Compare and contrast the ancient Greek myth of Herakles and the Walt Disney movie of Hercules
This report will compare and contrast the ancient Greek myth of Herakles and the Walt Disney movie of Hercules. Links between the two, the basic storyline and more will also be discussed.
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In the ancient Greek myth, Herakles is born mortal. His parents are Zeus and Alcemne although Zeus is married to Hera. Hera was furious and after many attempts to kill Herakles, she sends him insane and he kills his wife and two children. Herakles sought help and took Apollo’s advice. He completed the twelve labours and became immortal.
In the Walt Disney movie, Hercules is born as a god to his parents, Zeus and Hera. However, Hades sends Pain and Panic to capture Hercules and make him a mortal. All Hercules wants is to become a God again. To do so, he must become a true hero. Along the way he meets Megara and falls in love with her. Eventually, Hercules becomes a true hero and is welcomed back to Mount Olympus but he decides to stay on Earth with Megara.
3.0 Background Knowledge
Some background information that will help you understand the movie is that it is set in ancient Greek times. The people in that time believed in gods, titans and mythical creatures. Zeus, who was married to Hera, ruled over Mount Olympus where the gods lived. Hades, the ruler of the underworld, is the evil person in this movie and Pain and Panic follow him.
There are a few things that have made the movie more modern that don’t fit in with the ancient Greek times. The most obvious things are the language and the singing. There were other things as well such as money, an Unidentified Flying Object, a clock salesman and the ‘Walk of Fame’. There was also merchandise such as sneakers, sandals, action figures and even soft drinks.
5.0 Links to Original Storyline-
Between the myth and the movie, some links have been made. Zeus, Hera, Megara, Alcemne and Amphytrion were all included in the movie. Zeus is still married to Hera and rules Mount Olympus and Hercules and Megara still fall in love. Hercules and Herakles both complete the ‘Twelve Labours’ as well.
6.0 Differences between the two stories-
There are many differences between the myth and the movie. One of the main differences is Hercules’ relationship with Hera. In the myth, Hera is not Hercules’ birth mother and she tries to kill him multiple times. In the movie, Hera is Hercules’ birth mother and a very loving and caring one. Instead, Hades is the killer.
From the information presented, it is understood that Walt Disney has converted the myth of Herakles into an appropriate movie for children to enjoy. It doesn’t feature any scary scenes such as Herakles murdering his wife and children. It is easy to follow and very entertaining for children and adults.