So, I saw Wonder Woman today and it was pretty good. Now, let me start off by saying I know Greek mythology. I loved reading about the mythology of ancient cultures. I know the ancient Greek mythology very well. On that high note, let’s go for some humility: I don’t read the Wonder Woman comics. To be fair, I don’t read any comics anymore for a couple reasons but I have never actually read a Wonder Woman comic, only Batman and some Justice League (man of simple tastes, okay?). But I was aware of the general story of Wonder Woman: made from clay, given life by Zeus, something about a pilot and the war, bla bla bla, gimme Batman (no disrespect to the creators of WW).
Anyway. So, I saw Wonder Woman and I enjoyed it. I really did, it’s a fantastic movie and I really recommend you watch it. Please be aware, that spoilers for the Wonder Woman movie are present in this post. With that done, let’s get moving. There are three things I want to point out that are different in the Wonder Woman movie from the Greek mythology it’s meant to be based on.
Creation of Man
So, in Greek mythology, the Titans were primordial beings, ruling over creation. Then they were overthrown by Zeus and another titan. After this, Prometheus (a titan who sided with Zeus) created mankind out of mud and Athena breathed life into their bodies. Here is a link that explains it all, the entire story, and in more detail, but that is basically the gist of it.
Beginning of Evil in Mankind
Now see, this is interesting. After mankind was given fire (twice, it’s a long story), Zeus punished Prometheus and mankind. This tale might be familiar to you but, it needs to be said anyway so….I guess you’ll just read it again? Anyway. Zeus decided to punish mankind. He ordered a woman to be made and she was called Pandora. He gave her a box that contained all evil and she opened it, letting all the evil fly out and infest the world.
Redemption of Man
I searched for an answer on this, a way that mankind can be redeemed from its evil in Greek mythology. I tried to find the answers in the stories of the Greek afterlife (which is based on your acts of either heroism or cowardice, any crimes, etc, i.e. a work based idea) and I found nothing. There are ways that humanity could be enlightened partially or discern the will of the gods and communicate with them, but never could they be sanctified forever from their evilness, nothing could redeem them unless they could move a god emotionally to show some mercy/pity to save them from their situation. Even their journey in the afterlife depended solely on their being heroic or criminal in their lifetime.
Please, bare that all in mind when you read this next part, taken from the Wonder Woman movie (SPOILERS AHEAD).
Zeus made mankind in his image. He and all the gods gave them gifts and watched over them. The humans were made to be good people, passionate and kind, just and merciful. But one god had different idea. Ares (the Greek god of war) became jealous of the love Zeus showed to his creations and turned the hearts of men astray by leading them to war and destruction. As the story begins to draw to a close, Wonder Woman says that she now knows the only way to save mankind is through love.
Creation – Zeus, the father of the gods, makes mankind “in his image”.
Evil – a god gets jealous and makes mankind a slave to death and destruction.
Redemption – love saves mankind.
This is vastly different from Greek mythology. Vastly. It seems to have very little correlation and relation to the original Greek tales of creation, evil and redemption. But it does align pretty well with the Christian message. In the Gospel, God makes man in His image, humanity is led astray to love evil and wicked deeds and we are saved from this darkness by love. Wonder Woman is shown to be Zeus’s final gift to humanity to defeat his traitor brother Ares. Ares is made to seem like the embodiment of sin and evil and just before the hero destroys him, she is floating in the air, arms wide open as if displayed on a cross and the camera seems to focus in on this pose. Then she destroys the villain of the movie with her mighty lightning power and we see the remaining Nazi soldiers throw away their guns and embrace their former enemies.
From all of this, it seems obvious to me that the creative minds behind this movie adapted the Biblical story for the movie and slapped on the paint of the Greek pantheon. Not that I’m angry or saying the movie is evil, it’s just something I’ve noticed. I feel like they did that to set up the story for a hero and villain, to replace the Greek mythology that Wonder Woman is traditionally based on and instead use a Jesus-character defeating evil which sort of feels like laziness to me even though I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Although, hey, God can use all things to preach the Gospel to people so, you never know.
Wonder Woman is out in cinemas now.