I am letting you into the secret of all secrets, mirrors
are gates through which death comes and goes. Moreover
if you see your whole life in a mirror you will see death
at work as you see bees behind the glass in a hive.
Indeed, as in the original myth, the angered mob of young poets and determined “Bacchantes,” feminist writers in Cocteau’s witty telling, kill him, and, once more, with Heurtebise (the Charon of this tale) he is transported into death’s realm, Death, in her impatience waiting for him to arrive, momentarily experiencing human time.
The strange twist at the end of this tale is more explicable if we comprehend that all three of his lovers—The Princess, Heurtebise, and Cégeste—perhaps perceiving that each is secondary to Orpheus’ central love, himself, erase him from their thinking, allowing him to go back in time, and to return to his loving Eurydice, as if she has just awakened from a nightmare nap.