Who Actually Was Megara In Greek Mythology?
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Who Actually Was Megara In Greek Mythology?

Call Meg a Disney Princess if you want to​, because she was a princess.

Who Actually Was Megara In Greek Mythology?

Even though she doesn't have an official "Disney Princess" title, Megara (AKA Meg) from Disney's Hercules is a favorite among Disney-philes.

She's witty, she's self-aware, and she's strong...but she's also compassionate, driven by her heart, and sensitive.

But, as we know, Disney has a tendency to disregard source material to the point where the "Disney version" of the story is so incredibly warped, that the original source material is virtually unrecognizable beneath the "Disney-fication." Hercules is certainly no exception.

Like a handful of people my age, I had a very strong "Greek Mythology Nerd" phase while in middle school---and it wasn't just limited to the Percy Jackson books. I got really into it.

Of course, it's been quite a while since I brushed up on my Greek mythology...but there are some things that are glaringly wrong with the mythology of Disney's Hercules that also apply to Meg's greater mythological story. (I'm not going to list all the issues Hercules has, just the ones most directly pertaining to Meg)

Here goes

So, in actual Greek mythology, as you might already know, Zeus was still Herc's father, but Hera was definitely not his mother.

Alcmene, a mortal woman was. Because Zeus was always sleeping with mortals and acting a fool, Hera (who was still Zeus's wife) would get downright jealous. Oh, and that's another thing: the Greeks didn't call him "Hercules" (that's what the Romans called him. In Greek, Herc was "Herakles," or "Glory of Hera"

We know that Hades was pretty much the main antagonist in Disney's version of the myth, but in the source material, Hades had a minor role, as he was basically chilling out in the Underworld for most of the action. Hera, on the other hand, had a much bigger, much more meddling role.

ANYWAYS, back to Megara (she's the one this article is about, anyways). Basically, there was no "deal with Hades" or anything like that.

Meg was actual the daughter of Creon (yes, that Creon for any of my Theatre/Mythology friends). Creon was the King of Thebes (and brother-in-law/uncle to Oedipus, if you know him from the Theatre side of things) and when Herc won a major battle for Thebes, Creon basically gave his daughter Megara over as a "gift"or "prize" to thank Hercules. (♪What happened to Miss Independent?! ♪)

And, in most versions of the myth, Megara & Hercules start out by having a happy marriage and three children together...

Imma sidetrack here for a moment, just to make a case. Call Meg a Disney Princess if you want to. For real! Even though she and Hercules don't officially get married in the Disney movie, they do get married in the source material. And, Herc is the son of the King of the Gods, Zeus, which makes Herc a "prince" of sorts...so he's a Disney prince, and in marrying Meg, she becomes a "princess" of sorts.

But if we were going by the source material anyways, this thought process wouldn't even matter, because Megara was literally a Princess of Thebes. Oh well, Disney. You missed your chance. It wouldn't have been that hard to follow the source material and make Meg a princess in one of these two ways.

However, this happy marriage didn't last, unfortunately. (Hey, the Greeks love a tragedy) In most versions of the myth (though some vary), Hera does one of her many "let's torture Hercules" schemes, and decides to strike Hercules with madness. In his madness, Hercules ends up killing his three sons, and in many versions, he also kills Megara.

Of course, once Hercules had realized what he had done, he was devastated and tried to some way reconcile his actions, which lead him to the Oracle at Delphi, which lead him to his most famous quest: The Twelve Labors.

A bit grimmer than the Disney re-telling, right? That said, I think it's wonderful that Disney very often does recreate material that may inspire the public to actually go out and research more about what they've seen.

There's hardly any company that can extend their influence in quite that way, and I admire that they're almost always able to create such quality content. I do think it's a great movie, with great songs, and a much more lively Meg than the original source material...and if you're reading this, Disney has succeeded in getting you to further research its characters, so there you go and now you know!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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