• Total Nerd

What DC's Wonder Woman Gets Wrong About Greek Mythology

On the surface, Wonder Woman mythology mirrors that of ancient Greece. She's an Amazon sculpted from clay and imbued with powers by the gods of Olympus. Her mother is Hippolyta, the legendary queen of women warriors. There are obvious ties to ancient myths about powerful women from many different pantheons in Wonder Woman, and creator William Moulton Marston combined various myths and powers to create his 20th-century feminist icon.  

Photo:
  • Hippolyta Never Had A Daughter

    In Wonder Woman, Diana's overprotective mother, Queen Hippolyta, tells her daughter that she made her from clay. Diana is the only child on the island of Themyscira, home of the Amazons. In Ancient Greek mythology, Hippolyte - whom Queen Hippolyta is based on - never had a daughter.

    Some stories, like the myth of Theseus, say that she bore the Athenian king's son. In some variations, the Queen of the Amazons willingly went with the mortal king, and in others he forced her to marry him and become Queen of Athens. 

  • Zeus Is Not A Benevolent God

    When Queen Hippolyta tells a young Diana about their Amazonian origins, audiences get an artful peek at the fighting gods of Mount Olympus. According to Queen Hippolyta in Wonder Woman, Zeus is a benevolent god who created humans in his own image. She said they were without corruption, and when Ares became jealous of his father's creation, Zeus fought Ares to protect humankind. In a dramatic and heroic effort, Zeus uses the last of his power to shut down Ares. 

    Wonder Woman makes Zeus sound like the good guy, the hero to root for. In Ancient Greek mythology, however, Zeus was not depicted in such a compassionate manner. His list of atrocities is by no means short. Zeus turned a wife into a fly and ate her, cheated on numerous wives, and has unleashed pain and evil on humans on several occasions. In Theogony, the epic poem of Hesiod, Zeus gives Pandora a box full of evil, knowing all too well she wouldn't be able to resist opening it. In The Library, a book attributed to Apollodorus of Alexandria, Zeus decides to flood the Earth and end humankind, save one honest man, King Deucalion. 

  • Amazonian Demigods Do Not Exist

    In the movie, Diana is considered some sort of Amazon demigod, thanks to her mythical creation and parent. However, in ancient Greek mythology, no Amazons were ever considered demigods. Demigods like Hercules had to go through grueling tasks and adventures in order to obtain the title. The only female demigod is Helen of Troy.

    Yes, the Amazon race might be stronger and more agile than the average human, but they are not demigods. 

  • Zeus Did Not Create The Amazons To Help Humankind

    In the tale, Queen Hippolyta tells a young Diana Zeus asked Aprhodite to create the Amazon race to rebalance the Earth. Ares had infected mankind with jealousy and suspicion, and the Amazons were meant to temper those destructive thoughts. Humans enslave the Amazonian race, and then Hippolyte, leads the uprising to free the warrior women race. 

    In Greek mythology, the Amazonian race are human women with fierce fighting skills, and they simply existed - no god created them. Even the philosophers and thinkers who told the tales of Amazons were unsure of where they came from.