Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Impact of Classical Mythology on the Modern World


Civilizations and modernization have been very significant in the evolution and growth of human history, and they are the foundation of many modern mechanisms. It not only offered the primary structures for their creation and buildings; it was also at the centre of their daily lives. Myths are not dissimilar to the sagas, legends, and fairy tales; however, their period and time are distinctly different from the normal existence time. It is regarded as the expression of childhood experiences and explains the world’s meaning and origin. The word mythology can explain a specific body of myths, such as Scandinavian, African or Greek, or it can also be said to be the study of myths. Mythology, which refers to the collection of myths, is superior in effectively influencing distinct fields of knowledge (Hunter, 2016). There exists a variety kind of mythology. However, ancient Greek, also known as Classical mythology, is the one that has provided a huge influence on contemporary society.

Greek mythology has adversely impacted the current society in different ways, from the famous retail brands up to the baby names. Myths in the Greek world were intricately linked to religion and mainly discussed the lives and origins of the gods, where the human king had been generated from and where it was heading after their demise. Myths advised the community on the best way to lead their lives prosperously. They ensured that the community was organized in a way that certain principles guided the actions of different people at a certain time based on who, how, when and when people performed different duties.

Classical mythology offered humour and entertainment to the Greeks while simultaneously trying to answer the questions concerning how humans and the entire world came into existence. The story tales were very powerful and offered great motivation and inspiration to the ancient Greek materials and arts for their play. Furthermore, the tales offered valuable and important records of history and provided a chance for the Greek population to feel proud and appreciate their past culture, which was vibrant. The classical myths were transferred from a single generation to the following by word of mouth, and even poets were hired and paid to recite the poems they were familiar with, and the tales were later documented and kept (Morales, 2007). Classical mythology has profoundly and extensively influenced different fields in the modern world for many decades. The impact of Classical mythology in the contemporary world may be seen in different areas such as films and drama, modern art, Astronomy, psychology, literature, sport and language.


Even though very few countries speak the Greek language worldwide, classical mythology has successfully shaped English and other languages. “Herculean task” refers to a task that needs great effort and input (Ko, 2016). Among the different types of medicines, there is a drug known as morphine, which is named after the Greek sleep god Morpheus. The venereal disease” concept has a particular reference to the God Venus. The word “aphrodisiac” that describes any circumstance or substance arousing the desire for sex originates from the love goddess in the contemporary world, a lady who is not beautiful enough can be referred to as a “happy” which as a winged monster having birds’ feet and a woman’s torso. “Adoris” refers to a handsome mortal man with whom the Aphrodite goddess was in love (Liu, 2016). Most computer viruses known as Trojan have their relationship to the Greek-created Trojan horses, which were often used by the Greeks to access Troy and seize the Trojan war. Moreover, the impact of classical mythology is not adversely concentrated on certain words used in the contemporary world but stretches to various phrases, clinches and proverbs.

To mention some, the “caught between a rock and a hard place” and “between the blue sea and the devil” expressions all originate from the tales concerning the sailors being captured between the monsters Charybdis and Scylla of the classical mythology (Morales, 2007). Among the other commonly applied expressions demonstrating the effect of classical mythology in contemporary society include the face which launched a thousand ships, which implies a woman who is worthy of fighting for as rich as Croesus, suggesting that Croesus is known to be wealthy, opening pandora’s box which implies that someone is opening a world of challenges and trouble, lying in Morpheus arms meaning to fall asleep, having Midas touch which means everything turning into gold, and on Achilles heal that meaning a single deadly vulnerability.

Modern Sport and Olympic

Most contemporary Olympics and sports that people participate in have their foundation and roots in Greek gaming activities. It is evident that the Greeks were the ones who invented athletes, and they often participated in athletics as a way of honouring their gods. Various cape games were carried out at the Peninsula of Corinth after two years, and the Pythian games were conducted in Delphi after four years. The most popular games happened at Olympia, a plain located in the South West of Greece, and they were conducted over four years. The early Olympic games in Greece began in 700 B.C. and were always in honour of Zeus (Morales, 2007). Women and outsiders were not allowed to participate in these Olympic games, but men from Greece were not restricted in any way. Games conducted at Olympia in 472 B.C. comprised different events and activities that happened in five days (Morales, 2007). The initial day during the launching of the competition was mainly dedicated to the sacrifice of the goddesses and gods.

The following day, the second day of the ceremony, involved the foot race, which represented the main occasion of the games. The event happened inside the stadium in a particular area surrounded by sloping earth banks, which were slopping. Four distinct kinds of races occurred at Olympia stadiums, where the competitors raced for a single stade (192 metres) around the stadium. The second race involved a two-stade race of 394 meters and a much longer run that ranged from seven to twenty-four states, 1344-4608 meters (Arthimalla, 2023). The last kind of Olympia comprised runners in complete armour, and it was a two to four-stade race (384-768 meters); they were used to strengthen men interested in being part of the military (Arthimalla, 2023). The games pancratium, wrestling and boxing happened on day four. The wrestling competition aimed to hit the competitor to the floor three times, either on his shoulder, back or hips.

However, hitting and biting below the opponent’s belt was discouraged and not part of the game during the ancient Greek games and the rule of the game is still applied to the current wrestling competition. The boxing game among the Greeks was deadly and brutal in nature. The pugilists initially used soft leather to cover their fingers to make their blows much stronger, but later on, hard leather accompanied by metal was applied. During the boxing game pancratium, the one that was the toughest of the games, the competing parties were involved in the competition until one acknowledged a defeat. During day five of the ceremony, the horse racing sport was conducted, and the rule of the game was that each participant was expected to have a horse. Due to the rule, the game was mostly performed by the rich who could afford a horse, attracting little traffic. The horse racing competition involved riding around a track six times. The racing tracks were effectively separated to avoid disrupting another participant.

Modern Art

As a result of the allegorical nature and the symbolic nature of Classical mythology, most contemporary world artists and even those artists during the Renaissance have created their works based on the events and characters from the Greek myths. Most of the artistic works from Greece have been fully influenced by Greek mythology beauty. During the 15th century, popular Italian sculptor Sandro Botticelli completed his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus. Gianlorenzo Bernini, another Italian artist, created a marble sculpture and Daphne during the 17th century. Francisco de Goya, the Spanish painter, immortalized a single terrifying scene in the Theogony where Cronus was observed eating greedily on canvas his young children (Morales, 2007).

Moreover, a popular painting and decoration of Icarus descending from the sky during the same period was a Spanish Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel painted the modern world. Classical mythology and architecture have greatly influenced the use and adoption of various Greek styles such as Corinthian, Doric and Ionian styles. Also, some Greek styles and art continue to be used and are present in art today.

Drama and Films

The diversity and spread gained by the Classical myths have greatly inspired uncountable dramas and operas across the whole world, most of which are highly popular and placed. During the 17th century, an Italian composer known as Claudio Monteverdi was involved in the organization of the myth’s dramatization in the form of opera, along with Orpheus, also called Orfeso and II ritorno d’ Ulisse in Patria in the return of Ulysses to own homeland Opera (Wulandari, 2021). In the 20th century, similar activities were done, including Eleka by Richard Strauss, who was a Germany-based composer, and Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, who was a Russian composer. With the advent of motion cinema films in the 21st century, the effect of Greek mythology is huge. Many films concerning different myths have been released and are still emerging. They involve movies about Hercules, Argonauts, Jason, and Illiad, are very famous and have acted in making classical mythology the greatest of all times. Most classical mythology comprises narratives concerning heroes, supernatural beings and gods. Greek religion and intergenerational human bonds. It can influence the modern Hollywood directors and producers’ movie-making process since it needs a high level of improvisation and imagination.

Most characters in classical mythology are always portrayed as having extraordinary stature and extraordinary strength. In the modern film industry, most content creators and film-makers try as much as possible to build their screen heroes in great blockbusters motivated by the classical mythology called the Wrath and Troy of Titans, Misdemeanors and Crimes, Hercules and Clash of Titans (Wulandari, 2021). Furthermore, film directors know that individuals who love movies get fascinated by the movie’s characters who possess extraordinary powers who save the world and lead them to a better life. In the modern film industry, the directors borrow ideas from classical mythology to ensure that the production meets the entertainment needs of those watching and increases the movie ratings. Lastly, all of the actions and beliefs in classical mythology centre around how people would fully enjoy their lives and lead a peaceful life with each other, the gods and goddesses’ needs and how various actions and deeds could influence their lives. The influence of classical mythology on the contemporary world can be acquired in such movies as Clash of Titans, Troy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Wrath of Titans and Hercules, where many of the film characters are founded on ancient sources such as Sophocles, Euripides, Homeric epic and tragedies of Aeschylus.

Science (Astronomy)

The influence of classical mythology on science, especially astronomy, is so effective and diverse that the heavenly bodies and the sky have been awarded mythological names. Other celestial bodies and planets, including the stars making up the whole solar system, are, in particular instances, named after the Roman goddesses and gods and also from the classical myth. The different natural seasons and phenomena in the globe have effectively derived their original names from the Greek heroes and gods. Also, Johann Kepler applied the observational data from Tycho Bcamecame and devised the three laws about planetary motion during the 17th century (Falkner, 2020). The three laws explain the planet’s elliptical orbits around the sun, the relation between the planet’s orbital period, the distance between it and the sun, and the law of equal area. Kepler’s laws are still important in planetary motion research and even influenced the development of celestial mechanics. Galileo Galilei, using a telescope he created himself, conducted a groundbreaking observation in astronomy during the 17th century (Falkner, 2020). Galilei was able to observe the four largest moons on Jupiter and the phases of Venus and discovered sunspots.

Galileo’s groundbreaking observation effectively supported and backed up the heliocentric model and contributed to the Copernican system’s acceptance. The universal gravitation law and the laws of motion by Sir Isaac Newton during the 17th century also revolutionized astronomy and physics. The law of universal gravitation and the law of motion derived by Newton offered a unified description of celestial and terrestrial motion (Falkner, 2020). The laws described the comet’s behaviour, the moon’s motion and the planetary orbits, creating a universal framework for effectively understanding how gravitational forces work. Ancient astronomers, especially those of the Babylonian and Greek traditions, developed the concept of the ecliptic plane and the celestial sphere. The ecliptic refers to the apparent sun’s path across the sky during the year. Contemporary astronomy still applies these concepts as important reference points for celestial objects’ location and their positions’ identification.


Classical mythology has also adversely contributed to the growth of psychology because of its increased interest in knowing and explaining human behaviour, the mind, and the way human beings think, especially through myths. The renowned and modern psychologist Sigmund Freud borrowed from Classical mythology the main concepts he applies in defining theories about human psycho-sexual growth and development and how the theory is applied. Thus, Sigmund provided prominence to the classical mythology concepts and terminologies such as the “Oedipus complex” and “Electra complex” (Glaveanu, 2005). The basis of Freuds tFreud’simplies that an individual’s body contains different erogenous zones, and he believes that the libido in the body of a human being grows as time goes by and the,y search for satisfaction through distinct behaviours but using the zones such as sucking of the thumb.

Depending on the occurrences at each stage, an individual quickly moves from one stage to another or develops fixations due to disruption or overindulging. Carl Jung, a psychiatrist, also used Greek mythology to elaborate on his belief concerning the innate recurring suggestion present in men that are referred to as archetypes (Glaveanu, 2005). Jung believed that archetypes showed the availability of psychic structures, which are constant to all women and men. The psychic structures were based on the mythological views and ideas Jung strongly believed in from classical mythology. Furthermore, one of the common archetypes in history is the hero’s journey. According to the concept, most stories and myths follow a similar narrative structure and composition where the hero sets for an adventure, experiences challenges during the adventure, goes through a transformation process and eventually lands back home. Most modern stories concerning a hero’s journey in the syllabus of literature and storytelling follow the same plot. The anima and animus concepts discovered by Jung are essential in attaining psychological wholeness and balance in the modern world.


Moreover, classical mythology influenced modern literature as a discipline. In Greece, most philosophers and theorists were interested in poems, narratives and drama (Haarman, 2015). The famous theorists and philosophers in Greece developed most theories and provided conclusions to the theories, and they even went a step ahead and analyzed some of the theories using the already existing myths. Palaephatus, a Greek literary theorist, made a trial in analyzing the exact symbolic meaning of myths. During his work, Plato criticized and opposed the Greek myths based on morality. The symbols, allusions, and even the designs used by the early Greeks in society’s myths were the source for modern literary scholars and theorists to develop their theories and philosophies. Thus, the numerous literary approaches and strategies available in the contemporary world have been made possible because of the existence and emergence of classical mythology. For example, among the best Western writers, James Joyce applied mythical plots and wrote a descriptive and elaborative novel concerning myths (Haarman, 2015). Joyce was involved in writing the novel Ulysses, which had a modern theme and a plot similar to that used in classical mythology.

Another example is Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians”. Rick Riordan’s famous young adult series centres on Percy Jackson, a demigod and a son to Poseidon. Rick’s work comprises different elements of classical mythology, bringing the early myths, monsters and ancient to the modern world setting. Riordan’s literary works not only act as a source of entertainment to people but also ensure that the readers understand the basic components of classical mythology. Also, Madeline Miller’s “Circle” work reintroduces the narrative of the sorceress Circle, a literary work from Classical mythology. The story novel descriptively examines the struggles she goes through and the various encounters with different mythological figures. The author’s writings bring a new life into the classical characters and offer new perspectives on myths.


Classical mythology continues to influence how people live in the modern society. Most references to classical mythology can be found and witnessed in art and literature. Literature contains the word pandora, a name given to the mortal woman in the past and meant gifted. Current movies and films still use the hero’s narrative to illustrate the life, struggles, transformation and home return of the strongest people. Classical mythology is also seen in science, where Newton’s and Newton’s gravity and motion are still applied in modern science. It also still influences the field of psychology since most of the philosophers and theories, such as Freud, borrowed the classical theory concept in creating psychological theories. Even though not most of the words nations speak, Greek classical mythology has effectively shaped most phrases and names, such as Troy, which were based on goddesses and gods. Classical mythology greatly influences modern culture and the daily life of people worldwide, whether expected or not. The impact of classical mythology on the modern world portrays the significance of ancient civilizations and how they affect close to every aspect of the culture. The theory has provided society with a structure created to offer modern-day reality.


Arthimalla, J. (2023). Rescripting of the genre through Greek mythology in HadesGames and Culture, 155541202311701.

Falkner, D. E. (2020). An introduction to Greco-Roman mythology. The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series, 1-9.

Glaveanu, V. P. (2005). From mythology to psychology – an essay on the archaic psychology in Greek myths. PsycEXTRA Dataset.

Haarmann, H. (2015). Myth as a source of knowledge in early Western thought.

Hunter, R. (2016). Medea is a figure in Greek mythology. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics.

Ko, J. (2016). Yeats and Greek mythology in the tower. The Journal of Modern British & American Language & Literature34(4), 201.

Liu, H. (2016). An analysis of the enlightenment of Greek and Roman mythology to English language and literature. Proceedings of the 2016 4th International Education, Economics, Social Science, Arts, Sports and Management Engineering Conference (IEESASM 2016).

Morales, H. (2007). Classical mythology: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.

Wulandari, A. (2021). The animated film of NE Zha in Disruptive Era: From Chinese Classical Mythology Goes to Global. Proceedings of the 2nd International Seminar on Translation Studies, Applied Linguistics, Literature and Cultural Studies, STRUKTURAL 2020, 30 December 2020, Semarang, Indonesia.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics