How has Greek mythology affected or been integrated into modern society?How has Greek mythology affected or been integrated into modern society?

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lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Allusions abound in modern literature!  Knowing what a pomegranate has to do with springtime might serve you in understanding a lot of poetry.  Knowing that Cupid isn't just a cute creature of love would help you understand why so many love poems disparage the fellow.

J.K. Rowling uses allusionary language through all the Harry Potter books.  The new Percy Jackson series of young adult novels by Rick Riordan is directly drawn on Greek mythology.

The more you know of mythology, the more you will notice in literature, advertising, movies, and even casual conversations.  It is embedded in our lives.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think a grasp of basic mythology is essential in so many areas in modern life. So many allusions are made in so many different mediums and so being able to understand the original meaning of what "Pandora's box" for example refers to is incredibly useful, just as a "Trojan Horse" is used by many to refer to a rhetorical strategy.

catd1115's profile pic

catd1115 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Mythology is everywhere! There are thousands of companies, groups and corporations that take their name, logo or theme from ancient mythology.

Ajax - Greek warrior in the Trojan War, who "cleaned up" in battle;Ajax is the name of a popular household cleanser.

Amazon - Race of warrior women; amazon.com - huge on-line bookstore.

http://thanasis.com/modern/biz.htm

 

Daily you run across instances of words, city names, companies, literary allusions - and many planets and constellations - that take their name or borrow their theme from myths.

http://thanasis.com/modern

booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Greek mythology has had a wide-reaching effect on society for hundreds of years.

Greek mythology's impact on modern societies cannot be understated. Modern language, industry, arts and culture all demonstrate the impact of Greek mythology in today's world.

Greek mythology has greatly affected the English language in many ways. A "Herculean" task refers to the Twelve Labors of Hercules, when he is attempting to do impossible tasks.

Morpheus is the name of the Greek god of sleep, and "morphine," the drug, comes from this Greek character's name.

The word "panic," meaning chaos or pandemonium, comes from the reference to the Greek god of "woods and fields;" panic arose when Pan chased young maidens through the woods.

The story of Achilles is from Greek mythology: his heel was said to be the only place on his body where he was susceptible to attack; now known as someone's "achilles heel," it is derived from the following story:

...when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die in battle from an arrow in the foot. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx which was supposed to offer powers of invincibility and dipped his body into the water...[holding] Achilles by the heel...[which] was not washed over by the water of the magical river.

The Olympic games which are held every four years come from the Greek practice of the same event.

The Olympic Games reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, but then gradually declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Greece. ...[it is thought to have ended approximately in] 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I declared that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated...After the demise of the Olympics, they were not held again until the late 19th century.

Many common expressions are really allusions to famous people or events of Greek mythology. They are too numerous to count, but they can be found throughout our society.

...the expressions 'caught between a rock and a hard place' and 'between the Devil and the deep blue sea' both come from tales about sailors being caught between the monsters Scylla and Charybdis of Greek mythology.

Even Odysseus' journey refers to his attempt to pass Scylla and Charybdis, which shows that Greek mythology has influenced cultures for hundreds of years. The expressions listed above are used often in conversational English and literary expression.

Writers of the past often referred to Greek mythology, including Shakespeare, Milton and Dante, to name a few.

"Greek drama, narratives, and poems became the subject of scrutiny and study by many literary theorists and even philosophers..."

If you have been fortunate enough to study the constellations in the evening sky, you may have learned stories about the Greek gods. The characters in constellations were often thought to have been placed in the heavens as clusters of stars for punishment or protection.

In psychology:

Sigmund Freud himself borrowed from Greek mythology in developing his theories on human psychosexual development, hence the terms, Electra Complex and Oedipus Complex...

It is easy to see how deeply Greek mythology has been rooted in diverse aspects of modern society.

 

Additional Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Games

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/

The+Legacy+of+Greek+Mythology-a01073931245

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_(mythology)

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