Apollo:[heatedly] They don’t read and write poetry because it’s ‘cute’. They read and write poetry because they are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what they stay alive for.
THE LADIES ON THE ISLAND OF LEMNOS FORGOT TO WORSHIP APHRODITE. THEY’RE FUCKING STUPID. APHRODITE GETS MAD AND CURSES THEM ALL TO BE SUPER SMELLY ALL OF THE TIME.
THEIR HUSBANDS THINK THAT’S FUCKING GROSS SO THEY KIDNAP THEMSELVES NEW WIVES. THAT’S JUST PLAIN FUCKING RUDE. ONE NIGHT THE STINKY LEMNIAN LADIES TEAM UP AND DECIDE THE BEST THING TO DO IS FUCKING MURDER EVERY MAN ON THE ISLAND BECAUSE THEY’RE CHEATING BASTARDS.
THEY ALL GET IN ON THIS MURDER FUCKERY EXCEPT HYPSIPYLE, WHO ISN’T STRAIGHT-UP CRAZY AND DIDN’T WANT TO MURDER HER DADDY. SHE SMUGGLES HIM ONTO A SHIP AND HOPES NOBODY WILL NOTICE.
NOT LONG AFTER, JASON AND HIS ARGO-BROS SHOW UP ON THE ISLAND AND A FUCK-TONNE OF SEX HAPPENS. JASON AND HYPSIPYLE GET TOGETHER, HE GETS HER PREGANT AND HE PROMISES TO LOVE HER FOREVER. THE FUCKER SAYS THAT A LOT.
HYPSIPYLE HAS TWIN SONS AND THEN OF COURSE JASON FUCKS OFF LIKE THE DOUCHE-BRO HE IS. TO MAKE EVERYTHING MORE TERRIBLE, THE OTHER LADIES THEN FIND OUT ABOUT HYPSIPYLE SAVING HER FATHER DURING THE MURDER-FEST. THINGS GET NASTY AND SHE TAKES HER KIDS AND GETS THE FUCK OUT OF THERE.
THEN SHE GETS KIDNAPPED BY PIRATES. EH, IT HAPPENS.
On a cold spring morning, she leaves her lover behind. Thumbing the hem of her coat, leaving creases; like the pages of a second hand book. Her mother’s face is as cold and hard as the frost-bitten ground beneath her feet. She stands, awkward, with cheeks blushed petal-pink, before falling in to her mother’s footsteps. She doesn’t look back. On Mount Olympus, she is locked in her room with no one but teasing nymphs for company. She pens letters to Calypso, for finally, she understands her pain. She spends three months watching the world return to life. Watching birds flutter into their fresh nests, she wishes them to travel back south. Watching the first flowers gently bud, she wishes them to wilt. Summer struggles to shine; skies void of clouds do not fill her empty heart. For they don’t seem so blue without him. Still, her belly is swelling. Still, her mother curses her for returning pregnant with pomegranates. Still, she longs for the sweet embrace of her lover; nights spent tangled like fraying knots with the bedsheets on the floor. Then it comes. As harshly as it left. With cruel winds and moaning skies. On a cold Autumn morning, she leaves life behind. She doesn’t look back.
Ares (Ancient Greek: Aρης, literally meaning “battle”) is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.
Nobody expects a cartoon from the House of Mouse to be close the source material. If Disney did that, then Ariel would have dissolved into seafoam after Prince Eric ditched her, and Pinocchio would have murdered Jiminy Cricket before being lynched in a tree. So we forgive the little things, like the fact that “Hercules” is the Roman version of the character, with the Greek version being “Herakles.” You can even gloss over the fact that Hera wasn’t originally Herc’s mom, since that might give way to an unsavory (yet canonical) exploration of Zeus’ swan-fucking shenanigans.
But some of the changes to the lore are downright baffling. Take Narcissius here, a god briefly seen on Mount Olympus early in the movie.
Problem is, Narcissius isn’t and never was a god. In most versions of his story, he was born to a river god and a nymph. Ever the self-lover, Narc was tricked into staring at his reflection so long that he died (dying being not something that immortals do very often). Disney completely made up a deity just for a quick offhand joke, one that explicity references the way that hubris helped this character kill himself.
These small asides and one-liners don’t mean much, but they’re handled so carelessly that they show just how little respect Disney showed to the setting and history of the world they played in.
Phil seems to be an amalgamation of different mythic characters, so Disney got to write their own backstory for him. As it turns out, he was more or less the grizzled Mickey to the Rocky of several heroes. That’s an acceptable origin story, except for the part where Phil claims he trained Perseus. See, Perseus also happens to be the son of Zeus. Not only does nobody make a note of the fact that Phil trained Herc’s half-brother, but Phil laughs aloud when he hears where his new trainee came from. He doesn’t believe that Hercules is the son of Zeus, despite already having admitted to training a son of Zeus.
Another reason this whole Perseus thing is bullshit? Phil claims his dream is to one day see one of his trained heroes get their own constellation. He gets his wish in the end, and Hercules is immortalized in the stars of the night sky. But the thing is, he got his wish twice – Perseus is already a constellation. Again, just the tiniest piece of dialogue managed to unravel any sense of a cohesive universe.
This is all to say nothing of the real stories of Hercules. Even if the movie did include more than a passing mention of his famous Twelve Labors, Disney would have undoubtedly glossed over the real truth.
If the source material is so lurid, gory and unfamily friendly, why make the movie at all? At some point, you’ve got to try for accuracy somewhere. To be fair, Disney did make an attempt, just in all the wrong places.
Tristan Cooper, “7 Things that Still Bug Me about Disney’s Hercules.”
Myths: Ares - The Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war. In appearance, Ares was handsome and cruel. He is often depicted carrying a bloodstained spear.