Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Hercules (1997)
Film poster depicts a cartoonized Hercules' upper torso, flexing his bicep muscle. On it flies Pegasus, a winged horse, ridden by a smaller Hercules, his love interest, and several side characters. In the background, a Hellenistic city center/pavilion is shown.
Heracles, also known as Hercules, is, according to Hesiod’s Theogony, the son of Zeus with the mortal woman named Alcmena (Morford et al. 91). However, according to Disney, Hercules’s background differs from this narrative. In Disney’s 1997 film Hercules, the hero is originally a god from a loving family of divinities. The movie starts with all the Olympians except Hades gathered at Olympus to welcome the newborn Hercules. After Hades learns from the Moirae—The Three Fates—Hercules would be in the future a serious obstacle for his plan to conquer Olympus, the underworld’s ruler sends two of his henchmen to turn the baby human to kill him. This mission goes wrong, and Hercules ends up living as a human baby, with super-strength, not able to live at Mount Olympus, and raised by a human couple. Later on, young Hercules will have to discover his true origins and find his way back to Olympus, where only deities can live. The story as told by Disney acquires a friendlier tone, focusing on the hero’s journey of personal growth and discovery, disregarding the pieces of information that imply morally complex issues. Disney changes the traditional narrative to fit the mythological hero’s story into their already adapted array of censored tales.
The film assembles characters, motifs, and events from Greek mythology but in a way that is consistent with Disney’s agenda. Disney presents the young hero as the happy progeny of Zeus with his wife, Hera, another Olympian divinity, who is also Zeus’s sister (Morford et al. 115). The incestuous nature of their relationship is omitted in the same way as Zeus’s multiple infidelities (Morford et al. 116). Hera is an antagonistic figure in Hercules’s life, and it is her, not Hades, the person who sends two snakes to kill baby Hercules (Morford et al. 556). According to myth, the infant Hercules kills them with his hands; according to Disney, he knocks them out and throws them away, moderating the level of violence. Another modification is the hero’s personality. Some sagas depict him as a violent hero who performs good and evil deeds for his benefit (Morford et al. 568-570). The aggressive hero narrative contradicts Disney’s portrayal of an innocent, nonviolent young man. Other characters within the movie also differ to some degree from the original accounts, and some are even added, such as Hercules’s trainer Philoctetes. Still, despite the changes to Hercules’s origin story, he appears depicted similarly to what a demigod—a human with godly attributes, offspring of gods breeding with humans—would be. In addition, during the film, Hercules faces tasks consistent with his mythical labors and is shown posing for a vase painting as seen in classical representations, wearing a lion skin, and holding a club and a shield (Morford et al. 184, 185, 558). As the movie develops, the adolescent Hercules introduces himself to a world of monsters and heroes, trying to prove his worth to regain his immortality, which according to myth, is a prize and not a birthright (Morford et al. 558). Eventually, after overcoming a series of challenges, Hercules achieves excellence as a hero whilst learning a life lesson to cement his heroical growth in a manner that fits moralistic principles, omitting the unflattering parts.
Finally, while Hercules keeps his godly strength and his hero condition in this family-friendly portrayal, his first literary depictions step away from the later idealized, righteous hero (Morford et al. 568). Disney constantly alters the characters and elements within the story but maintains enough essential details and motifs to emulate Greek myth within the proper parameters. For example, Philoctetes, the trainer, is a satyr who openly demonstrates his exacerbated interest in women like a satyr would, although without overt sexualization like a real satyr who experiences permanent sexual arousal (Morford et al. 321). Also, notable pop culture references make the film relatable for different generations and fun to watch. In the end, Hercules’s story becomes a lively, feel-good tale that briefly introduces the audience to the path of Greek mythology, but it is by no means reliable as a source.
Libraries may foster social engagement via programs such as writers' lectures, creative writing courses, literacy lessons, families, readership groups, and events. The function of libraries as a social venue to meet new people and friends is essential for decreasing information poverty and promoting social engagement. Through social events, libraries may allow individuals to participate in their local community and create networks outside their normal sphere of society. By providing a social center for bringing people together and creating bridging networks, libraries may help alleviate information poverty. Through the studies I conducted in the libraries, I came across an interesting concept and a cultural practice that I believe will be a great addition to the current system of our museum. Generally, our museum has been recognized as one of the best museums in the region with a precise arrangement of events that enable people to understand how different concepts related in the past. As noted, “There is a continuity of culture between Troy VI and Troy VIIa; the ruins of houses and citadel walls were reused,” (Morford, Robert and Michael 48). These remarks, therefore, entails the importance of artistic development from the ancient building techniques. Cultural building designs are a significant aspect that entails the display of talents based on arts and construction.
By introducing cultural and ancient building techniques, the museum aims to have different building designs of different cultural practices. The idea will remind people of their critical practices and the essence of housing among their communities including the mosaic and painting on the walls of these houses. “...Best known are the wall paintings from the private houses in Pompeii and Herculaneum, all dating from before the eruption of Vesuvius, and some paintings in Rome.” (Morford, Robert and Michael 646). Besides, people will be able to display their talents and ability through participating in such construction. Additionally, through participating in such activities, people will create some revenue based on the tourists attracted by their designs. Therefore, the exhibition tends to be effective in promoting talent and enhancing social participation among the community. Multiple museums have invested many resources in promoting talent and careers among the communities around them. The application of this technique will enable the museum to develop and gain public support in its activities.
People have forgotten about cultural practices, and the current generation remains vulnerable to their cultural values and practices. Museums need to be their places of reference in search of their core values and practices (Walker 1). The existence of museums without including the cultural practices of the communities around them is a concern that needs to be reviewed. Therefore, implementing the idea of cultural practices such as house constructions, among other practices in the community, will enhance the effectiveness of the museum to the community development and make it a center of research besides being a recreational site. The idea of cultural promotion is an aspect that will help different categories of people in society. The museum is likely to develop due to various constructions that are likely to occur in the region. At the same time, the individuals participating in such activities can also develop their skills and find a form of generating income.
One of the examples where the exhibition has been applied includes The Keir Islamic Art Gallery Collection. Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, United States, 18 April 2017. In the heart of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Keir Collection of Islamic Art Gallery is a dedicated, 2,200-square-foot exhibition space that will host an inviting exhibition of 100 items from one of the world's most important private collections of Islamic art. These are illustrated in the book as , “...Romanus manuscript written on parchment; 13 × 12 % in. This manuscript is one of two illustrated manuscripts of Vergil’s works from the fifth century.” (Morford, Robert and Michael 690). Including the late Hungarian lawyer, Edmund de Unger, who has obtained a 15-year loan from the collector's family, masterpieces such as the Nizami Khamsa, a sumptuous illustrative Mughal manuscript, and rare examples of metalwork, bright ceramics, and rare examples of rock crystal have helped to transform the museum into one of Islamic art's third-largest collections.
Walt Disney’s Hercules (1997), while many children’s first encounter with the mythic hero, is a highly “child-proofed” and simplified version of Hercules’ main mythic narratives. Hercules, also known in Greek myth as Heracles, is one of the most famous heroes and demigods in classical mythology, whose stories continue to be told in modern media. In myth, the demigod Hercules is notable for his seemingly violent strength, brutal murder of his wife, Megara, and children, and the resulting twelve labors he must perform. While the Walt Disney movie incorporates aspects of the mythic narrative into a children’s film, many details and more vulgar components are left out. Above all, both the classical myths and the Disney film perpetuate the same portrayal of Hercules: that “The simple, good-hearted strong man is a character perennially popular, and at times has become almost a national ideal” (Piggott 323).
Comparisons between the Disney film and common mythic narrative can begin to be made right at the start of the movie. A large plot-point throughout the film is the fact that Hercules is actually the child of Zeus and Hera, but has been turned into a “mortal” by Hades, who is the main antagonist of the film. However, according to most mythology and detailed in Classical Mythology, Heracles was actually the child of Zeus and the mortal granddaughter of Perseus, Alcmena (Morford et al. 555). While the film does not delve into Hercules’ complicated birth story and family tree, both the film and mythic narrative conclude at the same idea: that Alcmena and her husband, Amphitryon, are Hercules’ caretakers for the majority of his childhood. Hercules becomes a clumsy and destructive, slightly dim-witted teen — a possible reflection of his violent strength shown in myth. However, the large issue of Hades’ hatred toward Hercules and his role as a hero in the film remains. While the Walt Disney movie chooses to portray a sarcastic, spiteful Hades as the antagonist, most mythic narrative depicts a jealous Hera as Hercules’ life-long tormentor. This is paralleled in the film, as Hades’ henchmen transform into snakes to kill an infant Hercules, who easily strangles them, much like the story involving Hera’s snakes in mythic narrative (La Fond 02:45-02:57).
The film essentially details Hades’ attempted overthrow of Olympus, stopped by Hercules while he is on a quest to rejoin his real father (Zeus) as a god and must prove himself a “true hero.” While the main plot of the film does not seem to be drawn from classical myth, there are several remnants of Hercules’ traditional twelve labors and other exploits that are paralleled in the movie. First is the romantic subplot present in the Disney film. Hercules spends the entirety of the film pining after and falling in love with Megara, who is reflected in myth as his wife. However, where the film gives them a “happily ever after,” mythic narrative has a much more dim outcome, where Hercules is driven mad and ultimately murders Megara and their children (Morford et al. 558). This is what traditionally leads to the famed “twelve labors,” where Hercules must perform heroic tasks to purify himself of his wrong deeds (La Fond 03:23-03:38). While the film does not detail these twelve tasks, some of the heroic actions Hercules completes are either the same or combinations of several of the tasks. For example, a portion of the film is dedicated to Hercules’ defeat of the Hydra, a monster who grows back two heads in the place of one cut off, a simplified replica of the second mythic labor (Morford et al. 558). In the end of the film, Hercules travels to the underworld and back to face Hades and save Megara, where he defeats Cerberus, the multi-headed watchdog to the gates of Hades. This is remnant of the last labor, where Hercules must fetch Cerberus from the underworld and return (Morford et al. 565-566).
As any children’s movie does, Hercules finishes with a happy ending, where the hero stays happily in the mortal world with Megara, giving up a place among the gods. While mythic narrative contrastingly allows the apotheosis of Heracles after his death, the children’s film seems to end this way for a more positive message — that you can find happiness right where you are. At the very least, both the film and myth portray Hercules similarly, highlighting “rather likable human failings of an enormous appetite and a naif boastfulness with the godlike gifts of super- human strength and fortitude in adversity” (Piggott 323). In all, the Walt Disney film seems to paint a fun, adventurous picture for children and families to enjoy, in contrast to the more complex, violent, and flawed nature of Heracles and his struggles in mythic narratives.
Hercules son of Zeus and Alcmene ‘the most enduring figure’ and ‘the greatest hero’ of the ancient world according to the greek mythology’. The movie Hercules made by disney portrayed this great Greek/Roman hero’s life and his journey of his becoming. If we compare the movie with the myth we will find significant differences but also similarities. However, we have to keep in mind the mythological stories also have several versions.
The beginning of the movie portrayed a party in heaven thrown by Zeus for the Birth of Hercules. In the party Zeus gave Hercules Pegasus the flying horse made from the cloud. The myth tells that Pegasus sprang from Medusa's body and Medusa was Killed by Hercules. The movie showed Hera and Zeus as the loving parents of Hercules. However, the myth said Hercules was born in Thebes and Hercules’s mother is Alcmene, and adopted father was Amphitryon. In the movie, Alcmene and Amphitryon are Hercules's adopted mortal parents, who are also peasants not king and queen but in the myth they were royalty. Hades gave a club to Hercules as a present in the party in heaven but the myth tells us Hercules made the club by himself which is the ultimate weapon of Hercules which he used to kill the Nemean Lion. Hades Kidnapped Hercules from heaven to gain power over Zeus and also took Hercule’s immortality, which didn't happen in the myth. The real villain was Hera and she sent snakes to kill Hercules in the myth. In the movie, Hades sends the snakes to kill Hercules. Hercules received his immortality after finishing his 12 labors given by Eurystheus according to the myth where he defeated all these monsters. In the movie Hercules becoming a hero wasn’t a given task by anyone nor after achieving all his great heroic accomplishments he received his immortality. In the movie, Hercules has to fight the monsters because Hades sent them to kill Hercules. In the movie, we see Hercules receive his immortality but give it back. In the myth, Hercules got his immortality after completing his labors. In the movie, Hercules brings Meg back from the dead, but in the myth Hercules killed Meg due to his insanity which was caused by Hera. We see a happily ever after in the movie as Hercules brings back Meg from the dead and doesn't keep his immortality, but According to popular myth, Hercules became God and married Hebe.
The movie also portrayed similarities, such as Zeus was Hercules’s true father and Alcemne was Hercules’s mother, however not adopted, but Amphityron was Hercules’s adopted father. We see Hercules choking the snake as a baby, which is also similar to the original myth. Hercules’s love interest was Meg/Megara in the movie and according to the Myth Hercules married Megara and Meg bore his child. Hercules also saved Meg from an attack of the centaur in the movie, according to myth Hercules saved Dexamenus’s daughter and Deianira sister of Meleager from Centaur. Hercules was good at fighting centaurs and saved multiple women. One of the most significant similarities between the movie and the myth is Hercules’s strength and power. Hercules was the strongest and a great hero, loved by so many. In the movie, Hercules defeated various monsters and received praise from people. According to the myth, Hercules was also praised by the people and was loved. Hercules received immortality in the movie, according to the myth Hercules also received immortality. In the movie, there was one of the toughest situations where Hercules went to the underworld to save Meg. In the myth Hercules also went to the underworld according to the Odyssey (11.617-626), Hercules said himself going to the underworld was the hardest task of all. His muscle, strength, toughness and overall his heroic power is the main attraction in the movie and also in the myth.
The movie and the myth have been justified throughout the essay. Hercules is the greatest greek hero and the movie illustrates Hercules’s life From the beginning of his early age, his journey of receiving glory/immortality, fighting the monsters and relationship with peoples, the saga of his life and his love but the myth is the origin of Hercule’s story.
Disney's Hercules, based on the greek mythology of Heracles, who is also known as Hercules. Hercules is probably the most famous Disney movie that is based on a figure of Greek mythology. While there are some characteristics taken from the original story of Hercules, the movie has changed many aspects of the legend of the greatest hero to fit into the narrative of the movie. While some of the qualities of Hercules are apparent in the movie, there are major differences between the movie version and the mythology version of Hercules which could be easily missed on the first watch of the Disney movie.
The greek form of the name Hercules is 'Heracles,' which means "glory of Hera (Morford, 579)." Although in greek or roman mythology, Hera is not known for her kindness to Hercules, she is shown to be a good mother to Hercules in the movie. Hera being Hercules' mother is one of many differences between the Disney retelling and the myth of Hercules. Starting with his birth, he was born to Hera and Zeus on Mount Olympus and lived with human parents for most of his mortal life. As opposed to the original myth where Hera interferes with his birth, speeding up the birth of the child of Sthenelus so that it could be born before Hercules (Morford, 555). In the Disney version, some of Hera's behavior towards Hercules is replaced by Hades, the god of the underworld, who is motivated by the idea of taking over Olympus. He sends the two demons, Pain and Panic, to kill Hercules, instead of Hera sending snakes to kill the infant Hercules (Morford, 556). Hades becomes the villain and does some of the things that Hera was responsible for in the original myth.
Adult Hercules travels to Thebes (his birthplace in Greek mythology (Morford, 554)), where he saves Megara from a centaur named Nessus and ends up falling in love with her by the end of the movie. Megara is revealed to be working for Hades, whom she sold her soul to for a lover who had left her. The character of Megara in the movie is partially taken from Deïanira, with some similarities between the movie version of Hercules & Megara and the mythology of Hercules's marriage to Deïanira. Hercules saves Deïanira from the centaur Nessus (Morford, 569) and ends up marrying her in the myth. Deïanira later loses her lover, Hercules, to Iole, like Megara had lost hers in the movie (Morford, 569).
Hercules's twelve labors are not the most prominent part of the movie but are referenced many times in the story. He proves himself to be worthy of the title of the "true hero" through his heroic quests and earns his place among the gods. He defeats many monsters in the movie, mostly sent by Hades that were part of his famous twelve labors in mythology. Two such examples are Hercules fighting the Centaur and the Hydra in the movie.
Despite Disney's Hercules taking a different direction than the original version of the myth of Hercules, the movie is a great start for people of any age to get introduced to some of the characters of Greek mythology.
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