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Edith Hamilton


Key Facts

Key Facts

full title  ·  Mythology

author  · Edith Hamilton

type of work  · Nonfiction

genre  · Classical lore and legends, Norse legends

language · English

time and place written  ·  1930s, United States

date of first publication ·  1942

publisher  · Little, Brown and Company

narrator  · An omniscient narrator, suggestive of the author herself

point of view  · Edith Hamilton’s level and even-spirited scholarly voice provides the general point of view. The stories are told by omniscient narrators who are sympathetic to the protagonists yet instantly aware of their weaknesses or foolishness whenever it comes into play. Even these omniscient narrators have plenty of equanimity and are not terribly engaged in the stories they are telling.

tone  · Edith Hamilton clearly admires the greatness of antiquity, although at the same time posits myths as important mostly as progenitors of “us” and “our culture.”

tense  · Past

setting (time)  · Ancient times

setting (place)  · Greece and Rome, and, at the very end, Northern Europe

themes  · The dominance of fate; bloodshed begets bloodshed; the danger of arrogance and hubris; reward for goodness and retribution for evil

motifs  · The hero’s quest; beauty; love

symbols  · Cannibalism; art

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by Alleeeson, August 08, 2012

On page 380 I found it really interesting that Oedipus said " ' For the love of God, ' " a couple of times. I thought they might say for the love of the gods (plural) since they honored many not just one. Or was God considered Zeus to them?


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by TheLord0ftheFlies, February 09, 2015

There is a dual sided portrayal of women present throughout the story. They are shown to be shallow, selfish, and self-centered, but also to be secretly controlling, planning everything that happens.

The Athenians' view on Hercules

by 10katy, April 16, 2015

According to Hamilton, "[Hercules] was what all of Greece except Athens most admired. The Athenians were different from the other Greeks and their hero therefore was different"(225).

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