Ancient Stories In Popular Culture

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Ancient Stories in Popular Culture George Santayana once said that “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” While Santayana’s quote usually accompanies a discussion about reckless wars and terrible genocides, it can also demonstrate that despite all of our technological and academic advancements, human nature stays the same. Which is why years, decades, even millennia will not change the effect that a great story has on humans. Epic tales of heroism are repeated and refashioned throughout the ages because their power is in their ability to stay true to basic human nature.
One of these epic tales is that of Herakles. The first known mention of Herakles is in Homer’s Odyssey which dates back to the 7th century B.C.E. but
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Since the Middle Ages, theater troupes have been performing stories from the Bible, it was an easy way to spread the Word to an illiterate group, especially with such a limited amount of books. Today, Moses has been the star of many television shows as well as films. One of the highest rated versions was the animated Prince of Egypt that came out in 1998, but one of the most famous retellings is Charlton Heston portraying Moses in The Ten Commandments. Most recently, Christian Bale played Moses in 2014’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. According to the Daily Beast, one of the most iconic symbols of America uses icons from Moses: the Statue of Liberty. Sculptor Frederic Bartholdi “chose a Roman Goddess as his model” but used Moses iconography of the “rays of sun around her head” and “the tablet in her arms, both of which come from the moment that Moses descends Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments” (Feiler). The Daily Beast also contends that Moses is actually the inspiration behind Superman, stating that although the creators looked at Greek mythology, Arthurian legend, and science fiction as inspiration, that “many of its principal themes are drawn from the Hebrew Bible, and its backstory was taken almost point by point from Moses.” In 2013, Henry Cavill became the newest face of Superman, and in 2016 he reprised this role in the blockbuster Batman v

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