Classics: Greek Mythology and Empire State Building Essay

Submitted By Joyce-Guo
Words: 1956
Pages: 8

The movies Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief and Percy Jackson and the Sea of monsters portray many myths and aspects of Greek Mythology in a modern world setting, of which four are: Mount Olympus as the Empire State Building; Lair of the Lotus eaters as a Las Vegas casino; Satyrs; and the myth of Medusa and her death by the hands of Perseus and thus consequences. These myths and aspects portrayed in the movie differ from what is told in the original myths for many reasons and may hence have a different effect on its target audience.

In the myths, satyrs are always portrayed as frivolous and womanizing men who accompanied Dionysus[1]. In the movies, the only satyr whom we really get to learn about is Grover, a protagonist and Percy’s nominal ‘protector’. Grover was described as a timid and not at all sociable friend of Percy in the original book series. The author obviously used this as a means to provide space for character development and as encouragement for those who feel awkwardly different from everyone else. In the movies though, Grover is basically what an ancient Greek would have expected him to be­­frivolous and womanizing. The only difference was his job of finding Pan [2]who apparently disappeared “as the modern civilisation was tearing up the wild” [3] .
Compared with the majority of myths featured in the films which have small deviation from the original, Satyrs are changed quite significantly. The movies gave them an aim in life to find the god Pan who disappeared after humanity started ruining nature. It is said the satyrs (in the movie) have an inherent ability to be able to identify where Pan is through smell. This does not appear in the myths as there was never a need for Pan to leave or satyrs to find him because 2000 years ago humanity had not began destroying nature. The stories give the approximate date of Pan’s disappearance 2000 years ago which is around when human populations grew like crazy in the roman period. Thus causing the increase of urbanization and pollution. The author had clearly felt the need to show the effect of destroying nature. Satyrs were forced to leave the comfort of their forest in order to search for Pan in hope he could restore nature. Many had died in the process as they were driven off course by the smell of the golden fleece which apparently smelled similar to Pan. This whole story could be a representative of humanity’s hope to ‘save earth’ only after it has been half destroyed. The golden fleece is an allusion to all the obstacles and diversions in the way of us saving earth, the satyrs who die on the way in search of the fleece represent those who will die if we don’t overcome those obstacles and the failure of that specific path to finding success. Each time a satyr’s search for pan fails, it is showing us the way they went off is incorrect, eventually their failures will enable us to see what is right as they have eliminated the other paths. In the story the protagonists do end up finding Pan when Grover realizes the smell of the golden fleece was attracting all the satyrs straight into the lair of polyphemus to get eaten. We realize the search for saviour will not be easy and some may sacrifice most of their life in search for solution but through using their valuable experiences we will eventually restore Earth to her former glory.

Empire State Building:
The gods of the myths resided at the top of