Rose’s Categorized Bibliography

Primary/Ancient Texts:

Reception Studies: 

  • Hall, Edith. 2004. “Towards a Theory of Performance Reception.” Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics. Vol 12, pp. 51-89. 
    • Looks at classical reception in performance art, which will be useful for me since Hadestown is a performed medium. 
  • Hardwick, Lorna, and Christopher Stray, eds. 2008. A Companion to Classical Receptions. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. 
    • Useful for gaining context on Reception Studies in Classics and getting a sense of what work is out there and what people studying reception do and how they do it. Multiple chapters seem like they will be helpful for learning about different aspects of reception studies, such as a chapter on Reception and Tradition as well as a chapter looking at Rewriting of Myth, but it also might be good for me to look at Part V which is titled Performing Arts since Hadestown is a theatrical show (although the section will likely focus on Greek Tragedies, there might still be something there that can be useful). 
  • Martindale, Charles, and Richard F. Thomas, eds. 2006. Classics and the Uses of Reception. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. 
    • Another source to give me an overview and some context about the field of Reception Studies. This one may not be as specifically helpful in terms of topics/subjects as the other two companion/handbook sources listed, but can hopefully help me to give me a better understanding of how reception is used and why we study it. 
  • Zajko, Vanda, and Helena Hoyle, eds. 2017. A Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. 
    • Similarly, this book will help to ground me in Reception Theory particularly concerning mythology, which is helpful since Hadestown itself is a reception of classical myths. Also has a whole section on particular figures and texts, in which there is a chapter on Orpheus and Eurydice that I have cited by itself further down in my Orpheus & Eurydice category which should be very useful. 

Hades & Persephone:

  • Lehmann, Christian. 2021. “A Massive Thread on Modern Persephone & Hades (Mostly Romanticized) Representations.” Twitter.  
    • This Twitter thread gives examples of many modern representations of the mythological characters Hades & Persephone. While it doesn’t provide much analysis of these representations, it’s a good starting place to see what all sorts of receptions of this myth exist and how the myth and the characters are perceived by modern audiences but also modern creators. Includes examples of fanart, poetry, novels, and visual art stories such as WebToons, and even shows non-traditional places where these characters appear in modern media such as linking a Tiktok video. Also does include a song from Hadestown, which could maybe be used to show how the musical appears in the modern consciousness of Hades & Persephone stories. 
  • Miller, Talia. 2020. “Hades and Gentleman: How the Myth of Hades and Persephone Has Been Used in the 20th and 21st Century Entertainment Industry.” Xenia.
    • Examines how Hades & Persephone myths have been presented in art, music, literature, and film in the last two centuries, should be helpful in looking at how receptions of the myth have been analysed. 
  • Schiano, Sierra. 2018. “The ‘Rape of Persephone’ in Children’s Media: Feminist Receptions of Classical Mythology.” Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics. Vol 6, Issue 2. 
    • Looks at retellings of the story of Persephone, particularly how these adaptations often turn the story of rape into a story of romance. Similar content to the “Rape or Romance” article but analysed in a more scholarly fashion, also another example of studying reception of this myth. 
  • Scott, Aimee Hinds. 2020. “Rape or Romance? Bad Feminism in Mythical Retellings.” Eidolon.
    • An article examining the tendency of modern creators to retell the myth of Hades & Persephone as a romance/love story rather than the tale of rape/kidnapping that we see in ancient mythology. The author looks at this in terms of feminism, saying that by trying to give Persephone more agency in having her choose Hades instead of being kidnapped, many modern creators are actually often taking agency away from Persephone, and so the author of this article claims that this is “bad feminism.” Since Hadestown also rewrites Hades & Persephone’s meeting as a love story, it might be worth using some of what’s brought up in this article to think about why they might have chosen to do so and what effect it has. 
  • Zajkas, Olivia. 2015. “Introduction” in Persephone and Hades Revisited: Modern Retellings of the Myth in Young Adult Literature. Vienna: University of Vienna, pp. 1-3.
    • This paper aims to analyse retellings of the myth of Persephone and Hades in Young Adult Literature by looking at a few modern novels which are based on this myth. While the paper as a whole can give me an idea of how reception of this myth appears in other forms of media (vs. the theatre format of Hadestown), the Introduction specifically outlines some of the methods that the author used to look at the retellings and compare them to the original myth, so I can hopefully use these methods as a place to start when looking at how the musical Hadestown uses this same myth. In the Introduction, the author lists some questions to consider when looking at a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth, as well as identifying some of the key aspects of the myth to see how they transfer to the modern retelling. Though I am not doing exactly the same thing as the author of this paper, their methods can help to provide a structure for ways that I can think about how the myth is changed in Hadestown from the original.

Orpheus & Eurydice: 

  • Edmonds, Radcliffe G. 2015. ““When I Walked the Dark Road of Hades”: Orphic katabasis and the katabasis of Orpheus.” Les Études Classiques. Vol 83, pp. 261-279
    • Not sure if this source will be entirely useful since “Orphic myth” as a category is somewhat separate from the specific myth about Orpheus & Eurydice that I’m looking at, but Orpheus does undergo a katabasis in the myth so it’s possible that something in here will connect with what I’m doing.
  • Heath, John. 1994. “The Failure of Orpheus.” Transactions of the American Philological Association. Vol 124, pp. 163-196. 
    • This article examines the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as it appears or is alluded to in multiple sources in antiquity in order to claim that there is no ancient version of the myth where Orpheus fully succeeds in rescuing Eurydice from the Underworld. This can be helpful in describing where the story of Orpheus exists in different ancient sources and how it’s used and referenced in antiquity, while also maybe give reasoning for why Hadestown creators chose to keep the tragic ending of the myth in their musical rather than updating it with the “happy ending” that modern audiences often expect.
  • Liveley, Genevieve. 2017. “Orpheus and Eurydice” in A Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Pp. 285-298. 
    • Seeks to piece together fragments of the myth of Orpheus & Eurydice from various sources and look at how they’ve been re-shaped and re-assembled since antiquity. A reception study of a myth I’ll be working with, so hopefully will prove useful. 
  • Roalsvig, Emma. 2020. “Chapter I: Virgil, Ovid, and the Classical Tradition” in A Personification of Poēsis: The Reception of Orpheus in Modern Poetry, Drama, and Film. Baltimore: John Hopkins University, pp. 3-12. 
    • This paper is an analysis of the reception of the mythical figure Orpheus in modern poetry, drama, and film. As well as providing an example of how to look at reception of myth, the first part of this paper is the most useful for me since it provides an analysis of a few versions of the myth in antiquity, two of which happen to be the versions I’m most likely to look at for my project. The author provides a close reading of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth in both Vergil and Ovid, which are the two versions of the myth I’m most familiar with, and this will give me other scholarly perspectives for when I look at these stories myself in order to compare them to how Hadestown presents the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.  


  • Jackson, Pria. 2020. “Surviving Two Thousand Years: Understanding the Role of Power in Shaping the Textual Record.” Cambridge School Classics Projects Blog.
    • Looks at the role and theme of “power” in the story of Hadestown, and parallels this with an analysis of why certain texts are the ones to have survived antiquity and be passed down to us and still exist today, in order to argue the author’s belief that Hadestown is the type of creation that will live on and be passed down in the years to come. Has some interesting points about themes in the musical and how the story it tells can be interpreted or can come across in today’s political and social situation.
  • Kamil, Miriam. 2020. “A Classicist Reviews Hadestown.” Eidolon.
    • An article which lists some of the biggest/most obvious changes between the ancient versions of the myths and how they’re told in Hadestown, such as the absence of Demeter who’s prevalent in the ancient myth of Hades & Persephone and the fact that Eurydice dies by snake bite in Ovid & Vergil’s versions of the story. Clearly intended for a non-classicist audience, or at least an audience who’s not familiar with the ancient myths, but can still be helpful for seeing the differences articulated and for thinking about the effects that these changes can have. Also gives an example of how the musical is received by modern audiences and by other classicists, as the writer gives their own opinion on the show as a whole.
  • Mason, Abigail. 2022. “A Ticket to the Underworld: Classical Reception and Hadestown.” Pennsylvania State University. 
    • A thesis paper with the purpose of doing something similar to what I’m doing; that is, looking at the musical Hadestown and how it acts as a reception of ancient myth. This paper is going to be very helpful to me, in terms of being an example of how to analyze a theatrical show and in terms of filling in places where my own knowledge/experience of the musical is lacking, since the author gives detailed descriptions of characters’ costumes and set and staging which is helpful since I have not seen the show performed myself. This will also be a key source for me since it’s a scholarly classics paper specifically about Hadestown, and not much scholarly work has yet been done on the musical since it only premiered on Broadway a few years ago (2019).
  • Mitchell, Anaïs. 2019. Hadestown (Original Broadway Cast Recording). Sing It Again Records. 
    • This is just the actual recording of the musical Hadestown that I listen to and am familiar with, which is my “primary” source for my project since I’m focusing on the story that the musical tells and will be referring often to the songs and their lyrics. 
  •  Sullivan, Robert. 2019. “Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell’s Musical Where Work Is Hell, Makes It to the Big Time.” Vogue.
    • Article about the musical which contains a description of the set, a brief overview of how the musical was created and came together, some summary and description of characters, some quotes from the creator, and a viewer’s opinion of the performance and storyline – lots of little pieces that will be helpful in small ways. 

One thought on “Rose’s Categorized Bibliography

  1. Categorized Deep Dive

    Schiano, Sierra. 2018. “The ‘Rape of Persephone’ in Children’s Media: Feminist Receptions of Classical Mythology.” Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics. Vol 6, Issue 2.

    This article discusses two modern retellings of the “Rape of Persephone” written for children (Rick Riordan’s “Persephone Marries her Stalker (Or, Demeter, the Sequel)” and “Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend”). It argues that reworkings of this myth can be feminist acts of resistance against the patriarchal past and present. In addition, the article specifically argues that Riordan’s text is unsuccessful in its retelling while “Guardians of Legend” is successful. This article seems like a good basis for understanding how reworking of myths can interact with the original myth and act in resistance to the original text. I think it somewhat discounts complexity in ancient versions of the myth, and it would be interesting to expand on how ancient women might have interacted with this myth or how it presents complexity within the patriarchal structures of the time.

    Edmonds, Radcliffe G. 2015. ““When I Walked the Dark Road of Hades”: Orphic katabasis and the katabasis of Orpheus.” Les Études Classiques. Vol 83, pp. 261-279

    This article delves into the difference between “Orphic Katabasis”, referring to katabasis poems attributed to Orpheus, and poems about the katabasis of Orpheus. It argues that it cannot be assumed that Orphic Katabasis should not be assumed to be about Orpheus and argues that it may in fact be about Heracles or other figures. The article is primarily concerned with discussing possible attributions of Orphic katabases and teasing apart what they might have been about, and is not especially concerned with poems about Orpheus and therefore might not be overly helpful for your specific topic.

    Reflection Paragraph
    The Schiano article seems much more relevant to your topic than the Edmonds article, though both are interesting. The Schiano article presents an interesting argument of retelling and reworking myths as an act of resistance, and it has an interesting perspective on what is and isn’t a “good” or “feminist” retelling, though I think it casts really strong judgment on the original myth. The Edmonds article focuses more on Orphism and teasing apart the evidence for the existence of Orphic Katabasis stories. It deals a lot less with known poems about Orpheus, though it does touch on them to discuss how they are different from possible Orphic poems, so it seems less relevant to what you are working on. I’m not sure how focused you intend to be focused on feminist reception specifically, but the Schiano article cites “Postfeminism and Popular Culture: Representations and Resistance” (Ann Brooks), which might intersect reception studies and feminist theory. There’s also an article called “(Why) Do Reception Studies Matter?” (Lorna Hardwick). I’m not sure if anything in the Edmonds bibliography will be useful to you, but there are a number of them about the mythologizing of Orpheus as a literary figure, so that might be worth looking into.

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