Mythology and Literature: The Influence of Mythology on Literary and Artistic Product

Published: 20 July 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/dpz6bv56kk.1
Yusra Said, Khoud Ramadan, Akram Safi, Huda Ramadan


The purpose of this research was to inspect the extent to which mythology can influence literature and art. The research was largely analytic in nature and used different literary domains to explore the impact of myths on the social product. In the research, certain myths were selected and studied according to their long-lasting impact compared to the other ones. The research highlights four different mythologies: Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, and Germanic, with an emphasis on one myth from each culture: the myth of Icarus, Janus, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and The Epic of Nibelungenlied, successively. Different works of literature and art have been utilized to demonstrate how mythology influences authors and artists to exaggerate or minimize certain events. Furthermore, the position regarding the importance of myths has been reconciled with the scientific views of the natural world. The argument is that the role which science plays is different from that of myth: the former provides physical explanation about the state of nature, and the latter aims to describe our equivalent existential dilemmas that we share with ancient societies. Literary works and art suggest that the embodiment of myths has enabled us to give rise to diverse perspectives from a single myth. The research concluded that myth does not function in the absence of literature, because literature is the template into which myth is put. Borrowing a mythical theme and personifying it in literature or in art, brings into insight new issues that were overlooked in the past but are relevant today. As a result, adopting a specific tale or mythological character then adjusting and bending them into a different storyline that attracts the modern reader, has not only increased the popularity of mythology, but has also added to the success of those specific works of literature. Further, the influence of mythology on art and literature has offered fresh insights and distinct interpretations on the original mythological narrative in which it is employed to liberate us from expressive and intellectual restrictions. Thus, by demonstrating how mythology can be an endless source of information and inspiration, the dispute of its insignificance should be dismissed.