Conduct research on and provide a brief summary of one of the myths that are interpolated into Clash of the Titans
Speaking about the approaches used by modern directors and scriptwriters in order to attract the audience, make the story more recognizable, and pay tribute to ancient classics, it is necessary to pay an increased attention to the use of myths. In fact, using well-known plots allows specialists working on movies to create a special atmosphere; moreover, despite the fact that classical myths were created a long time ago, they often touch upon topics and issues that are discussed even now and, therefore, can be called eternal (Johnston 283). One of the brightest examples of the film where myths are successfully incorporated is Clash of the Titans that appeared more than thirty years ago and has been remade recently (Clash of the Titans).
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Among other myths such as the one of Perseus, it is important to mention the Greek myth about Medusa who also acts as one of the characters of the movie. As for the story of this character, it needs to be said that Medusa was supposed to be one of three sisters who were gorgons (creatures looking like women but having snakes instead of hair). Medusa became more famous than her sisters; in fact, she was the only gorgon deprived of immortality (Goffredo and Zvy 831). Being the creature endowed with superpower, Medusa was capable of turning men who dared to stare at her face into stone, and it was the primary reason why she was believed to be dangerous. As it always happens, if there is a monster possessing the power that poses a threat to the lives of common people, there will be a hero making attempts to gain the victory over the former.
In case with Medusa, this hero was Perseus who managed to kill her in order to complete an assignment given to him by Polydectes. In order to challenge the monster without being turned into stone, Perseus had to use his headpiece; using his shield as a mirror, he was able to see where the monster was moving and repel the attacks of Medusa (Perseus). Winged shoes given to him by the Phorcides helped him to win the victory as well; getting off the ground, he was able to cut off the head of Medusa. Her sisters woke up and wanted to punish the murderer of Medusa but Perseus managed to escape very fast when he achieved his goal. In addition, it can be said that the head of the monster acted as a powerful weapon that Perseus used in order to defeat other gorgons and accomplish many other feats.
Perform an analysis of the use of one interpolation or alteration of the “pure” Perseus myth in Clash of the Titans
Despite the fact that Clash of the Titans is supposed to be based on classical myths, scriptwriters working on the given project had to introduce certain changes to classical plots. As for these changes, it is necessary to say that they became one of the reasons why the given movie was criticized; in many cases, the criticism was due to the fact that specialists analyzing and evaluating movies supposed that historical credibility should be regarded as one of the key features of movies based on classical plots (Ebert). Nevertheless, in case with the alterations of the “pure” myth about Perseus, it would be unfair to regard them as the attempts of the director and the scriptwriters to demonstrate their assertiveness; instead, these elements have both thematic and dramatic meaning for the plot.
One of the most obvious alterations introduced in the plot is drawing the links between the myths about Perseus and Pegasus. As it was shown in the discussed movie, Pegasus appears after the death of Medusa and Perseus uses him in order to escape and avoid being punished by two sisters of Medusa. With the help of Pegasus, Perseus manages to return to Argos on time. Speaking about the original myth, it is necessary to say that Pegasus was released from the body of Medusa at the same moment when Perseus managed to cut off her head. The most obvious difference between these two versions of the story is that in the original myth Perseus did not escape with the help of Pegasus; instead, he was using his magic sandals allowing him to fly. Pegasus was ridden by Bellerophon, another character related to Greek mythology (Pegasus – The Winged Horse).
Speaking about dramatic and thematic meaning that the given alteration of original myth involves, it is necessary to pay an increased attention to the genre of the given movie. As is clear from the fact that it tells the viewer about the adventures and disagreement of different gods, such movie should bustle with fascinating scenes. Considering that, it can be supposed that the use of the image of Pegasus in one of the scenes after the defeat of Medusa is a good way to add visual appeal as it looks extremely beautiful if compared to the classical version with Perseus flying away using his sandals. Apart from that, its thematic meaning can be manifested in the fact that the scenes with Pegasus allow the director to show different sides of personality of the main character; while taming Pegasus, Perseus is shown as a kind-hearted person living in harmony with nature.
“Clash of the Titans.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_the_Titans_(1981_film)
“Pegasus – The Winged Horse.” Wizzley.
Ebert, Roger. “Clash of the Titans.” Roger Ebert.com.
Goffredo, Stefano, and Zvy Dubinsky, editors. The Cnidaria, Past, Present and Future: The World of Medusa and Her Sisters. Springer, 2016.
Johnston, Sarah Iles. “The Greek Mythic Story World.” Arethusa, vol. 48, no. 3, 2015, pp. 283-311.