Disney's Hercules vs Mythological Heracles Essay

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Dayane Sanchez CLT 3370-04 October 10th, 2013 Essay # 1 Disney’s Hercules vs. Mythological Heracles Disney is renowned for its adaptation of tragic stories into whimsical fairy tales. As the audience for the tales differ, so do the stories. It’s depiction of Heracles is no exception, as a story of murder, betrayal, and tragedy turns into a tale about one’s worth and place in the world. While we may find the same characters portrayed in Greek mythology, many times their roles are changed or intertwined with that of others. This, however, doesn’t keep us from learning about the basic struggles of the hero and where they take him. In the first couple of seconds of Disney’s Hercules, one can already see a few inconsistencies with Greek mythology. The film opens up with Five Muses, “patrons of the arts and proclaimers of heroes,” singing about the beginning of the Earth. They describe it as a chaotic place where destructive elemental giants, called Titans, roamed amok, and whom almighty Zeus locked up in a “vault”. Now, we know that there are actually nine Muses, daughters of Zeus, who in this movie serve the purpose of narration through choreographed dance and song as only five. Moreover, the Titans weren’t monsters, but predecessors of the gods we’ve come to know and, like them, appeared human-like. Zeus did “sen[d] [the Titans] down far beneath the broad ways of the earth to Tartarus”, after defeating them in the Titanomachy but they did not uprise against him ever again. Once the opening song ends, we are introduced to Zeus and Hera celebrating the birth of their son, Hercules, with all the other gods in attendance. We are given the impression that Hercules is their pride and joy, and as a result are devastated when their only son is kidnapped, turned into a mortal, and adopted by peasants, Alcmena and Amphytrion. However, in myth, Heracles is not Hera’s

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