stated that Persephone would have to remain in the underworld one month per seed each year. So, Persephone now resides in the underworld six months out of every year.
When the Olympians overthrew their father Cronus, the Olympians drew straws to see who would rule what part of world. Even though Hades, also known as the Roman God Pluto, drew the straw for the underworld, there are many gods, goddesses and personifications within the underworld besides him. These being: The three Furies, or Erinyes who would seek out miscreants. They were three women: Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. Alecto is often known as the goddess of war and death.
The god of sleep, Hypnos, also resided in the underworld, in Cimmerians in a cave on the island of Lemnos. Hypnos was the son of Nyx and the brother of Thanatos. His sons were the conductors of dreams. The mightiest among them, Morpheus, from whom we get the name for modern day morphine, brought dreams of men, Icelus, animals, and...