Myth in Movies

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Lecture I: Myth in Culture and the Arts Good morning and welcome to Prince George’s County Memorial Library system. Today’s topic is “Myth in culture and the arts,” we will discuss the 2004 version of Achilles as shown by the movie Troy. Most of you will remember the Hollywood block buster for its start studded cast of Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom, but are you aware that this story is almost three thousand years old? The story of Achilles as a Trojan War hero is chronicled in The Iliad and is estimated to have been written Homer around 700 B.C.E. I’d like to spend the next hour or so discussing what the film version has in common with the ancient story as well as those sections that may have been altered to make the film more exciting. We will discuss this historical timeline behind Achilles’ entrance into the Trojan War, his perceived “invulnerability,” and the two phases of his involvement in the final battles.
Much like Homer’s Iliad, the film is focuses on the hero Achilles of the Trojan War, but each story has a slightly different time span. The Trojan War was started over the abduction of Helen (of Sparta) wife to Menelaus, brother of the Mycenaean king, Agamemnon. Paris the youngest prince of Troy visits Sparta, seduces Helen, and sets sail for Troy with Helen at his side.
According to the myths of Achilles’ life it wasn’t until the Trojan War started that Achilles’ mother, Thetis, received a prophecy that revealed Achilles would die at Troy and as a result attempted to hide Achilles from the war. The myth portrays him as approximately nine or ten years old when his mother sends him to the court of Lycomedes at the onset of the war. It isn’t until the last year of the war, roughly nine years later making him 18 or 19 years old, that Achilles joins the war described in The Iliad.
For my mother Thetis the goddess of silver feet tells…...

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