Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) is a type of flower plant native to the eastern Mediterranean.
Hyacinth is also the name of the Greek Hero Hyakinthos, who happens to be a lover of Apollo.
The plant hyacinth (hyacinthus orientalis) and the story of Hyakinthos are not related at all as it as commonly mistaken to be.
The Story of HyakinthosEdit
The story of Hyakinthos is a tragic one. Hyakinthos was a Spartan Prince. His beauty and youthfulness
has have cha mrmed to many gods including Apollo. One day Apollo was teaching Hyakinthos how to throw the discus and for some reason his throw was so powerful that the discus hit Hyakinthos in head and killed him. There are many theories that suggest the other Gods have caused s Hyakinthos death. The most well-known one is of Zephur, god of Wwind, who because of jealously hads jinxed the discus.
Angry and heart- broken, Apollo grieved for his lover's death. Refusing
ed to let Death claim ed Hya ckintho's body , from the drops of the young man’s head, Apollo sprung them onto the earth and there blossomed the flower of Hyacinth, known today as the Larkspur flower.
Connection to The Waste LandEdit
It is unsure whether Eliot meant the flower Hyacinth or the flower Larkspur. However, knowing that Eliot has incorporated many allusion to Greek Mythology it seems more likely that it is the plant Larkspur that he is referring to.
The story of Hyakinthos and Apollo is about homosexual love. In Eliot’s time, homosexuality was not tolerated and those who
awere gay s or lesbian s oftentimes faced harsh judgment s and discrimination s. Perhaps death will soothe them and free them from suffering. However, the context of homosexuality is rather illusive given the setting in lines (35-40).
The quotations indicate that the narrator is being spoken to. It seems like he is remembering something the had happened to him in the past. The act of giving flowers and spending time in gardens symbolizes innocent first love. This is that kind of memory that everyone wants to keep and bring with them to the grave. At the same time, it is always this kind of memory that leads one to a blank state of mind when we recall them. The moment is gone but at least you have it inside your head, but you will die and so will those happy memories. In the nothing really ever happened, the moment is forever lost. Forgotten and erased. Only silence is left, silence and nothing else. The cruelty is that you could not even be aware of it.