Greek mythology with Stephen Fry, a review about “Mythos”

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • very witty
  • Extra interesting information in the footnotes
  • Coherent construction and order of the myths
  • Section in the book with paintings

My favourite parts

Eros and Psyche This was a longer myth than the usual length of the other told myths. The character description of Eros was very well written. It was nice to see that this mighty god, whom the Romans saw as a cherub with a bow and an arrow, had fallen prey to his own force. Furthermore, I was surprised by the ending because I forgot that Psyche was made a goddess after the trials Aphrodite gave her. Unlike the other Olympians, it is not known Eros had other encounters with women so maybe they are one of the most model couples of Greek mythology, (which doesn’t occur so very often.)

Prometheus Few people know that Prometheus was one of Zeus best friends amongst the titans (according to Stephen Fry). Unfortunately, betrayal is a situation of all times and it hits harder when it comes from your closest friends. In my opinion, this story is beautiful. Especially at one moment when Zeus would have forgiven his friend only if Prometheus would have said he was sorry about stealing the fire which Prometheus didn’t. This act, the forgiving of someone when he or she says sorry and means it, is so utterly human (and necessary).

Ascribing gods almost all human characteristics, including saying sorry for made mistakes and broken promises makes the ending even more dramatic because if Prometheus would have excused him for his mistakes there would be missing a canonical part in both literary and art history. For example, Mary Shelley, the 19th century author of “Frankenstein” based her character Dr. Frankenstein on Prometheus . Unsurprisingly, the full title of Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein ” is actually “Frankenstein; or the modern Prometheus”.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Greek mythology. One doesn’t need to have any foreknowledge for understanding and enjoying “Mythos”.

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