John P. Pedersen October 17, 2011 Hercules Comparative Essay Disney’s version of the “Hercules” and the story in Mythology by Edith Hamilton have many differences and similarities. While trying to make it children friendly, Disney lacks in telling the full and rather brutal tale of Hercules. Hercules was brawny, not brainy in the real story. He is also stubborn and opinionated. He kills people for no reason at all and does stupid things to punish himself. In the Disney version, he is heroic (not to say he isn’t in the real myth), handsome, and just all around a great guy.
Both versions, although different have a few similarities. There are many differences between the two but there are four main ones that stuck out the most. In the Disney version, Hera is Hercules’ mother, whereas in the original, his mother is a mortal, named Alcmena, making him a demigod (Zeus was his father) which means in the Disney movie he is born a god. In the original he is assigned the twelve tasks as repentance for killing his wife and children. In the Disney film Hercules’s doing the twelve tasks to become a real hero.
Another big thing was that in the beginning of the original story, Hera sends two snakes to kill Hercules. In the Disney version Hades sends his two demons two simply kill Hercules but they fail to, so they turn into snakes and try to kill him. The last and biggest difference of all is that in the Disney movie, Hercules has to defeat the Titans whereas the original myth didn’t even talk about them. There may have been a lot of differences but there were some similarities that were found.
In both of the tales Hercules falls in love with a girl named Meg (or Megara), although in the original, Hercules kills her. Another small similarity was that whomever they were sent by, Hercules still killed two snakes when he was a baby. Of course the most obvious similarity is that in both stories, Zeus is his father. There were many more differences than similarities but in all the two stories tell the (rather indistinguishable) tale of the super strong demigod/god that defeated the most horrific creatures.
Although Disney’s version is appropriate for all audiences and the original is somewhat disturbing and gruesome, both stories are taken from Greek mythology (one more distorted form the original tale). Disney’s versions of the Hercules and the original have many differences and similarities. It is important that you look for both because ever if you only see main differences there are also small, insignificant similarities to look for and relate each version to. Both were entrancing stories of Greek gods and heroes.