The Shawshank Redemption and its Relation to Greek Mythology - Term Paper Example

Comments (1) Cite this document
The Shawshank Redemption tells a story that, in many ways, exhibits themes found in Greek mythology. As is true for many Greek myths, the film features a heroic character that possesses intellect, wit, morals, and honor (Wickersham 99). …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER96.2% of users find it useful
The Shawshank Redemption and its Relation to Greek Mythology
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Shawshank Redemption and its Relation to Greek Mythology"

Download file to see previous pages Narrated by an older prisoner named Red, the film gives its viewer information about Andy primarily through the external perspective Red provides, and Red sees in Andy many reasons to pay close attention. Red’s way of telling Andy’s story is one of the first attributes of the film to hint at the possibility that Andy is a larger than life character of potentially mythic—and heroic—proportion.
Since the film is set in the 1940s, the viewer instantly recognizes differences in the legal system as well as the treatment of prisoners from how those things are today. This remove from contemporary times serves to emphasize the mythical atmosphere of the film, so the viewer more readily accepts the ideas set forth. We quickly identify Andy as a person of uncommon qualities. Although he comes from a middle class background and has no prior criminal record, he maintains his composure during his transition into prison and his first overnight. As the more experienced inmates make bets about who will cry during their first night in prison, some put their money on Andy. They are disappointed to find that not only is he not the first to cry, but he does not make any sound at all.
As soon as Andy arrives at the prison, he is subjected to cruelty, abuse, and even torture. Although he fights against the prisoners who torment him, he is outnumbered by them and can not protect himself. From this early point in the film, one can identify the features of the mythological hero in Andy. According to Campbell, the hero often finds himself in a world that suffers from a “symbolic deficiency,” and feels compelled to set it right (30). The deficiency can be spiritual, as in a fallen world, or it can be physical, as in a world of ruins (Campbell 30). It is undeniable that the world Andy descends into when he arrives at the prison is deficient. He has to pull a maggot out of his food during one of his first meals, he suffers physical abuse from prisoners and guards alike, and above all else he is serving a prison sentence for a crime he did not commit. Considering this, it seems his prison world’s deficiency is merely an extension of the greater society’s depravity. Despite the phenomenal abuse, Andy’s mind remains solvent and he maintains his ability to plan and strategize. When he overhears one of the prison guards, Captain Hadley, complaining about the money he is going to lose to taxes, Andy seizes the opportunity. Although it is an immense risk, he presents Hadley with financial advice that eventually results in the exchange of Andy’s financial services for goods provided by Captain Hadley. Andy does not ask Hadley for something for himself, but instead requests cold beers for all his workmates that were with him that day, a seemingly selfless action. This kind of selflessness and largesse is evident also in the actions of the hero figure in mythology. Wright describes mythological heroes as people who “through extraordinary actions, save the group, change the world,” and commit other meaningful acts (146). For example, Heracles of Greek mythology possessed incredible physical strength that gave him the power to change things in his environment for the better (Grimal 185). He defeated a beast that was causing problems for herders, and killed the Stymphalian birds that were destroying Arcadian crops (Grimal 187). Heracles used his physical abilities to engage in these selfless, world changing actions. Though Andy did not slay beasts in prison, he did devote energy toward significant and world changing activities. Buying beers for his friends was not the limit of Andy’s meaningful acts. Not long after he made the request for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Shawshank Redemption and its Relation to Greek Mythology Term Paper”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(The Shawshank Redemption and Its Relation to Greek Mythology Term Paper)
“The Shawshank Redemption and Its Relation to Greek Mythology Term Paper”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (1)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
ashton52 added comment 11 months ago
Student rated this paper as
This document saved me today. I liked the content. It was very useful for my visual arts & film studies course.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Shawshank Redemption and its Relation to Greek Mythology

The Shawshank Redemption

...?The Shawshank Redemption – a place where humanity is put to test. While a prison is normally taken as a restraint on one’s freedom, it is also supposed as the first step to correction of one’s offenses or crimes. The movie Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont, and released in 1994 reveals the brutal reality and corruption within the four walls of the Shawshank State Penitentiary operated by Warden Samuel Norton. The movie is based upon the work Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. Despite being a place for resurrection, the prisoners often find them facing harsh situation which are unjust....
6 Pages(1500 words)Movie Review

The Shawshank Redemption 1994

...?Man has in himself the desire to live a life of freedom. If you place him in an area not conducive to life, he will look for a way, either to escapeor to make it a better place to live. I believe that, deep down in the heart of every man, there is a desire to live free, and this desire is expressed in different ways depending on the environment that one lives. I believe this truth is expressed in this movie by the main character. Freedom, either freedom of the mind or freedom of place, either way, every man wants to live in freedom. My proposal is that, man will never be free until he is willing to hope against hope, and take a step towards what other people call impossible. We are held prisoners by our surroundings, and unless... has in...
6 Pages(1500 words)Movie Review

Shawshank redemption

...?The Shawshank Redemption Immediately this movie starts with the back-story of Andy Dufrain being accused of murdering his wife and her lover. Although Andy maintains his innocence, he is found guilty of the two murders, and sentenced to two life sentences to be served back to back. In his sentencing, the judge looks at him and says, “You strike me as a particularly icy and remorseless man, Mr. Dufrain. It chills my blood just to look at you.” thereafter, he hands down his sentence. Andy Dufrain’s personality seems to be defined by the judge, as he does not appear outwardly to show any emotion. He simply maintains his innocence, albeit rather monotone. It certainly does seem that Andy Dufrain is guilty,...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

The Shawshank Redemption

...? Full English 102 17 October  Essay Based on the Movie "The Shawshank Redemption" And the Story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" The movie “The Shashank Redemption” is based on a novella, written by King, from his collection Different Seasons (1982). The name of the story was “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". The novella was modified for the cinema in 1994 as “The Shawshank Redemption”, a highly appreciated film which was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1994, including Best Picture. Since the movie is an adaptation of the book, it has certain...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Shawshank Redemption

... is majorly a season that depicts how intelligence could be of great value in evading problematic situations. The character Andy could be likened to Michael Scofield in Prison Break as both used intelligence to break out of prison. In relation to the theme, in my past experience, I have been saved a lot by depicting some act of intelligence and highly appreciate its use in real life. In Shawshank Redemption, power of friendship remains a theme that gets depicted entirely in the film. Andy on arrival at Shawshank made friends with Red. It is via the friendship that Andy managed to secure the very items that his used in plotting his escape. Andy asked Red to secure for him a rock hammer, polishing cloth and a poster of Rita Hayworth... ?...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Shawshank Redemption movie review

...11th June Summary This paper talks about the drama movie, Shawshank Redemption directed and written by Frank Darabount. The storyline is described in the light of the characters. The characters play a very bold role in the movie. The paper shows how different ideas have made the movie prominent. In addition, it provides a ray of hope for the viewers. Towards the end of the paper, an analysis of the movie is provided. Review The last thing that you would expect from a prison movie is to have a ray of hope. Nevertheless, Frank Darabont has made it possible in The Shawshank Redemption. In this movie, there is not just a story line, but it has a deeper meaning to the...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Shawshank Redemption

...Running Head: ETHICAL REVIEW An Ethical Review of Tim Robbins' Character In the Movie Shawshank Redemption of College/Institution Name of Professor Name of Class/Course The question of ethics and the morality of human action has always been one of the greatest debates man has yet to agree upon. As the progress of an ethical society depends critically upon its morality, the establishment of a sound criterion for rightful and wrongful actions is essential to that purpose. In this paper, the character of Tim Robbins in the movie Shawshank Redemption will be reviewed for ethical considerations based on the ethical theories of utilitarianism, egoism, Immanuel Kant's premise on "good will" and, that of virtue ethics-all... , in an...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Movie Review Shawshank Redemption

... one achieve salvation through determination and righteousness – like Andrew Dufresene. Movie Review Shawshank Redemption Instructions: 2 page single space paper with a space between every paragraph. Reviews of this movie should focus on a summary and evaluation of the movie,and a discussion regarding its realvence to human rights issues taking care to tie it to any relevants readings. Movie Shaw Shank Redemption Needs to be complete by 1 pm 12/09/05 CST Deadline: 2005-12-10 01:58... The central theme of Shawshank Redemption is Hope. The Shawshank Redemption carries the “innocent man in prison theme” to a dimension that is both unique and inspiring. Director Frank Darabont,...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

The Shawshank Redemption

...Shawshank Redemption The film chosen as a topic to study is Shawshank Redemption. It is based on the lives of the American prisoners,how they were treated and felt and was there any racism in them in the 1950’s and 1960’s. But the movie is more of a fantasy rather than based on facts. It is a fact that literature involves freedom to mold the realities and turn stories in a way which becomes more appealing to its audience. This also involves changing the real life scenarios, situations and events, thus leading towards a more alluring story. In the case of Shawshank Redemption, if a separate isolated prison was shown, as it...
2 Pages(500 words)Movie Review

The Shawshank Redemption

.... Incorporation of these two characters in a movie was by itself a success. Apart from storyline and choice of characters, cinematography also played a part in enhancing the success of the Shawshank Redemption in the movie industry. My working together with Roger Deakins, a renowned cinematographer, enhanced production of quality photographic images and effects. In relation to the cinematography that you have just touched on, throughout the movie you have used lighting. For example, the scenes throughout the beginning are set with dark lighting and low-key lighting which later changes gradually to high-key lighting. Please, can you explain your use of different lighting in this movie? The...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Term Paper on topic The Shawshank Redemption and its Relation to Greek Mythology for FREE!

Contact Us