Epic Myths

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In the chapter entitled "It's Greek to Me," Foster writes about the importance of myths, especially ancient Greek and Roman myths, in literature.  He writes, "Greek and Roman myth is so much a part of the fabric of our consciousness, of our unconscious really, that we scarcely notice," (66).  It is very true that Greco-Roman influence is part of our "unconscious."  And it is not only found in literature.  Consider our own form of government that was first formed by the Greeks and adapted by the Romans.  If our entire society is subconsciously based their society, should it not follow that our literature would also be based on their stories, or myths as we call them?  Foster goes on to discuss different ways in which this influence is present in our society.  One aspect he mentions is the naming of sports teams, such as the "Spartans" or "The Trojans."  This example is more obvious.  When he mentioned this, I tried to think of my own ideas for relating Greco-Roman myths to more modern day society and literature, and I immediately thought of the epic.  Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass, and even the Chronicles of Narnia series are all epic novels that have been written in the modern period.  Movies, such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars also center on epic adventures that remind the viewer of the ancient myths, like the Odyssey and the Iliad.  Obviously, with so many examples of popular ways in which Greco-Roman myths have influenced present popular culture, they must still be as relevant as Foster claims.

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