Disney's Hercules is an apt modern reception of the ancient mythology of Herakles, acknowledging ancient and modern sources surrounding three types of classical hero: the archetypal hero, influenced by the ideas of Joseph Campbell; the Pan-Hellenic hero, distilled from ancient Greek exempla of heroism from epic and other genres of ancient literature; and the tragic hero, inspired by the heroic criteria presented in Aristotle's Poetics. By adapting these heroic types from their traditional ancient source myths, Disney's Hercules produces a new, contemporary definition of heroism—one informed by modern, Western family values. This adaptation renews the power of the myth of Herakles for a modern era, whose image and characteristics have been changed and adapted since ancient times to suit each receiving culture's conception of true heroism.
College and Department
Humanities; Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Burchfield, Amy Elizabeth, "Going the Distance: Themes of the Hero in Disney's Hercules" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations. 4291.
Disney, Hercules, Herakles, Heracles, Joseph Campbell, archetypal hero, Pan-Hellenic hero, adaptation, film, mythology, reception, tragic hero, modern hero