The works of William Shakespeare are some of the most beloved and studied pieces of literature in the world. While his works are full of references to a variety of sources, it is clear that Greek and Roman mythology were particularly influential on his writing. In this article, we will explore the evidence of Greek mythology in Shakespeare’s works and how it shaped his writing.
Was Shakespeare Inspired by Greek Mythology?
The abundance of mythic allusions present in nearly all of Shakespeare’s works are evidence of the continued cultural influence of Greek and Roman mythology in the period during which he wrote. From the characters of his plays to the themes and symbols used, Greek mythology can be seen throughout Shakespeare’s works.
One of the most prominent examples of Greek mythology in Shakespeare’s works is the character of Oedipus, who appears in several of his plays. Oedipus is a tragic figure from Greek mythology who unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother. His story is a popular one in Greek mythology and Shakespeare uses it to explore themes of fate and destiny in his plays.
In addition to characters, Shakespeare also makes frequent use of symbols from Greek mythology. The most prominent example is the use of the labrys, a double-headed axe, which is a symbol of power and authority in Greek mythology. This symbol appears in several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth and Julius Caesar.
Shakespeare also makes use of themes from Greek mythology in his works. The idea of fate and destiny, which is a prominent theme in Greek mythology, is explored in many of his plays. This is especially true in his tragedies, such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, where characters are often seen struggling against their predetermined fate.
It is clear that Greek and Roman mythology had a profound influence on Shakespeare’s works. From characters to symbols to themes, Greek mythology can be seen throughout his plays. This influence can be seen in the way that Shakespeare uses these elements to explore themes of fate and destiny in his works.
Questions & Answers
Q: What evidence is there of Greek mythology in Shakespeare’s works?
A: There is abundant evidence of Greek mythology in Shakespeare’s works. This includes characters such as Oedipus, symbols such as the labrys, and themes such as fate and destiny.