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The Black Orpheus Essay

2108 words - 8 pages

The black OrpheusThe movie opens with an image of a white Greek that reveals black men dancing the samba to drums in a favela. Eurydice arrives in Rio de Janeiro, and takes a trolley driven by Orfeu New to the city; she rides forlornly to the end of the line. Orfeu introduces her to the station guard, Hermes who gives her directions to the home of her cousin Serafina. As this start we can see that the movie takes place in the poor neighborhood of Rio de janeiro , and also shows that most of the people there are "black" , maybe we can understand from that that we are talking still about a period of racism against black people, maybe not as strong as once ,but still , Portuguese were the first to bring slaves into brasil .Although engaged to Mira, Orpheus has been pushed by a demanding Mira and not very enthusiastic about the upcoming marriage. Orpheus and Mira go to get a marriage license. When the clerk at the courthouse hears Orpheus's name, he jokingly asks if Mira is Eurydice, annoying her. Afterward, Mira insists on getting an engagement ring. Though Orpheus has just been paid, he would rather use his money to get his guitar out of the pawn shop for the carnival. Mira finally offers to loan Orpheus the money to buy her ring. The joke of the clerk about the names shows that the film comes from the following greek myth of orfeu and Eurydice :"Orpheus was the son of Apollo and the muse Calliope. He was presented by his father with a lyre and taught to play upon it, and he played to such perfection that nothing could withstand the charm of his music. Not only his fellow mortals, but wild beasts were softened by his strains, and gathering round him laid by their fierceness, and stood entranced with his lay. Nay, the very trees and rocks were sensible to the charm. The former crowded round him and the latter relaxed somewhat of their hardness, softened by his notes.Hymen had been called to bless with his presence the nuptials of Orpheus with Eurydice; but though he attended, he brought no happy omens with him. His very torch smoked and brought tears into their eyes. In coincidence with such prognostics Eurydice, shortly after her marriage, while wandering with the nymphs, her companions, was seen by the shepherd Aristaeus, who was struck with her beauty, and made advances to her. She fled, and in flying trod upon a snake in the grass, was bitten in the foot and died. Orpheus sang his grief to all who breathed the upper air, both gods and men, and finding it all unavailing resolved to seek his wife in the regions of the dead. He descended by a cave situated on the side of the promontory of Taenarus and arrived at the Stygian realm. He passed through crowds of ghosts, and presented himself before the throne of Pluto and Proserpine.Accompanying the words with the lyre, he sung, "O deities of the underworld, to whom all we who live must come, hear my words, for they are true! I come not to spy out the secrets of Tartarus, nor to try my strength against...

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