Antiquity Revisited: Tracing the Influence of Greek Mythology on English Literature and Culture

Poorva Trikha


The ancient works of Greek civilization had almost been wiped out of human consciousness until Renaissance revisited it. In early 1800s, when Greece was revolting against Turks after 400 years of slavery, Europe discovered the old Greek tragedies and works of Greek philosophers which had been oppressed by political power bearers. In the 19th century many free spirits like Lord Byron (who died in Greece during the war) were intrigued by these works and began to reinterpret and analyse them to locate universals truths relating to philosophy, ecology, psychology, natural sciences, etc in them.

Ever since Renaissance (when Shakespeare made abundant use of Greek Myths in his plays) the craze and interest in Greek mythology has not slowed down. From Homer to John Milton to John Keats to Thomas Hardy, all old and contemporary writers have looked towards Greek Myths for substance for their writing and have used them in all possible genres of literature. This paper attempts to trace the influence of Greek Mythology on English literature and contemporary culture, to point towards the literary works of various centuries which intensively used Greek myths and those English films which depict the same. An effort has been made at finding out the reason behind this continuing popularity of ancient myths and to analyse such a tremendously powerful phenomenon.   


Greek, Mythology, greek Myths, Influence of Greek myths, Greek roots in english

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