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Don’t Give Up the Greeks: Mythology in the Modern Age

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you’re like me, you were forced to read The Odyssey in high school and began hating Greek classics. Aside from the occasional nostalgic Percy Jackson binge, I stayed away from Greek mythology, until I read The Song of Achilles. My eyes were opened. Reading this book plunged me into the world of modern retellings of Greek stories, which provides a much easier way to ingest this enchanting genre! Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. A Thousand Ships

This novel by Natalie Haynes travels through the Trojan War, telling the stories of women whose perspectives were lost. It explores the experiences of captured Trojans, Odysseus’ wife Penelope, goddesses puppeteering in the background and so much more. 

  1. Circe 

Circe by Madeline Miller follows the daughter of a powerful Titan and her journey discovering her powers of witchcraft, caught between mortals and the Gods. If you’re a fan of badass and complex heroines, you’ll enjoy this one.

  1. Hercules 

This classic Disney movie was a big part of most of our childhoods. It’s the perfect way to learn about the myth of Hercules without having to commit too much time or energy. It’s fun, light-hearted and full of songs that will make you forget all about Homer. 

  1. Mythos

Mythos is a collection of modern retelling of Greek myths by actor Stephen Fry. These short stories are injected with comedy, suspense and sentiment for an enjoyable, but still educational, reading experience! 

  1. Percy Jackson

While the movies leave something to be desired after reading Rick Riordan’s masterful books, this series is just a lot of fun! Since it follows teens in the modern era, it’s easy to imagine yourself as the demi-god child of your favorite deity. 

  1. The Penelopiad

This novella by famous author Margaret Atwood retells the story of The Odyssey from Penelope’s perspective. It gives engaging insight into her and her maids’ lives while Odysseus was off on his (way too long) journey. 

  1. The Silence of the Girls

The first in a two-part book series, Pat Barker’s novel focuses on women who were captured in the Trojan War. This story mainly focuses on Briseis, who you might recognize from The Song of Achilles.

  1. The Song of Achilles

Speaking of the book that started it all, The Song of Achilles is Madeline Miller’s first novel. It’s a retelling of Homer’s The Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus, Achilles’ closest companion. Miller explores Achilles and Patroclus’  romantic relationship, which makes for a truly emotional and captivating story. 

  1. Wonder Woman

Though not a true piece of Greek Mythology, the first Wonder Woman movie features Diana’s fight against Ares, the God of War, in an attempt to end World War I. Full of action and historical costumes, it is yet another fun piece of entertainment to learn about the Greeks. 

Rachael Sharp

Bryn Mawr '25

Hi! I'm Rachael and I'm a freshman at Bryn Mawr. I love books, movies, self-care, and learning about weird facts. I'm really excited to share all of these interests with you all!
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