It's Greek to Me

By: Mallory Swarts

Meaning of Myths

-teaches students how to identify morals and themes in modern literature

-These mythologies work as a source that the reader can recognize and help better understand the true meaning of a modern story

-A myth is a body of story that matters-the pattens present in mythology run deeply in the human psyche

-the lesson or moral the myth teaches is sometimes not completely evident in the story

Types of Myths

-There are three different types of myths: Biblical, Shakespearean, and folk/fairy tale

1.) Biblical Myth

-myth associated with Chirstainity that teach religious morals

-stories are questionable dealing with if the stories are real and actually occurred

-Many relations and similarities to God and Zeus (both fall from grace due to trickery, temptation, and deceit)

Ex. Noah's Ark- did a flood that could wipeout everything on earth really happen, could Noah really find every animal and put them on a ark

-there are many speculations on if this story is an factual event because there is no historical evidence to prove it actually happened

2.) Shakespearean Myth

-based on many stories on other writers work

-used biblical and fairy tale myths in his stories suchs as roman gods

-mythology was used during this the time period of Shakespeare to convey a deeper sense of characters and themes

Ex. A Midsummer's Nights Dream- characters have connections and origins from Greek gods (Puck resembles Eros the god of sexual love and beauty)

3.) Folk/Fairy Tale

-usually directed toward the audience of children

1.) Folk

-characters usually face the consequences for their actions

-passed down from generation to generation

-used to teach a moral or a lesson

Ex. The Boy Who Cried Wolf

2.) Fairy Tale

-involve magic and supernatural elements

-usually end in happily ever after

- Use of magical characters such as mermaids, witches, fairies, trolls, dwarves, elves, and giants

Ex. Snow White

Greek Mythology used in the Modern World

1.) Mythology evident in literature

-using Gods such as Zeus, Poseidon, and Apollo as characters

-use of mystical creatures (satyrs ,minotaur, and dragons)

-use of heroes and monsters (Pandora, Heracles, Midas, and Narcissus)

2.) Mythology hidden in the text

- the use of names, setting, and conflicts

Ex. Beauty and the Beast

-Beast transforms into a human

-the Beast is the metamorphosis of the story because of his transformation

Underlying Themes of Mythology

-many stories use the themes first seen in mythology

1.) Oedipus- family triangles, love triangles, dysfunctional family (Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games)

2.) Posiedon-man struggles with the sea (Moby Dick, The Old Man and the Sea)

3.) Underworld- ultimate challenge, deals with death and dark human nature (Lovely Bones, The Hunger Games, and My Sister's Keeper)

4.) Penelope (wife of Odysseus)- determenation to remain faithful/ to have faith (Forrest Gump, Romeo and Juliet)

5.) Metamorphosis- transformation (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast)

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

-use of Roman/Greek Gods and mythical creatures as characters

-use of different modern day settings and conflicts relating back to mythology

Ex.- Relates to Oedipus because Percy, his mother, and his father (Poseidon) are a dysfunctional family

-underlying themes/morals

1.) Identity- Percy has trouble finding his true identity because of his father Poseidon's role of a Greek God, but with the help of his friends and family he eventually becomes more independent and self-confident

2.) Any one can be a hero- Percy becomes a hero through his determination, love, and courage to save his mother from Hades

Summing it Up

-though mythology may be hidden in the text of the story, it is almost always present

-all stories evolve from ancient myths/mythology

-authors use myths and mythology because it is recognizable to readers

Work Cited

Foster, Thomas. "How to Read Literature Like a Professor." New York: HarperCollins Publisher Inc., 2003. Print.

Learning Activity


-Read the passage

-think about how mythology is used in the text

-write it down

- share and discuss with the class


-type of myth

-themes or morals

-connections to characters and setting