domenica 18 marzo 2007

Argonautica: Fall of Every Dream

Longtime have passed since the heroic time of Homer, almost eight hundred years. The Hellenistic world saw tha rise and fall of the freedom of the Greek cities-states, the rise and fall of Alexander the Great and, with him, the rise and fall of the dream of a single man that can change the world.
In this age (III century b.C.), a librarian called Apollonius Rhodius wrote the Argonautica.

What is this stuff about?
First, you must know that the greek mithology cover an arc of three-four generations. Yes, like the DC Comics. And, like the DC Comics, every generation has its crossover. The "War of Troy" is the big third gen's crossover. The Voyage of the Argonauts is the big second gen's crossover. In it, we can find some of the fathers of the heroes of Iliadyssea, with some big guns like Heracles, Peleos, Telamon, Castor and Pollux. And, of course Medea.

But the most important innovation of the poem is the deconstruction of the hero: thousands of years before Miller and Moore, Apollonius Rhodius ask himself if these super-strong, super-fast, super-smart men were actually super-men.
And, if they aren't, why?
He depicts Herakles as an egoistic, arrogant e over-growth guy, who can barely control his own power, quite not as Kevin Sorbo's character. He also give way to the grief and leave his companions not long after the begin of the journey.
Jason, the protagonist, is not a hero, at all: he cries, he doesn't have a clear plan for the mission, he is later reduced to deceive a girl to accomplish his goal.
Because neither the super-strenght (Herakles), nor the super-speed (Peleos), nor the super-boxing-ability (Pollux), nor the super-tongue (Jason) make you a hero; only your mind, your heart and your ideals, can make you a true hero.

Apollonius was a modern man: he didn't believe in fables, but he wished to.

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