Orpheus and Eurydice Revisited: Grief and Grieving in Zinnie Harris’ Meet Me at DawnTuğba Aygan
First immortalised by Virgil in his fourth Georgic (ca. 39-30 BC), the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has captured the imaginations of artists for centuries. Conditioned by the age in which they were produced, many songs, plays, poems, and operas have been composed to honour this tragic love story. Among others, British playwright Zinnie Harris, in her 2017 play Meet Me at Dawn, draws her inspiration from this legendary love story. Defying the gender politics of the myth and the time, Harris reframes the characters in a more modern context and constructs both Orpheus and Eurydice as women. Whilst questioning what one would do if they were given another chance to be reunited with a beloved one who died suddenly, the play further explores the themes of bereavement, grief, and grieving by using the mythological love story as an allegorical scaffold. Drawing on Freud’s model of bereavement and the KüblerRoss grief cycle, this paper reflects on the embodiment of grief and grieving in the aftermath of a loss as manifested in Meet Me at Dawn arguing that it provides an exegesis of the validity of this particular model.