"The Farewell of Admetus and Alcestis. Etruscan red-figure amphora found in Vulci." Image Source: Wiki.
Tonight, see a great Cold War-era Russian animated film by Anatoly Petrov, which deals with an ancient Greek myth, Hercules visits Admetus (1986). It is a story about death, sacrifice and immortality. About.com summarizes the plot:
(Hat tip: Thank you to one of the regular readers of Histories of Things to Come, Gina theou, for recommending this film to a great Google Plus group, Russian Animation.)Admetus was a legendary king of Thessaly who lived during the time of the great hero Hercules. Admetus was doomed to die young, but Apollo, who had been made to serve the mortal king for a year, during which time he grew quite fond of him, arranged for Admetus to be saved from death, if someone would die in his place.
When Admetus' parents refused to give up their own lives for him, Admetus criticized them for their selfishness, then turned to his own wife and the mother of his children. This noble woman was Alcestis. She agreed to die for her husband.
Hercules came to visit Admetus while the house was in mourning for Alcestis, but Admetus claimed the dead was not a member of his family, and therefore none of the hero's concern. When the palace servants revealed to Hercules that the deceased wasn't a stranger, but the wife of Admetus, Hercules went to Hades to rescue her.
Hercules visits Admetus (1986), Part 1. Video Source: Youtube.
Hercules visits Admetus (1986), Part 2. Video Source: Youtube.