Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Greco-Roman Resurgence in Modern Pop-Culture

While it is true that Greek and Roman mythologies have influenced Western portrayals of the arts for centuries, the Renaissance both past and present is focused on the recovery of these stories.  One example of this in the modern day is the return or re-telling of mythological stories, such as Rick Riordan's Lightning Thief series, a story about a modern day Perseus and his band of teenage demigod friends.  Throughout the series he draws upon almost every conceivable mythological creature, image, and location, from Olympus to Tartarus.

Alone, this may be simple one author's Renaissance, but with the recent productions of such blockbusters as Gladiator, Troy, 300, and Clash of the Titans, it is clear that this emerging interest in the classical past is more widespread than just one book series.  300 was primarily a graphic novel written by acclaimed writer Frank Miller.  When asked about his return to classical sources, he said that he is not surprised Greece is resurgent in Hollywood. “Every generation returns to ancient Greece because, well, the stories are so damn good...The fact and the myth are inseparable and, believe me, when you go sailing for a while in the Aegean Sea, you start believing in Poseidon.” (Boucher)  

Why it is that we return so often to the myths of civilizations long since past is certainly a subject worthy of study.  Why do we not create our own myths?  One answer that I have arrived at is that we are, in our own way.  Because myths are (to an extent) formless and non-specific, the stories that we create using ancient myth could be considered a form of modern myth.  So I gleefully look forward to this modern Renaissance as we find new ways to explore the myths of the past and mold them into the myths of the future.  

Boucher, Geoff.  "‘Percy Jackson’ and ‘Clash of the Titans’ draw on same Greek myths but with epic differences." Hero Complex: Pop Culture Unmasked. Los Angeles Times. Dec. 11, 2009. Web. Sep. 9, 2015.  

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