Edited 6 total times.
Syfy (ended 2010)
I read the blog - Very interesting reading you make some good points and some of it I found myself agreeing with - however - at the start of the piece it says that a lot of the points/comparisons made are set in stone. But...
I have a few points I feel need to be made
1 – we do NOT know what the outcome of Ellen's DNA test was (Baltar said he 'will never tell' - I think that's right?)
2 – You seem to think that the writers are specifically following the Iliad and Odyssey – yet in BOTH of those texts Helen was innocent, taken against her will and didn't sleep around. (it is only the later/other texts that show her as being 'easy')
3 – Athene's main role did not start in the Iliad and Odyssey (for example the Perseus myth – which came before the Trojan cycle)
4 – There are more than 12 gods in Greek mythology – and which of them were the 12 Olympians varies depending on which myths you're looking at, which part of Greece they are from, which time frame…
5 – You say the characters are Mycenaean except for Paris – However Aeneas is a Trojan (like Paris) - not Greek
(6 - edited to add this - Demeter is a female deity (goddess of fertility) and is the sister of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades - is it really likely that they would use a male character in the show to represent her?)
7 – Hermes is not the main god that keeps Achilles alive in the Iliad!
8 – Achilles WAS NEVER IN THE TROJAN HORSE – HE WAS ALREADY DEAD BY THEN!!! That is why the Greeks had to come up with the horse strategy – they had lost their best fighter.
9 - Aeneas DID NOT leave Troy with "The Sword of Troy" - there is no such thing in the texts. He left with the "palladium" (a statue of Athene that fell from heaven) and the 'household gods' of Troy.
10 - It strikes me that at least some of your info about the Trojan War comes from the movie "Troy". I think it needs to be said that this film is COMPLETELY inaccurate to the original story - people die in it who do not die in the texts, people survive who don't survive! - and the story has in other ways been changed almost beyond recognition. It is Absolutely NOT a good source of information for greek mythology!
(btw - I did my degree in "Greek and Roman Studies" ie - this topic)
I have to agree with jezza. While you make some interesting points and many of the allusions certainly make sense, there are a number of flaws in your theory. I was taking everything you wrote on board until you made reference to the "Sword of Troy" that is a cinematic device employed by the writers and producers of the film 'Troy'. It has absolutely no basis in mythology. Also you seem to think that Aeneas is a part of (the 'author' known as) Homer's Iliad and Odyssey but Aeneas is mentioned in two lines in the entire poem the 'Iliad' and not at all in the 'Odyssey'. The character we know as Aeneas is from the Roman novel 'The Aeneid' by Virgil (which was written -as opposed to recited) hundreds of years after Homer and is a literary myth from a different culture entirely than Homer's. Its origins are in the early Roman/Latin charter myth. If the creator of BSG are using the myth of Aeneas together with Greek mythology as a plot device, it would not be very surprising. However the basis of your argument is that they are using Homeric mythology - when referring to human characters in any case. They may also be keeping Ovid in mind.
I think you make a good point and clearly there is someone in the BSG team who is aware of the mythological references. However you could also be wrong -only the writers really know. I believe the ethos of these forums is to be respectful of all users and their opinions.
I feel I should admit that I recently finished a degree in classical civilization and my thesis was called 'Heroism in Epic Cinema' where there were chapters on Achilles and the film 'Troy' as well as the reception of Helen of Troy in all her forms. She gets a pretty bad write-up on your blog and I think you should research her a little more thoroughly, she is a much more rounded character in myth than you give her credit for.
|"You don't need to tell me how much they butchered Troy just on their own whims. Menelaus killed by Hector, and sorts of other garbage. And I had just accepted some details from it that I didn't remember and hadn't even realized..|
"Butchered" - VERY good word!!!:-) Sorry if I came across a bit strong on that point - but that movie just makes my blood boil!!!
Please may I suggest you also take out the point about Ellen being blonde being a reference to Helen - we don't know for sure what Helen looked like - but if I remember correctly ancient Greek artists show her as being brunette, I don't think Homer ever actually says himself.
You just have to love Hollywood History.
These are the guys who gave us the Battle of Sterling Bridge and forgot the bloody bridge!
Don't even get me started on "The Patriot." As an instructor of American History I cringe every time I hear about one of my colleagues running that movie in their classroom.
I seem to remember, near the end of the Iliad, a scene involving retribution and defending Achilles's honour and the god present for the entire scene is Mr. Hermes. That would make him the god present in defending Achilles's "immortal destiny" or such....
But again, that could just again be considered the interest of Zeus, because of all the gods I'd say Hermes "least" has his own will, he's pretty much just Zeus's right hand man. So a loose point regardless.
Hermes does it on Zeus' orders (because Achilles' mother asked him to and he owed her big time!) However, who's to say that Leoben does not act on someone else's orders aswell? Your point may still be valid
I will grant that you have some excellent points about how greek mythology plays into the show but you are putting way too much wieght on the amount of influence it has
There has been discussion on the influences of greek mythology before but those where many months ago, and most people frankly find the referneces that play to world we live in and our recent past to be of more relevance to the overall tone and disucssion of the show.
There are a good number of references to norse mythology as well particualarly in the naming of ships, and some locations. Examples would be the battlestar valkriye (sorry if i spelled it wrong) and Rangar Anchorage, which suggests that show is drawing on the mythology from several different cultures
I don't think that you can infer anything from baltar's comments about Ellen's test as to if she is a cylon or not considering everyone passed that took it cause baltar was more concerned with staying alive than doing his job on that, granted it did work as we know since it showed the Sharon was a cylon. Also i do not see ellen as anysort of parael character to hellen because the war which started the series had nothing to do with her and while she started some conflicts within the fleet they where minor
Turning to Col tigh., there are people who relate him to captain Ahab from Moby Dick because of his looks durring the whole New Caprica story arc and along with his actions durring that story arc.
Also there have been whole episodes that have been built around more modern events and references to them, and the Illiad while parts of it can fit to this story is more about a long sieige and war, which not what happens in this story (yes i have read the Illiad) and think if any of the storys that have been metioned apply it would be either the oddessey or the aniead which was written by a Roman not a Greek and deals with the events that would lead to the founding of rome, or the myth of how rome was founded. ( I got this from a class i took in college).
So overall while the greek references are there i don't think they are meant to be the overpower refernces that you make them out to be in your posts and blog, but are there to help the story with that while rooted in mythology is meant to deal with the issues of the current day and the references to more recent events are meant to be what people catch frist and to spark disscussion amoug the viewers. Which they certainly have done on these boards
Fianlly i must say you did make some good conclusions and provide some good insights you might have turned alot of people off to what you had to say with your intial post