Greek mythology has been in existence since 700 BC and is currently one of the most well-known collections of myths in this day and age. The significance of Greek mythology lies in its creativity for the morals that can be found within them. It also explained the origins of the world, and people who lived in that time period.
Greek mythology has inspired books, movies, and even video games that exploded with popularity from the moment of release. Rick Riordan is a prime example of this fact as his book The Lightning Thief became so popular a movie was released based on it. The subsequent books that followed became one of the most popular book series selling 30 million copies around the country. These books astounded and inspired the readers with the interesting world of Greek mythology. The author continues to release books on Greek mythology and to this day the popularity for the book series only grows.
Additionally, in the same year as the book The Lightning Thief released a game surrounding Greek mythology released. The game was called God of War, and though the game was overly action oriented the entire world and the interactions it allowed were solely based on Greek mythology. The game was so popular that the creators of the game produced a sequel which then produced another sequel that was released earlier this year.
Finally, the number of movies based on Greek myths have noticeably increased in the past two decades. The 1997 Disney production of Hercules is one of the most commonly known films based on Greek mythology. Though the audience for this movie is admittedly made mostly of children it is undeniable that the film was inspired by Greek mythology. Furthermore, many more films inspired by Greek mythology were created before and after this film with the earliest movie dating back to 1950 and the most recent released in 2014. This is a prime example of creativity inspired by Greek mythology, without Greek mythology many of these creative interpretations that people love would have never existed.
Another aspect that makes Greek mythology significant is that most of the stories from Greek mythology, regardless of length, hold moral lessons waiting to be discovered. For instance, the story of Icarus is a tale of a man and his son escaping a tower with wings made of wax and feathers. The father warns the son not to fly too close to the sun. However, the son absorbed in the feeling of flying disregards his father’s warning and continues to fly higher into the sky which results in his wings melting and him falling to his death. You can take multiple morals from this story alone.
For example, one could conclude from this story that you should not allow yourself to be absorbed in your own confidence lest you suffer from it in the future. Another moral lesson you can interpret is that you should always hear the warnings of others and know your limits. Odysseus, another famous Greek myth, holds many morals that readers can discover. Such as the importance of loyalty and perseverance. Throughout the story, Odysseus is devoted to returning home to his family which enables him to push through many obstacles. Regardless of the interpretation, every Greek myth holds a moral that can be discovered. However, some Greek myths weren’t intended to hold some hidden moral some were intended to explain the mysteries that they could not explain.
Greek mythology was intended to give meaning to things they couldn’t understand. Like why the sea created waves, why the sky didn’t come crashing down onto their heads, how the universe was created. Greek mythology had a myth for every question that someone could ask. For example, there exists the myth of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades. Hades, god of the Underworld saw a beautiful woman called Persephone, instantly falling in love with her. However, Persephone did not love him back she only wished to stay on earth with her mother Demeter, the goddess of Harvest. One day when Persephone wandered from her friends Hades kidnapped her, forcing her to stay in the underworld with him. When Demeter returned and discovered Persephone’s absence she fell into a fit of sadness causing the trees, the grass and flowers around her to wilt and die.
Persephone saw this from the Underworld and begged Hades to let her go. Hades agreed, however, he asked her to eat some pomegranate seeds before leaving. Persephone agreed and ate the seeds, but soon discovered that the seeds were cursed. Persephone would spend most of the year with her mother however for four months out of the year she had to return to the Underworld to Hades. So during the time she spent with her mother, the sun would shine and agriculture would grow, but during the four months, she was in the underworld her mother would fall into sorrow causing the plants around her to die.
This myth explains the four different seasons and why they exist. Greek mythology holds many such myths that explained the creation of the world. Though it does not seem very important to us now it is still significant because it was the beginning of understanding how our world works. Without myths such as these, we may have never tried to discover the true reason behind things such as why the sun moves across the sky and why the wind blows.
Greek mythology is much more significant than many think. Greek mythology inspires creativity which creates new and imaginative stories. It teaches us morals reminding us the characteristics that are important and warning us to avoid poisonous traits like greed. These myths explained the world to people in 700 BC allowing some level of higher thinking alllwowing greek mythology has and will have significant impacts on society.