Most presentations of Persephone’s myth relegate her to the damsel in distress. Many even call the myth “The Rape of Persephone.” She has been kidnapped by the dastardly villain Hades and must be rescue. There she goes on a hunger strike and cries until she is rescued from his evil clutches. Even Disney’s Hercules presents Hades as the bad guy. He’s a convenient scapegoat, and his association with the underworld makes him an easy target.
But as we’ve seen, Hades has acted with great civility—especially for the Greek gods. The question must be asked, then, what are Core’s wishes in all of this? Has she actually been forcibly abducted?
She fasted, yes, but this may not be due to grief, but rather to the prohibition about the food of the dead. She would know that to partake of that food would mean she must remain with Hades no matter what. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would remove her completely from her mother. This would have repercussions for her status later on.
She cries, yes, and Hades even remarks that she “seems unhappy” and so will be returned to Demeter. However, I think there is something greater going on behind all of this. Core is in an interesting situation, which I think she can capitalize on.