Shortly after “L’Ange Heurtebise”, Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) adapted the legend of Orpheus and his descent into Hell to rescue his wife, Eurydice, for the stage (1926). With only one act and very few characters (Orpheus, Eurydice, Heurtebise, Death and her helpers), the play revolves around a story of love and death, in a universe where time is abolished and horses make poetry. Cocteau’s work deals with the inner personality of the poet and his relentless inclination towards, and fascination with, Death, as well as his preference for her over living people. Focusing particularly on Orpheus’ metaphorical descent into Hell, the play took to the screen in 1950. The main characters return, with an internal …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Nicolas, Candice. "Orphée". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 August 2011
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]