The introduction to Sir Orfeo touches upon the idea of the “otherworld” where the fairies reside, and how it parallels the Underworld as represented in many stories. All of the people subjected to living in the Otherworld are in miserable states of being; some forced to madness, some in pain and suffering, and others asleep in the state they were taken away in, like Herodis. However they are surrounded by a beautiful castle and lands, which Orfeo marvels at upon arrival. The beauty of the Otherworld in this context is a hard, cold kind of beauty represented by gems and stones rather than by warmth of character and emotion which the Otherworld lacks. When leaving his home in search of Herodis Orfeo sheds all of his material possessions, besides his harp. His harp signifies a means of bringing joy to others.
The lack of emotions in the Otherworld is contrasted sharply with the seemingly excessive emotions represented in the human world. Orfeo expresses his woe at his wife’s capture, as well as his torment when he sees her and she doesn’t speak to him. However when he sees her in the Otherworld, asleep against the tree, he expresses no emotion. Even his retrieval of her does not elicit an emotional response. This suggests that the Otherworld is not only connected with materialism, but also an absence of humanity, emotions being associated with humans.