From Hercules to Harry Potter: Mythology in Film
Table of Contents What is Myth? Myth and Truth The Cauldron of Story The Three Faces of Myth Archetypes & The Hero’s Journey Mythical Elements from… Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire Mulan The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings The Golden Compass Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
From Hercules to Harry Potter Mythical Elementsfrom Harry Potter and The Gobletof Fire
Names • Harry James Potter • Harry = Middle English form of Henry < Germanic name Heinrich < the words heim, meaning "home," and ric, meaning "power, ruler” • Also from Harold = “leader of the army.” • James = the same Hebrew name as Jacob, meaning “holds the heel”. • Potter is a very common surname of English origin. It traditionally refers to the occupation of making pottery.
Names (cont.) • The English adjective "bilious" also applies to those who have an irritable temper, as is Ron from time to time. Ronald BiliusWeasley • Ronald = the Scottish form of the Scandinavian name Ragnvald < Old Norse Ragnvaldr; • ragn, "advice", and valdr, "ruler“ • Reginald < Germanic Raginwald, meaning "the prince's counsellor." • Bilius comes from "bile," as one of the 4 humors discussed by Ancient Greek philosophers. • Yellow bile = the element of fire (the element of Gryffindor house) • someone with an excess of it was believed to be bad-tempered. harrypotter.wikia.com/ron_weasley
Names (cont.) Hermione Jean Granger • derived from "Hermes", who was the god of wit, invention, and quick thinking. • from Greek mythology, in which she was a princess of Sparta and daughter of Helen of Troy • Jean, the female variant of the name John, meaning "God is gracious. • Granger is another word for farmer • derived from the Anglo-Norman grainger and the French grangier, both of which come from Latin granica, meaning "granary." (Harrypotter.wikia.com/hermione_granger)
Names (cont.) Brian • Old Celtic meaning high or noble Dumbledore • an old 18th century English word for 'bumblebee.' Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore Albus: • an Italian word meaning "sunrise.” • Latin word for white. Percival • legendary Arthurian knight involved in the quest for the Holy Grail Wulfric • From Anglo-Saxon, Wulfric translates literally as "wolf-power", & is reminiscent of another similar name, Beowulf, which means "powerful wolf-bear".
Names (cont.) • Alastor Moody • Ancient Greek for "he who does not forget", or avenger, persecutor, tormenter • one who suffers from divine vengeance • Similar to Alastair, which is the Scottish form of Alexander What about your name?
Magic The Source of Magic • Magical power = an internal source? Is inherent in the individual?Gandalf - “There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil."Aragorn: healer - symbolic of spiritual gift • The power comes from some external source? • potions and spells and herbs • part of nature or the natural world • a belief in the magical properties of the earth (Dickerson & O’Hara, p. 234)
Magic (cont.) The word Horcrux may be derived from the French dehors, meaning "outside," and crux, meaning "essence.“ (harrypotter wikia.com) Used to Harm or Heal? • Father Christmas in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe gives Lucy a vial of magical ointment that will heal any wound • Aragorn uses kingsfoil to try & save Frodo Something or someone that the magician is in service to? • call upon evil spirits to do their bidding • a genie in a bottle • have no choice • the One Ring - controls the ringwraiths • The magician is often deceived • become the slave of the demon? (Dickerson & O’Hara, p. 234)
Magic (cont.) Uses of Magic in Harry Potter • internal power is used by the good character (those who side with Dumbledore) • Hagrid – “Never made things happen when you were scared or angry?” • external power • potions class and herbology class For good or evil • Madame Pomfreyvs. Wormtail cutting off his own hand • Summoned power • Malfoy uses Serpensortia to conjure a snake to attack Harry • house elves • dementors (Dickerson & O’Hara, p. 239)
Activity Potions Class To train up your potion making skills, we will practice making green slime. Ingredients: • ½ school glue • ½ laundry starch Add glue to a bowl. Then gradually add starch while stirring, beginning with ¼ cup. Keep working slime with your hands until it reaches he desired consistency.
From Hercules to Harry Potter Mythical Elementsfrom Mulan
Western Dragons • a symbol of evil. • seen as unwanted & something that a hero must work to get rid of. • try to kill people by breathing out fire. • great wings & sharp claws. • able to live in deserts or even in fire. • greedy, keeping hordes of gold & other precious treasure. • represents the dark side of humanity, including greed, lust, & violence • slaying a dragon represents the confrontation & extinguishment of those evil instincts. (Owens, Smith & Brown, pp. 227 - 228)
Western Dragons Western Dragons • There are very few dragons in medieval literature • Tolkien's Smaugbrought dragons as we know dragons into modern fantasy literature • Midgardsormr, who was to destroy the god Thor at Ragnorok • Fafnir, who is killed by the Norse hero Sigurd • Beowulf's dragon (Dickerson and O’Hara, p. 124)
Eastern Dragons • called Lung or Long in Chinese • value dragons for their magic & beauty • held with high respect • symbolizes heroism, beauty, luck, & power • live in some sort of damp place, more likely a lake or the ocean • used in ceremonies and parades • control the rain, rivers, lakes, & sea. • can ward off wandering evil spirits, protect the innocent, & bestow safety unto all (Owens, Smith & Brown, pp. 227 - 228)
Chinese Dragons • Tianlong,: Celestial Dragons- pull the chariots of the gods & guard their palaces. • Shenlong: Spiritual Dragons - control the wind & the rain. • Fucanglong: the Dragons of Hidden Treasures - underworld dragons which guard buried treasures.Volcanoes are said to be created when they burst out of the ground to report to heaven. Dilong: the Underground Dragons - earth dragons who preside over rivers and streams. Yinglong, the Winged Dragons, are the oldest of all eastern dragons & the only kind with wings. (Owens)
Chinese Dragons (cont.) Huanglong: the Yellow Dragons, once emerged from the River Luo and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Hsi with the elements of writing. They are known for their scholarly knowledge. LóngWáng: the Dragon Kings - rulers over each of the four seas; they have the ability to shapeshift into human form. They live in crystal palaces guarded by shrimp soldiers and crab generals. Qiulong: the Horned Dragons - the mightiest dragons. Panlong: the Coiling Dragons - water dragons who inhabit the lakes of the Orient. (Owens)
Activity Divinations Class: Chinese Fortune Sticks • Get 78 coffee stirrers or popsicle sticks and dip one end in red paint (about ½”) • Once dry, number each stick 1 through 78 in both Chinese and Arabic numbers. • Ask a yes or no question and pull a stick. • Look up the answer to the question here.
Activity Divination Class – Period 2 I Ching: The Book of Changes • One of the oldest Chinese texts • Themes: the balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of change. • Get three coins. • Hold a yes or no question in your head. • Flip your coins and add up the total of your flips. Heads = 3 and Tails = 2. • Draw the hexagram that corresponds to the total of your coin flips and draw it. • 6 = — • 7 = — • 8 = - - • 9 = - - • Repeat 5 more times, placing the new results on top of your first, until the hexagram is complete. • Look up the hexagram meaning here.
From Hercules to Harry Potter Mythical Elementsfrom The Fellowshipof the Ring
Beowulf in Theoden • long life as king (Geats vs. Rohan) • goes up against a monstrous enemy (Grendel vs. the Lord of the Nazgul) • enemy is defeated by a kinsperson (Wiglaf vs. Eowyn) • mead hall (Heorot vs. Meduseld) (Dickerson and O’Hara, p. 114)
Beowulf in others Aragorn • rises from obscurity to become king • endures the scorn of a better-known warrior who is close to the current ruler of his kingdom • does not show Beowulf's desire for glory • does not die as a result of battle Boromir • appears to have superhuman strength • shows pride in his battle prowess • dies fighting orcs • seeks personal glory on the battlefield • doesn't live a long life • is not ever king (Dickerson and O’Hara, p. 117)
What Beowulf has contributed to the Calderon of Story • The synthesis of the Germanic heroic spirit with the Christian sense of morality • The overarching sense of moral purpose in the great War that defines so much of fantasy • the ability to choose "rightly" in matters of conduct (Dickerson and O’Hara, p. 121)
Arthurian Legend • King Arthur = Aragorn • Merlin = Gandalf • Avalon (Arthur’s “resting place”) = outermost city of the Undying Lands of Valinor (resting place of immortal beings) is called Avalonne (Dickerson and O’Hara, p. 126)
Activity Divinations Class – Period 3: Rune Casting • Writing used by the peoples of Northern Europe from the first century C.E. • Also a system of symbols used for magic & divination • each rune has a meaning • Runes also have magical & religious significance as well, transforming the simple process of writing into a magical act • Tolkien’s Dwarvish language is based on Norse Runes Make a set of your own with Sculpy or air dry clay!
From Hercules to Harry Potter Mythical Elementsfrom THE GoldenCompass
Animals in Mythology • people have always lived in close contact with animals • developed myths & legends about them • give special meaning or extraordinary qualities to common animals • other creatures that have never existed (Myth Encyclopedia)
Animals in Myth (cont.) • Animals may serve as stand-ins for humans or human characteristics (e.g., the Greek storyteller Aesop.) • animals perform heroic deeds or act as mediatorsbetween heaven and earth • can be helpful to humans or harmful—sometimes both (Myth Encyclopedia)
Animals in Myth (cont.) • Transformations (i.e., people turn into animals or animals turn into people) take place in stories from around the world • about crossing the boundaries that set humans apart from the rest of the world • trickster mischievous figure appearing in various forms • mediator go-between • shaman person thought to possess spiritual and healing powers • dualistic consisting of two equal and opposing forces
Animals in Myth (cont.) • Native American myth -boundaries between people & animals were less sharply drawn (i.e., shape shifting) • Bears were especially close to humans • The Tsimshian people of the northwestern U.S. tell about Asdiwal, a young man who follows a white bear up a mountain to the sky. Lyra with IorekByrnison, the Panserbjørne, or “amored bear” wearing his sky-iron armor. (Myth Encyclopedia)
Animals in Myth (cont.) Transformation = a sign of power (Myth Encyclopedia) • Some shamans were thought to have supernatural abilities: • the power to communicate with animals • transform themselves into animals Above: Harry speaks Parseltongue. Below: Masters Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, all animagi* (*Moony, a.k.a. Professor RemusLupin -- a werewolf,-- is technically not an animagus.)
Animals in Myth (cont.) Fäerie often highlights the close links between people & animals. • West Africans & Native Americans believe that each person has a magical or spiritual connection to a particular animal that can act as a guardian, a source of wisdom, or an inspiration. • Some Native American religions include nagualism, the idea that each person's life is linked to an animal or object called a nagual If the nagualis hurt or killed, the person suffers or dies. (Myth Encyclopedia)
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass - Daemons • All humans of Lyra’s world have daemons • the ancient Greek notion of Daimon, a helpful spirit ) • Like human souls but external and visible in the form of animals • Can talk • Cannot go far from their humans • Human and daemon are considered one • “familiar” (hdm.wikia.com/wiki/daemons) LyraBalacqua’s daemon, Pantalaimon, as an Ermine, a symbol of purity. Pan can change his appearance because the daemons of children are not permanent until their child comes of age.
Daemons (cont.) Lord Asriel and Stelmaria • snow leopard • aloof and highly intelligent with piercing blue eyes, like her human • Symbolism: understanding one’s shadow side; associated with the devil (hdm.wikia.com/wiki/daemons)
Daemons (cont.) • Marisa Coulter and Ozymandias • Symbolizes cleverness & curiosity in Chinese astrology • Ozymandias is a Greek name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II • Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a poem about Ozymandias in the 1800’s (hdm.wikia.com/wiki/daemon)
Activity Divinations Class – Period 4 Make an Alethiometer • Simple • Very involved • Online
From Hercules to Harry Potter Mythical Elements from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
The Star Wars Saga & Arthurian legend Merlin = • Qui-Gon Jinn • Obi Wan Kenobi • Yoda Mentor to both Arthur and UtherPendragon, Arthur’s father (Smith & Brown, p. 302)
Merlin, the Idealist Prophet • Merlin prophecies that a man will soon rise to bring order to the chaos that engulfs the land = UtherPendragon • Qui-Gon Jinn believes that Anakin Skywalker is the one who will return balance to the Force Obi-Wan assumes the task of training Anakin once Qui-Gon is slain by the Sith apprentice Darth Maul. (Smith & Brown, p. 302)
Merlin, The Disappointed Mentor • Merlin chooses to help UtherPendragon, believing he is the one to restore order to the land. • Pendragon rises to power but uses that power only to serve his own selfish interests. Obi-Wan Kanobi when Anikin Skywalker becomes a Sith lord and turns to the dark side of the Force. (Smith & Brown, p. 302)
Merlin and a New Hope • Merlin watches over and becomes tutor to a young Arthur, who grows up unaware of who his true father is. • In Arthur, Merlin sees “a new hope” of fulfilling the original prophecy. • It is Luke Skywalker, son of Anakin, who returns balance to the Force as Qui-Gon Jinn prophesized. • Both take up the weapons of their fathers to fulfill their destinies. (Smith & Brown, p. 303)
Merlin, The Pessimist • Merlin watches how Arthur changes as he grows into manhood as King of the Britons. • His treatment of Arthur becomes harsher. • Yoda is harsher in his treatment of Luke than Obi-Wan was. • Yoda forces Luke to confront his hatred of his father -- Darth Vader -- as opposed to Obi-Wan, who shields Luke from the truth. (Smith & Brown, p. 303)
Jedi and Samurai Jedi were patterned after the samurai warriors of Japan • the samurai were strictly a warrior class • a shogun ruled over the daimyo, his provincial lords • daimyo hired numerous samurai. (Reihla; Smith & Brown, p. 301)
Jedi and Samurai (cont.) Similarities in social structure between medieval Japan &the world of the Jedi • serve the greater good of their governing bodies • the preservation of order • preferred pacifist tactics often failed to achieve the desired results • Jedi prefer more peaceful means of conflict resolution than the samurai • Do not hesitate to proceed to “aggressive negotiations” by using exceptional swordsmanship if needed (Reihla)
Jedi and Samurai: The Force Jedi possess a strong spiritual side– The Force • Amystical energy field that wraps around all living beings Samurai had no specific religion by which they defined themselves • In the late middle ages, however, the majority were Zen Buddhists • Acknowledge a mystical life energy, the chi. • Drew on it for strength and used it for a variety of purposes, including healing. Meditation by KuroSamarai (Reihla)
Jedi and Samurai: Weapons Weaponry and extensive training • Daisho, a pair of curved swords made by master craftsmen • wakizashi • katana • In 1587, shogun Hideyoshi decreed that only samurai would be allowed to carry the daisho (Reihla)
Star Wars: A Modern Myth with ancient and Pop Culture origins An American take on: • King Arthur • Previous science fiction books & films • James Bond • Joseph Campbell • The Tales of Power by Carlos Castaneda • Tolkien • samurai / wuxiaepics • Fäerie (myth, heroic legend, & fairy tale) • “dressed in the space-opera trappings of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon” • “festooned with a variety of nostalgic Hollywood influences — serial-adventure swashbuckling, WWII movie dogfights, movie-Nazi villains, Western saloon shootouts.” (Greydanus, Dirks)
Star Wars Connections (Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed, 2007)
Star Wars Connections • The Connections to history, literature, Fäerie, religion, and pop culture are endless and ongoing. • What connections will you add to the saga? The Cauldron? • Safe travels on your own Hero’s Journey. May the Force be with you!