History Main / Demythtification

14th Mar '17 1:28:53 AM fusilcontrafusil
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* Hallmark's miniseries ''Hercules'' (2005). The existence of the Gods made rather ambiguous (Hercules being fathered by an escaped prisoner of war with a lightning shaped scar), but they do throw in mythical creatures of AncientGreece. It's heavily arbitrary on when to dismiss the fantastic. In addition, Hercules' SuperStrength and fighting prowess is explained as a CharlesAtlasSuperpower brought on by TrainingFromHell.

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* Hallmark's miniseries ''Hercules'' ''Series/{{Hercules}}'' (2005). The existence of the Gods made rather ambiguous (Hercules being fathered by an escaped prisoner of war with a lightning shaped scar), but they do throw in mythical creatures of AncientGreece. It's heavily arbitrary on when to dismiss the fantastic. In addition, Hercules' SuperStrength and fighting prowess is explained as a CharlesAtlasSuperpower brought on by TrainingFromHell.
14th Mar '17 1:23:16 AM fusilcontrafusil
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-->-- '''Eric Shanower''', about ''Age of Bronze''

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-->-- '''Eric Shanower''', about ''Age of Bronze''
''ComicBook/AgeOfBronze''



* In ''Age of Bronze'', Eric Shanower's graphic novel series based on the ''Literature/TheIliad'', the gods don't appear, and there's no evidence that they actually exist in the world of the adaptation. This is deliberate, as the afterword makes clear. Also, Helen of Troy is only fairly attractive, not beautiful (but she is very conscious about her image and spends a lot of time on her dressing and makeup; this, coupled with her exotic appeal and personality, is what makes all of Troy fall in love with her). Odysseus and Agamemnon decide to say she's the most beautiful woman in the world because the Hellene soldiers will fight more willingly than they would for the real reasons for the war, which are more complicated and less glamorous.

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* In ''Age of Bronze'', ''ComicBook/AgeOfBronze'', Eric Shanower's graphic novel series based on the ''Literature/TheIliad'', the gods don't appear, and there's no evidence that they actually exist in the world of the adaptation. This is deliberate, as the afterword makes clear. Also, Helen of Troy is only fairly attractive, not beautiful (but she is very conscious about her image and spends a lot of time on her dressing and makeup; this, coupled with her exotic appeal and personality, is what makes all of Troy fall in love with her). Odysseus and Agamemnon decide to say she's the most beautiful woman in the world because the Hellene soldiers will fight more willingly than they would for the real reasons for the war, which are more complicated and less glamorous.
8th Jan '17 6:57:34 PM nombretomado
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* ''Film/EverAfter'' does this for the "Literature/{{Cinderella}}" fairytale, the story in a somewhat more down to Earth environment devoid of external magic. The Cinderella character is Danielle, a French noblewoman [[FallenPrincess who's reduced to servanthood]] by her stepmother and one of her stepsisters after her dad dies. The crystal slippers actually are based on the shoes that belong to Danielle's MissingMom and the PimpedOutDress was made by humans, not by magic. There's no Fairy Godmother... but there ''is'' a CoolOldGuy and sorta Crazy Inventor Godfather, who's none other than ''LeonardoDaVinci''. To go to the Ball, Danielle gets help from her other stepsister Jacqueline as well as the family servants. The Prince, Henry, is a flawed human being with both pros and contras, [[spoiler: and he doesn't take the revelation about Danielle being a "commoner" well, so Leonardo has to give him a harsh pep talk before he goes apologize to her.]]

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* ''Film/EverAfter'' does this for the "Literature/{{Cinderella}}" fairytale, the story in a somewhat more down to Earth environment devoid of external magic. The Cinderella character is Danielle, a French noblewoman [[FallenPrincess who's reduced to servanthood]] by her stepmother and one of her stepsisters after her dad dies. The crystal slippers actually are based on the shoes that belong to Danielle's MissingMom and the PimpedOutDress was made by humans, not by magic. There's no Fairy Godmother... but there ''is'' a CoolOldGuy and sorta Crazy Inventor Godfather, who's none other than ''LeonardoDaVinci''.''Creator/LeonardoDaVinci''. To go to the Ball, Danielle gets help from her other stepsister Jacqueline as well as the family servants. The Prince, Henry, is a flawed human being with both pros and contras, [[spoiler: and he doesn't take the revelation about Danielle being a "commoner" well, so Leonardo has to give him a harsh pep talk before he goes apologize to her.]]
22nd Dec '16 8:07:19 PM Doug86
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* ''Film/{{Troy}}'' purposefully strips out the prominent supernatural elements of the original poems -- or [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane renders them ambiguous]]. The gods are never seen, and never act, despite their large roles as {{Physical God}}s in {{Homer}}s telling. Achilles is a NayTheist who pooh-poohs the gods at every turn. Hector, of all people, paraphrases Stalin: "How many battalions does the sun god command?" The priest of Apollo acts as an inverted Cassandra -- he always gives exactly the wrong advice and is always believed.

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* ''Film/{{Troy}}'' purposefully strips out the prominent supernatural elements of the original poems -- or [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane renders them ambiguous]]. The gods are never seen, and never act, despite their large roles as {{Physical God}}s in {{Homer}}s Creator/{{Homer}}s telling. Achilles is a NayTheist who pooh-poohs the gods at every turn. Hector, of all people, paraphrases Stalin: "How many battalions does the sun god command?" The priest of Apollo acts as an inverted Cassandra -- he always gives exactly the wrong advice and is always believed.
21st Nov '16 6:16:38 PM Pamina
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* Rossini's opera ''La Cenerentola'' tells the story of Literature/{{Cinderella}} minus the magical elements.

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* Rossini's opera ''La Cenerentola'' tells the story of Literature/{{Cinderella}} minus the magical elements. As in ''Film/EverAfter'', the Fairy Godmother figure is a CoolOldGuy, in this case the prince's tutor Alidoro. The glass slippers are replaced by a pair of matching bracelets, and instead of having to leave the ball at midnight, Cinderella chooses to leave to make the prince search for her and test whether or not he'll accept her even in rags.
13th Oct '16 4:45:53 PM Discar
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->''“Every era tells the Trojan War legend a little differently. That’s only natural. Homer’s Iliad features the gods directly influencing the action—even joining in some of the battles. I’ve gone so far as to shove the gods offstage... I’ve chosen to downplay the supernatural element in order to emphasize the human element.”''

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->''“Every ->''"Every era tells the Trojan War legend a little differently. That’s That's only natural. Homer’s Homer's Iliad features the gods directly influencing the action—even joining in some of the battles. I’ve I've gone so far as to shove the gods offstage... I’ve I've chosen to downplay the supernatural element in order to emphasize the human element.”''"''
13th Sep '16 3:05:44 PM Reymma
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* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'' is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. The jealousy of Ungit (Venus) for Istra (Psyche)'s beauty is presented as the jealousy of the priest of Ungit for drawing away worshipers. Psyche's "marriage" to the god of the Grey Mountain (Cupid) is being chained to a tree on the side of a mountain as a sacrifice. Orual later finds Istra living on the mountainside, clearly insane and claiming to live in a palace that Orual cannot see. [[spoiler:Turns out to be a subversion, as Orual later sees the god with her own eyes.]] \\

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* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'' is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. The jealousy of Ungit (Venus) for Istra (Psyche)'s beauty is presented as the jealousy of the priest of Ungit for drawing away worshipers.worshippers. Psyche's "marriage" to the god of the Grey Mountain (Cupid) is being chained to a tree on the side of a mountain as a sacrifice. Orual later finds Istra living on the mountainside, clearly insane and claiming to live in a palace that Orual cannot see. [[spoiler:Turns out to be a subversion, as Orual later sees the god with her own eyes.]] \\


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[[folder:Ballads]]
* The Tale of Two Sisters, found across much of Europe, is usually some variant of this: Two sisters loved the same man, who was engaged to the younger. The older one arranged to have her drown so she would inherit the engagement. The body of the younger girl is found by a bard (who may mistake her for a swan) and uses her bones or hair to make a harp or fiddle. The bard is invited to play at the older one's wedding and brings along the instrument, but before the ceremony starts it sings out what happened in the girl's voice. However one Gaelic version removes the animated instrument by having the married sister compose and sing the song while the tide rises around her, which the other hears and later sings to her stepchildren, and the widow overhears her.
[[/folder]]
13th Sep '16 2:49:52 PM Reymma
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[[folder:Manga and Anime]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' presents the Dead Sea Scrolls as being left by the god-like alien who seeded Earth with life; this is the justification for the use of Biblical names and symbols used for the "Angels".
[[/folder]]



* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'' zigzags this for its Greek campaign. The first level has a village chieftain named Hierakles lead his people to a new land where they build a temple and a city on top of a hill (the Acropolis), the Trojan War was fought by a few city-states against a city with vastly superior technology, Theseus was a leader of Athens who united the outlying city-states against Sparta and Thebes until the gods took him away.

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* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'' zigzags this for its Greek campaign. The first level has a village chieftain named Hierakles lead leading his people to a new land where they build a temple and a city on top of a hill (the Acropolis), the Trojan War was is fought by a few city-states against a city with vastly superior technology, without divine intervention, while Theseus was a leader of Athens who united the outlying city-states against Sparta and Thebes until Thebes. The last (of very few) supernatural events is when Theseus ascends to become a god; this marks the gods took him away.campaign moving from being based on Greek myth to being based on history.
25th Jul '16 1:01:45 PM VVK
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Incidentally, the technical term for this technique is {{Euhemerism}} named after a 4th-century BCE Greek, making the trope OlderThanFeudalism. Sometimes coupled with a less than subtle TakeThat against religion, particularly {{Anvilicious}} writers will give the characters [[OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions anachronistically agnostic attitudes towards the gods]].

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Incidentally, the technical term for this technique is {{Euhemerism}} ''Euhemerism'', named after a 4th-century BCE Greek, making the trope OlderThanFeudalism. Sometimes coupled with a less than subtle TakeThat against religion, particularly {{Anvilicious}} writers will give the characters [[OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions anachronistically agnostic attitudes towards the gods]].
4th Jun '16 2:19:48 AM erforce
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* ''Film/LifeOfBrian'', despite expectations, actually subverts this. It follows the whacky misadventures of a man that is repeatedly mistaken for a prophet in Roman Galilee, from his adoration by the Three Wisemen to his crucifixion by the Romans, and shows (accurately) that there were many self proclaimed prophets in that time and place. The movie does not make comment on Jesus' nature, however, and he stays offscreen except for one scene early in the movie where he is seen addressing people from the top of a hill. Despite this, many censorers considered the film blasphemous and [[BannedInChina it was denied a release in several countries for decades]].

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* ''Film/LifeOfBrian'', ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'', despite expectations, actually subverts this. It follows the whacky misadventures of a man that is repeatedly mistaken for a prophet in Roman Galilee, from his adoration by the Three Wisemen to his crucifixion by the Romans, and shows (accurately) that there were many self proclaimed prophets in that time and place. The movie does not make comment on Jesus' nature, however, and he stays offscreen except for one scene early in the movie where he is seen addressing people from the top of a hill. Despite this, many censorers considered the film blasphemous and [[BannedInChina it was denied a release in several countries for decades]].



* The short story "The Gardens of Tantalus" by BrianStableford, collected in ''Classical Whodunnits'', is a Demythification of the [[SnakePeople Lamia]] incident in Philostratus's ''Life of Apollonius of Tyana'', in which the "lamia" is a human, but metaphorically venomous, FemmeFatale, and Apollonius's own "magic" is a combination of natural philosophy and common sense. The story is [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis supposedly written]] by [[TheWatson a student of Apollonius]], who is tired of mythological tales attaching themselves to a rationalist philosopher.

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* The short story "The Gardens of Tantalus" by BrianStableford, Creator/BrianStableford, collected in ''Classical Whodunnits'', is a Demythification of the [[SnakePeople Lamia]] incident in Philostratus's ''Life of Apollonius of Tyana'', in which the "lamia" is a human, but metaphorically venomous, FemmeFatale, and Apollonius's own "magic" is a combination of natural philosophy and common sense. The story is [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis supposedly written]] by [[TheWatson a student of Apollonius]], who is tired of mythological tales attaching themselves to a rationalist philosopher.
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