Modern Labyrinth Essay

Modern Labyrinth Essay

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Film is a form of storytelling, and all stories are, in essence recycled, contemporary films must modernize a story of the past to make it accessible to modern audiences. This is the case with the film, Pan’s Labyrinth. The myth of “Theseus and the Minotaur” has been rewritten and modernized in the 2006 film, Pan’s Labyrinth. The myth “Theseus and the Minotaur” and the morals that exist within it, present a context in which it will be possible to interpret and analyze the film Pan’s Labyrinth as a modern day rewriting of the myth.
In order to understand how Pan’s Labyrinth has been rewritten, it is important to first understand the original myth of “Theseus and the Minotaur”. According to Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, the story of Theseus and his quest to slay the Minotaur begins long before Theseus’s birth. “Minos, the powerful ruler of Crete, had lost his only son…while the young man was visiting the Athenian King” (Hamilton 211). In order to seek revenge, Minos invaded Athens and “declared that he would raze it to the ground unless every nine years the people sent him a tribute of seven maidens and seven youths” (Hamilton 212). When the victims reached Crete, they would be sacrificed to a beast that was “half bull, half human”, known as the Minotaur (Hamilton 212). The Minotaur was housed in a labyrinth where “escape was impossible” (Hamilton 212). “To this place, the young Athenians were each time taken and left to the Minotaur” (Hamilton 212). This ritual continued until one year, Theseus, son of the Athenian king and heir to throne, offered to be one of the victims. Unbeknownst to the people, Theseus had every intention of slaying the beast. “When the young victims arrived in Crete they were paraded before the inhabitants ...

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... bravely and defiantly act against authority rather than blindly remain obedient. This film shows the power of innocence over evil and the triumph of imagination over colorless servitude just as the original tale of Theseus and the Minotaur, but with a darker new interpretation.

Works Cited

Filmtracks Modern Soundtrack Reviews. (2007, January 05). Retrieved May 04, 2012, from
Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From Watching to Seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. 1942. N.p.: Back Bay Books, 1998. Print
VC. (2010, September 23). The Vigilant Citizen. Retrieved May 05, 2012, from The Esoteric Interpretation of Pan's Labyrinth:

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