Theseus vs. Katniss: The Hunger Games versus Greek Mythology
1599 WordsJul 8, 20187 Pages
It has often been said that there is nothing new under the sun. In this vein, authors across all literary genres often borrow themes and plot from the stories of long ago. Many of those authors choose to borrow from the rich mythology of the ancient Greeks. Suzanne Collins has been asked on numerous occasions where the idea for The Hunger Games originated. She readily admits that the characters and plot come from Greek mythology and more specifically, from Theseus and the Minotaur (Margolis 30). One familiar with both both stories can easily recognize the identical framework upon which each of these stories are built. Both Theseus and Katniss Everdeen, Collins’ heroine, volunteer to go into battle for their respective…show more content…
Katniss chose the latter. That does not make her an androgynous character by classical terms but a survivor by todays standard of empowered women.
It is in this way that I agree with Moreaux as he states, Collins constructs a world that inverts this notion of male agency, and femaile passivity. The Hunger Games breaks free of this convention as Katniss protects and provides for her family and the helpless eeta during the games (6).
Intricately woven into this idea of gender roles, both by ancient Greek and modern audience standards, is the motivation behind the hero’s decision to volunteer as tribute. Theseus, as ancient Greek’s hero, is motivated by the quest for glory and adventure as most men of his time and throughout history have been. Most men crave action and adventure stories. Through out history men have gladly sought war, fought duels, captained pirate-ships, and the like. It is what men do, and Theseus is no different. Theseus is glory hungry. He has heard the tales of Hercules, and he is eager to win fame and notoriety for his own adventures. Plutarch even remarks about Theseus’ enthusiasm over Hercules’ achievements and his desire to match and exceed them in this excerpt from Plutarch’s Lives:
But he [Theseus], it seems, had long since been secretly