The plot of the movie “clash of titans” is based on Greek myth of the gods; Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. They betrayed their parents, the Titans. With the help of Kraken, a monster born from Hades’ flesh, they drove them away to the underworld and shared out the universe among themselves. The skies were taken by Zeus, the seas were taken by Poseidon and Hades took the underworld. These gods created faithful mortals so as to sustain their immortality. However, this was short lived because the mortals started questioning the gods.
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To begin with, a myth can be defined as a story about superhuman beings of an earlier age believed to have existed back then (Umiker-Sebeok, 1987, p 357). However, depending on the belief system and approach of the writer, the definition of a myth varies. A myth could be defined as an extraordinary and enjoyable articulation of ethnicity (Ferrell, 2000, p.3). Adaptation of mythology has been used in developing movies. Most movies are developed using a mythical journey where the hero goes on journey to save the society. The journey theme is very popular in modern art (Sowa, 2001, p.1).
“Clash of The Titans” is a fictionalized movie where the journey theme has been used. It begins with a fisherman, Spyros, noticing a casket afloat in the sea. The casket bears a baby boy and his dead mother. Spyros takes the baby home and his wife Marmara agrees to raise the baby. The boy is given the name “Perseus”. The movie presents Perseus as the hero who is destined to save the mortals. The heroes’ journey is clearly outlined in the movie; from the time he is rescued to the time when he ends up in the king’s house. While in the king’s house, he is detained after being declared a demigod by Zeus. Later he is released from detention and the king requests him to lead the army assigned to go kill Kraken. Just like in the ancient myths, the scenes in this movie are well arranged to unfold the journey of Perseus.
In the centre stage of the journey myth, is the theme death and resurrection. Death can be experienced by a person playing the role of a hero by being abducted; it is an involuntary journey. This is clearly illustrated in this movie by the scene where Perseus goes fishing with the family in a ship. Within the vicinity of their ship, soldiers from Argos city are seen destroying a sculpture crafted to appear as Zeus. Suddenly, Harpies befalls the place and exterminates all of them. After killing the soldiers, these harpies unite to form Hades and turn to destroy Perseus’ ship. His parents drown and die but luckily Perseus is rescued by surviving soldiers and taken to King Kapheus. The scene at the end of the movie where Perseus dives into the sea to save Andromeda also represents resurrection.
Succession myth has also been used in this movie. This is seen where Zeus orders the release of Kraken; a monster who wrecks havoc in the city of Argos. Kraken kills many people including the king. However, after Parseus fight and defeat; Kraken and Zeus, the only surviving princess from the kings family, Andromeda, becomes the queen of Argos city. This represents a succession from the old generation to the younger generation (Littleton, 2005, p.1).
In conclusion, the myth of Greek gods Zeus, Poseidon and Hades is old but its practical application to modern times is still relevant. Death and resurrection plus the journey themes, are powerful themes that are combined to give “The Clash of the Titans” a well-built mythical foundation on which messages about impunity, oppression and cruelty are evident. Therefore, the movie is true to the myth it is based on (Cousineau, 2001, p.1).
Cousineau, P. (2001). Once and Future Myths: The Power of Ancient Stories in Our Lives. Boston, MA: Conari Press.
Ferrell, W, K. (2000). Literature and film as modern mythology. Westport: Greenwood publishing group.
Littleton, C. S. (2005). Gods, goddesses, and mythology, Volume 11. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation.
Sowa, C. A. (2001). Ancient Myths in Modern Movies. Web.
Umiker-Sebeok, D. J. (1987). Marketing and semiotics: New directions in the study of signs for sale. New York, NY: Mouton de Gruyter.