Chiu Abstract Hercules & children’s television

Angelina Chiu

Learning the (T)ropes: life and lessons before labours for young Hercules in 1990s TV series

The education of young Hercules in modern re-imaginings, specifically Young Hercules (Fox Kids, 1998-99) and Hercules: the Animated Series (Disney, 1998) as two American children’s television series of the 1990s, differs significantly from its depiction in the ancient evidence.

Whereas the ancient mythological narratives consistently depict Hercules being individually tutored by instructors in various skill sets from music to archery, modern children’s entertainment media present him in school or social settings with other young people where he learns lessons about life and relationships. In a sense, both general types of educational narrative focus on Hercules engaging in tropes of learning, but each prioritizes radically different sets of lessons and results.

This chapter provides a comparative examination, which becomes a case study of the malleability and applicability in its given cultural context of the young Hercules myth of education.

Provisional content for The Modern Hercules (Volume 2)