Advantages of Greek Mythology in Literature and Its Influence
“Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re invincible. It just means that you’re brave enough to stand up and do what’s needed. ” (Rick Riordan)
References to gods and Demons is a integral part of composing literature and teaching positive aspects of life. The belief of gods and demons influence many beliefs, morals, and values. Many authors have integrated the theme of gods and demons in their works to influence these beliefs, morals and values of the characters. Novels such as The Iliad by Homer, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, and The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan incorporate these aspects. All of these novels share the belief of gods and demons in their pages and all use the positive aspects of these mythologies.
Greek Mythology has a positive influence of modern literature by using the themes and traditions apparent in greek mythology to show in modern literature. A perfect example of a myth teaching good morals is the story of the Trojan Horse during the Trojan War. During the tenth year of this war the (invaders) deceived a plan. The plan was to build a large wooden horse as that was hollow on the inside and gift this horse to the people of troy as a surrendering plea. What the people of troy did not know is that the (invaders) hid inside the horse and when the town of troy was celebrating their win the warriors crawled out the horse and opened the gates of troy. With the gates open and the people of troy partying Troy easily fell to the (invaders). This myth teaches two important lessons. One is to never let your guard down to an enemy. As if the people of troy had been more suspicious and kept their guard up the city of troy wouldn’t have fallen. The second lesson actually comes from the antagonists of the story as they showed how to work smarter not harder. As most people during this time would have just kept attacking the walls until they were either victorious or dead. They chose to work smarter and trick the people of troy. Through the stories of greek myths you can explain many unnatural phenomenons.
During the time of Classical Greece the people of greece couldn’t explain how nature worked because they didn’t know the science behind it. Due to this people would give these feats to Gods and Goddesses. One example is Zeus, nobody knew why lightning struck the earth during a storm, so the power of lightning was given to Zeus and he became the God of Lighting. Many other unexplainable things during this time were given to gods, like Poseidon became the God of the Sea and something like explaining why the sea moved became a easier story to explain. This ability to give Gods powers of nature gives writers many creative pathways. They can relate the mood of the gods to the current form of nature and use this to force a character to do something. Another important theme throughout greek mythology is the power of family. In Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, many Gods would come down to earth and have children with mortal women creating a Demigod. These Demigods would often possess a similar power to their parents power, and were sorted into groups based off of their parents.
This creates a special bond between parents and child. Respecting your elders is another important theme seen throughout Percy Jackson. Speaking out against the gods and goddesses is viewed down upon and can sometimes get you killed in the extreme. The demigod Luke who was the son of The messenger of the Gods, Hermes, hated his father for not being around as a kid. Due to this he grew up to hate the gods and was very disrespectful to them. He even went as far as to reawaken the Gods greatest Enemy the Titan Kronos. You can also show how everyone has a weakness and nobody is perfect through greek mythology. Achilles was a demigod and viewed as one of the most skilled warriors in greece. As a child his mother dipped him into the River Styx and in doing so it made his physical form immortal… mostly. His mother made a grave mistake by holding him by his left heel when she dipped him into the river. Due to this his only weak spot was on his left heel.
Later on during the Trojan War at the battle of Troy he was viewed as the most best warrior on either side and many people feared him because they thought he was immortal and could not be beaten. During the battle of troy a lucky archer had hit Achilles in his left heel and to his surprise the arrow went straight through and he was wounded badly for the first time. He later died that day. This story shows how nobody is perfect and everyone has a flaw. One theme present throughout greek literature is Identity and the self discovery of yourself. This theme can be shown through the family hierarchy of gods. In the novel Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Percy JAckson was a normal kid living in new york, or so he thought. Turns out he was actually a demigod of one of the most powerful gods in greek history, Poseidon. When Percy finds out the truth of his family he is forced into this world of gods and demons. Over the course of the story percy finds his new identity and sets his destiny in motion.
Through the use of Greek Mythology a writer can show the process of a character finding their identity. Family connection is very important in greek mythology and provides and easy way for writers to show a character developing and finding their identity. Another theme throughout greek Mythology is versions of reality. WIth the power of gods, gods can create different versions of reality to influence characters actions. In the novel The Lost Hero, a magic mist creates an effect that hides demigods, gods and demons. This mist protects mortals by showing them, normal things when they aren’t looking at normal things. This theme of different versions of reality gives writers a lot of creative ways to curve realites. ‘M-i-s-t. It’s a kind of veil separating the mortal world from the magic world. Mortal minds — they can’t process strange stuff like gods and monsters, so the Mist bends reality. It makes mortals see things in a way they can understand — like their eyes might just skip over this valley completely, or they might look at that dragon and see a pile of cables.
Themes of traditions and customs are very abundant in greek mythology. Writers can show the importance of traditions and customs on cultures through greek mythology. Traditions and customs are very important in greek mythology with many traditions like sacrificing to the gods. “As I got closer, I saw that everyone was taking a portion of their meal and dropping it into the fire, the ripest strawberry, the juiciest slice of beef, the warmest, most buttery roll. ” (Riordan page 127-128) To some these traditions can be considered a waste and this can provide a way for writers to put conflict into their story. These traditions can also teach newcomers of a places customs or let a reader enter the world of the characters.
Greek Mythology has a positive influence of modern literature by using the themes and traditions apparent in greek mythology to show in modern literature. Modern Literature is positively affected by the themes and traditions illustrated in greek mythology. The themes have many positive influences by teaching the characters and readers good morals, beliefs, and values.
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