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Greek Mythology and Hercules Essay

In Disney’s animated version of the classic mythology story, Hercules, they portray Hercules as a soft, klutzy, heroic superhuman. According to the classic Greek mythology story, Hercules saves peoples lives with his bravery and strength. Murder, tragedy, and bloody battles spread throughout the pages of Greek mythologies. It is obvious that the Disney version of the Hercules myth is not a correct one. Known for entertaining young movie-goers, Disney cannot provide a totally accurate portrayal of the real Hercules’s adventures, nor of Greek and Roman Mythology.

Similarities and differences occur between the movie and the myth and takes place in the birth, life and death of Hercules. One of the many errors in Disney’s Hercules is Hercules’s upbringing. In the Disney movie, Zeus and Hera, the parents of Hercules, reign as king and queen of the Gods. Disney portrays Hera as Hercules mother, however, this is not true. He becomes a demigod when Pain and Panic try to kill him with a potion but Hercules does not drink the final drop. Hercules grows up on Earth as a mortal with his mortal parents.

In the mythology version, Hera, the wife of Zeus, hates Hercules, a result of Zeus sleeping with Amphitryon’s spouse, Alcmene. Born from a mortal mother, therefore, makes Hercules a demigod. Hercules reminds Hera of her husband’s unfaithfulness and even goes so far as to send snakes to kill Hercules. This myth of affairs and revenge would appeal more to an older audience. Another error in Disney’s Hercules appears when Hercules questions his strength and finds it difficult to fit in.

As a mischievous teenager, he always causes havoc wherever he goes. In order for Hercules to join his parents on Mt. Olympus, he needs to gain his godhood by becoming a hero. Hercules goes to see Philoctetes, a trainer of heroes, who refuses to train him until Zeus hits him with his lightning bolt. In the mythology version, by the time Hercules turns seventeen, he single-handedly kills a lion terrorizing the land near Thebes. He hones his battle skills with his adopted father and other aides.

Later, Hera sends Hercules into a fit of rage and he kills children. Feeling the need to make amends, Hercules sets out to perform a number of tasks given to him as punishment where he uses his strength. Lastly, in Disney’s Hercules, Pegasus, a winged horse materializes from the clouds. Zeus and Hera gives the playful side kick to Hercules as a gift at birth. Pegasus acts as a true and helpful friend to Hercules throughout the movie. He takes his best friend with him on his many adventures.

One of the best known mythological creatures in Greek mythology is Pegasus and often depicted in books, movies and video games. In mythology, Pegasus was born from the evil blood of Medusa when Perseus decapitates her. A a matter of fact, Hercules never comes across Pegasus in Greek mythology. Disney’s version of Hercules has many errors in comparison to the mythology version but also includes many similarities. One similarity in the movie and the myth reveals the strength of Hercules.

Many notice his power and muscle very early in his life when he strangles the snakes as an infant. This episode takes place in the Disney movie as well in the classic mythology. This exhibits the first sign of Hercules’s amazing superhuman strength. In Greek mythology, Hercules performs some of the most difficult labors from killing the nine-headed Hydra to trapping a boar and saves peoples’ lives across the land. By the end of his twelve labors, Hercules becomes a true hero in the eyes of the Greeks.

His remarkable strength and heroic qualities allows him to become a famous character in classic Roman and Greek mythology. Overall, this animated Disney film makes for enjoyable family entertainment, however, the writers did not do justice to Hercules. If Disney would have made the movie serious or true to the mythology stories, however, it would not appeal to young movie-goers. This could result in a decrease in Disney revenue. Disney tries to make touching and exciting movies for kids and making this movie with such graphic scenes would be out of their realm of entertainment.


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