Lit 36: Introduction to Mythology
October 9, 2017
Myths Influences in Modern Hero Stories
Classical mythology is a historic society that represents beliefs, religion, and culture of a past society, that can also be classify as “myths the stories of gods and heroes of cults in which we do not believe, tales that once had religious significance” according to the author Adam David Leeming (Leeming pg.3). Greek mythology is greatly far-away from today modern era; however, it still influences the creation of modern heroes. Furthermore, many Hollywood movies, and comic book heroes are fictional stories that seem to be an update of myths narratives of Greek mythology. In fact, the science fiction movie, Avatar, by James Cameron is a great representation of how Greek mythology has influenced modern imaginary stories. The protagonist of the movie Jake Sully is modern demigod, he faces a problem that needs to be solved, has a call to adventure, he obtains help from the helpers, followed by the sacred marriage, the similarities between the film sacred places and past civilization. The challenges that Jake faces in the movie are identical to the ones mythological heroes follow, which means that Greek mythology influences every modern heroic story, especially in the movie Avatar.
This fictional hero story shares many elements with classical mythology. The first motif would be the fact that most heroes are demigods, meaning “A male being, often the offspring of a god and a mortal, who has some but not all of the powers of a god” (DemigodsandMythology). For example, Heracles was the son of Alcmene, and his father was Zeus. Similar to Heracles, Theseus is a demigod. He is the son of Aethra and Poseidon, the god of the sea. Similarly, Jake was a Hybrid, part human part Na'vi. An Avatar is created from the combination of Na'vis and human's DNA. Ultimately Jake is a modern demigod because once he becomes an Avatar and he is able to walk and he becomes physically strong like a God; but still remains human in his feelings. Furthermore, Jake Sully seems to possess great powers and do incredible things as he has the physical strength of a God. Even though Jakes started as a regular human being doing ordinary things once he became an Avatar he seems to posses the physical power and mental intelligence to defeat his enemies much like the great ancient Greek warriors. This demonstrates how classical mythology has being a guide of inspiration of good influence on modern contemporary movies.
The second element that supports how classical mythology influences today’s modern hero movies is the challenge that every hero needs to overcome. For example, Heracles, one of the most famous heroes of the ancient Greeks faces a conflict that starts when the goddess Hera, who hates Heracles, drives him angry and his anger forces him to “consequently kill his own family” (Heracles and Hera). As a result, he seeks for way to apologize for his...