I had this idea not so long ago, while i was doing this thing i call “study while watching TV”, about the different visual representations of history from a literature source. Have you ever thought how these representations affect the way we learn about our history?
BY: El Cancerbero
I was watching a Netflix series called “Troy: Fall of a City” because I had to read “The Trojan Women” by Euripides, but I felt too tired after a long day of work. I wanted watch something related to the topic on TV so I wouldn’t feel so guilty about leaving the homework for another day. I looked up the movie Troy (yes, the one everyone has watched already), but it didn’t turn up in the Netflix catalog. However, and to my good fortune the previously mentioned series was there.
This series is inspired by The Iliad, we can watch the famous Judgement of Paris, who must choose the most beautiful goddess as revenge from the goddess of discord, Eris (because she wasn’t invited to a wedding). Paris, by order of Zeus listens to the three goddesses in this dispute; Hera promises to make Paris the most powerful of men, Athena offers to make him the wisest of all, while Aphrodite promises to let him have the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris chooses Aphrodite’s gift which in turn unleashes the Trojan war.
So folks, it’s thanks to this dumb decision that the whole mess unravels. But since the series ended up being somewhat mediocre I ended up looking up the Judgement of Paris in the Internet. Along a couple of Wikipedia articles I found a painting, by Rubens called The Judgement of Paris. It’s quite the revelation to compare the 1638 representation with the 2018 one that I was watching earlier. Both coming from the same 2500 year old myth!
Every age tries to represent it’s own culture, or like a philosopher named Eduardo Nicol said, “we are expression”, And I certainly keep that in mind when considering the way we express ourselves in such a distinct way from something that came from oral tradition.
It could be that we live in an age of expression exploitation thanks to virtuality of mass media, and maybe that is how we get 3 versions of the same damn films which in turn came from stories and novels. But it seems that stories from every age have a need to stay relevant and renovated in means of expression, using the newest technology for this appears to be a safe bet (although sometimes we end up with crappy live-action Disney remakes because of this, for example).
Oh well, I think it’s quite interesting to discover the sources of our culture since I believe the oldest means of expression are a formative lesson. A good lesson for someone who wishes to know themselves and their place in humanity, learn about it’s history and the roots of their culture.
After all, I still got to read The Trojan Women by tomorrow. Thank you for reading me!