Sexuality and Relationships that are in Greek Mythology, But not in the Disney Cartoon

It is common to see sexual relationships in Greek myths between cousins, siblings, parents, and aunts/uncles. In today’s society that is extremely frowned upon and because of the awkwardness and uncomfortable feel this topic makes individuals feel it is a topic not often discussed. This is something adults wouldn’t choose to see, hear, or watch, let alone allow their children too. Disney’s Hercules lacks these frowned upon relationships probably because of their obscurity. Some incestuous relationships in Greek mythology include:

  • Zeus and Hera (brother and sister)
  • Cronus and Rhea (brother and sister – Titans)
  • Nyx and Erebus (brother and sister – Titans)
  • Myrrha and Theias (daughter and father)
  • Peresphone and Hades (niece and uncle)

I will be focusing on Zeus and Hera because they are the parents of Hercules and I will also throw in the myth revolved around Myrrha and Theias. Although Myrrha and Theias are not included in Disney’s Hercules they signify the explicit relationships that the many of the Gods had.

Disney's depiction of Hermes

Disney’s depiction of Hermes

Zeus and Hera were siblings from the Titans. The joined together and produced many offspring: Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Dionysus, Perseus, and Hercules. Zeus was known for his erotic escapades and had more children as a result of this: Peresphone by Demeter and the Muses by Mnemsoyne. Many of Zeus’ children as a result of incest and adultery are present in Disney’s Hercules, but they are not portrayed as his children. Instead they are given amusing/entertaining qualities that exclude their explicit reasons for existence, they are seen as friends and assistants of Zeus instead of his children. Click here to see a video of the Disney Gods and Goddesses that are children of Zeus, but not acknowledged for it. 

The Greek myth of Myrrha and her father Theias is one that the Disney movie completely excluded from the film Hercules, except for one character soon to be revealed. The severity of their relationship proves the explicit behaviors of many Greek Gods. Myrrha was the daughter of Theias; she committed incest with him and bore the son Adonis. After having intercourse with her father she became impregnated. Aphrodite was included in this myth for the belief that she urged Myrrha to commit incest with her father (Aphrodite being included in the Disney movie). When Theias heard of his daughters pregnancy he chased her with a knife. She fled to the gods who turned her into a myrrh tree until their son was born. Myrrha gave birth to her son Adonis in tree form.

420px-'Birth_of_Adonis',_oil_on_copper_painting_by_Marcantonio_Franceschini,_c._1685-90,_Staatliche_Kunstsammlungen,_Dresden

Myrrha giving birth to Adonis as a Myrrh Tree

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