Analysis of the Greek Myths and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Stephanie Pope
June 2, 2013
I chose to analyze the modern story of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and how it compares to the actual mythological Gods and their stories. In the following paper I will demonstrate how, despite a few differences, the movie and book are quite comparable to the actual Greek myths and why I think it was a successful adaptation of the movie. The Greek Gods, Zeus and Poseidon were brothers. Both fathered many children with other Gods. These children were also gods. They also fathered many children with mortal women and when this happens the child is referred to as a demigod. Zeus fathered the demi-god Perseus with Danae, a mortal woman. Zeus is the God of the Sky and creates weather and storms with his lightning bolts. Poseidon is the God of the Sea. Perseus defeated the evil Medusa and then saves Andromeda by using Medusa’s head to kill the sea monster who was holding her captive(Greek Mythology n.d). In Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, the author Rick Riordan, created a fictional character and by the name of Percy Jackson. Percy was a demi-god who was fathered by Poseidon. Poseidon did not father a child named Percy in Greek Mythology. The story parallels some of the actual Greek myths related to Zeus and Poseidon but has a lot of fiction and twists mingled in. The book has many of the Greek Gods and characters in it. The furies, Minotaur’s and centaurs all make appearances. Hades, Hermes and Aros and Kronos also enter the story. The heart of this book revolves around Percy Jackson being accused of stealing Zeus’s lightning bolt when in truth it was stolen by another fictional child of Hermes, named Luke. The other main plot of the story has to do with Percy rescuing his mother who was taken prisoner by Hermes. A journey ensues which leads Percy and his friends across the world. In the end, Percy finds the lightning bolts and returns it to Zeus and saves his mother(Riordan,2005). When referring to Sowa’s classifications of myths, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief would be placed in The Journey category. Percy goes on a journey physically across the world, into dangerous realms and ends at the Empire State Building. He also goes through an emotional journey beginning with accepting who he is, his role and expectations as a demi-god and he comes to terms with his father being Poseidon. Percy Jackson was created to be similar to Perseus. It was Perseus who actual slayed Medusa. Other than this and the fact that Poseidon didn’t have a son named Percy Jackson, I think Rick Riordan honored the actual myth and adapted it well to a book, as well as a movie. I think the original myths of the Greek gods and their children were great, but I think this modern take on it was wonderful. It is a movie tailored to young adults and I think introduced them to Greek myths that they might otherwise not have learned about.
Riordan, R. (Writer) (2010). Percy jackson and the lightning thief [Theater]. Riordan, R. (2005). Percy jackson and the lightning thief. New York, NY: Disney. Greek mythology. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ancient-mythology.com/greek/