Greek Mythology is everywhere!
I get a lot of questions as to why I chose to start my writing career with a retelling of a not so famous Greek Myth. Isn’t Greek Mythology dead? My friend cringed when I told him, saying that he skipped that class in middle school because it was so boring. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one.
Yet, time and time again, I’d run into references to Greek Mythology in pop culture. I’ve even found it in children’s entertainment. I was watching My Little Pony with my four-year-old when I recognized Discord, a wily, mischievous villain in the show. He was named after the demi-god Discord in Greek Mythology who started the Trojan War by dropping a golden apple at a party with the words “To the Fairest.” Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera argued over who would have the apple, eventually leading to the tragic and historical Trojan War. (TMI? I can’t help it, it’s a sickness.)
Then there is Dora the Explorer’s, Pegaso. (I still have that song in my head.) Let’s not forget Harry Potter had multiple references to monsters of Tartarus, including Cerberus.
Greek Mythology is far from dead and I enjoy these modern references so much because I know its roots. I have a feeling it’s not going anywhere any time soon. Eros and Psyche is a myth that’s been retold and redressed so many times, very few remember the original. In fact, Beauty and the Beast was based on this myth. As much as I love the fairytale, the original gives us interesting input on the history of Western love. Eros and Psyche are supposed to be the quintessential pair, the combination of Heart and Soul, the root of the very phrase heard ad nauseum in pop songs (good and bad). What does the phrase even mean? Why does “heart and soul” even matter?
It does matter, because whether we realize it or not, we seek it out as we date, break hearts, and get our hearts broken. Even when everything looks great on paper (or on an online profile) something might be missing. We hold out for that intangible feeling, taught to us by our culture, felt by our instincts: perfect love. Does it really exist, and if so, how rare is it?
It existed in Ancient Greece, and it exists now. The more we know about love, the better we can be at finding it. So why Greek Mythology? Because it still holds a lot of answers to important questions. There’s a reason it sticks around.
Also, the monsters are just awesome.