“It’s Greek to Me” In chapter 9 of Thomas Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor , he guides you in how to see the allusions to myths and folk tales in all types of literature. He mentions that a “myth is a body of story that matters.” It matters because many authors have borrowed the themes and lessons from Greek myths and put them in their stories. When we as readers are able to notice these themes it makes it easier to understand what the author’s message could be.
Love & Desire There are many themes in the novel Troy, but one major theme is Love and Desire. There are many love triangles in the novel and the mortals have trouble deciding if what they feel is truly love or just simply desire. This is a theme that has come up in many different novels. For example, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, by William Shakespeare, if you read closely you could see that there is a bit of contrast between love and desire. When given the love potion, Lysander and Demetrius desire Helena, but they don't truly love her. Because “Love and Desire are such wonderful subjects.” (Geras, 163), Adele placed this theme in her novel to show the connection between the mortals and Gods in myths.
Trickery The gods have fun when it comes to meddling with the lives of the mortals. Ultimately, they are the cause behind the war and other mishaps in the story. The main goddess that uses trickery is Aphrodite. She is the cause of the main plot of the novel. One day when she became bored she decided to turn her attention to two sisters by making them fall in love with the same man. This causes conflict between them and there is also some internal conflict going on as well. This particular theme shows another connection between the mortals and gods; it shows that the gods think of mortals as their play toys for whenever they become bored.
The knowledge I have gained from the Greek myths and the novel I read can help me understand more pieces of literature on a deeper level. I know that myth matters and that the themes from these stories have been borrowed for centuries. This knowledge can help me find themes in future novels that I may read. The faster I can discover a theme, the more I can analyze the story and detect a deeper meaning. “It’s Greek to Me” was the first step, jumping into reading a myth was the next step—now I just have to keep going.