Hercules Essay

874 words - 4 pages

Have you ever noticed that the storyline behind all Disney movies deviates from the true story? If so, do you think that the differences just exist between character relationships, or are to protect the young viewers from fear? Well, if you take a deeper dive into analyzing these movies, you will realize this is not so. I will argue that the definition of a true hero in the movie Hercules and in the Edith Hamilton myth differ because the myth “Hercules” represents ancient Greek values while the film Hercules portrays modern-day American values. Greeks during the time of Hercules valued strength, bravery, and willingness to repent for mistakes, whereas Americans during the filming of Hercules valued selflessness, your ability to help people, and a good heart.

The 1997 film Hercules shows what it means to be a true hero through the eyes of American society. When the film begins, Hercules goes to see Philoctetes for help on becoming a hero. In the song Phil sings, he says, “To be a true hero kid, it’s a dyin’art; like paintin’ a master piece, it’s a work of heart; it takes more than sinew, Comes down to what’s in you.” In other words, Phil meant that it takes more than strength to become a hero. It takes a good heart and hard work. In addition, in the closing scene, Zeus says, “For a true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” This quote by Zeus demonstrates the American value of a good heart. American society also values selflessness. Hercules risked his life to save Megara, and put his dream of going to Mount Olympus on the line. However, he came out in the end and then gave up his time on Mount Olympus to be with Megara. Hera commends him and says, “You were willing to risk your life to rescue this young woman.” These little actions of kindness shows how Hercules will put others needs in front of his, which makes him a true American Hero. Lastly, Hercules was able to help people in multiple situations throughout the film. In one scene, Megara goes to Hercules and tells him about a “terrible rockslide” which trapped two children. Hercules immediately jumps on Pegasus and saves the children from under the rocks using his incredible strength. Overall, the film Hercules represents modern-day American values causing an American hero to differ from a Greek hero.

A Greek hero differentiates from an American hero solely because of the character traits Greeks value. Edith Hamilton says, “But Hercules embodied what the rest of Greece most valued. His qualities...

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