In the movie Percy Jackson, the main character,is revealed to be the son of Poseidon and is accused of stealing a lightning bolt from Zeus.Percy,who is innocent of this crime, must prove his innocence, or else Zeus will declare war…
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Through it all, Percy goes on many adventures with his two friends, the daughter of Athena and a Satyr, who is his protector. Percy wants to not only prove that he did not steal the lightning bolt, but also wants to save his mother, who was kidnapped and held in the underworld. This movie is loosely based upon many Greek myths and stories, and the movie succeeds on this level. It also partially succeeds because some of the stories accurately align with the actual myths. Other stories, however, diverge sharply from the actual myths in their details and overall portrayal. This paper will examine the movie with a critical eye, comparing it and contrasting the pertinent details of the movie with the actual mythological stories, before showing why the movie is important to today’s audience. Discussion There were many things about this movie which are based upon actual myths and stories, and the details of these myths and stories, and many things which seem off-center in relation to the myths. First of all, the stories which appear to be based upon actual mythology are the identities of the three major Gods in Greek mythology - Zeus, who ruled the sky; Poseidon, who ruled the sea; and Hades, who ruled the underworld (McLeish, 1983). That said, the focus of the movie was that Percy Jackson, at the beginning of the film an ordinary boy, had stolen a lightning bolt from Zeus, which angered him so much that he threatened war. This is a slightly different take on the actual story, which was that Zeus was given a gift by the Cyclopes, who helped the Olympians win a war against the Titans, and this gift was not a lightning bolt, but, rather, a thunderbolt (McLeish, 1983). There is no indication that Zeus was in possession of a lightning bolt, although that would seem to make sense, because Zeus is the god of the sky. However, it possibly would have been more appropriate to have Percy steal a thunderbolt, or be accused of stealing a thunderbolt, as Zeus would have more interest in this theft, and it would have presumably made the theft such that a war between the gods would be possible. Moreover, there is no explanation as to why Percy was presumed to have stolen the lightning bolt. The simple accusation was made because Poseidon was known to have fathered Percy. The implication is that, since Percy was apparently the only demi-god born to one of the “Big Three,” (as one of Percy’s protectors termed the triad of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades), who was living, Percy must have been the one who had done it. In other words, Percy was presumed to have stolen the lightning bolt because he would be the only one capable of it, because he was the only demi-god in existence to be born to one of the three major gods. The flip side of this, of course, is that none of the other demi-gods would be powerful enough to steal the lightning bolt. However, it turns out the son of Hermes, who was the messenger god, actually stole the lightning bolt. Therefore, because this boy was able to steal the lightning bolt, then, obviously, a child of a lesser god had the power to take the lightning bolt. This fact negates the earlier implication that children of a lesser god would not have the power to do this, and, one would think that Zeus would know this. Therefore, Zeus should not have immediately assumed that only Percy would be able to have taken the lightning bolt. And, as it turns out, there is some basis in mythology that a child of a lesser god would, in fact, be able to steal something like a lightning bolt, which makes the central premise (that only Percy could have taken it) seem like it is not based upon actual mythology. The situation of taking the lightning bolt
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