Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Lion King is more like Horus then Hamlet

First I recommend you watch this video on YouTube from KyleKallgrenBHH.
I have long felt that The Lion King's connection to Hamlet is overstated, and on that subject this is a great video.

He also laments how we commonly fail to look for African inspiration for the story.  The African legend he talks about, Sundiata, is pretty interesting and I think may well be relevant.  But there is another Nation in Africa who's mythology has long been what the story of The Lion King first makes me think of.

Egypt, which called itself Kemet.

Simba = Horus
Mufasa = Osiris
Scar = Set
BTW, Scar is depicted as arguably vaguely Homosexual and Set's stories also have some homoerotic undertones to them.

Now we should remember that Set wasn't so firmly vilified originally.  But because the Hyksos foreign occupiers favored him so heavily, Set's reputation took a nose dive during (most of) the New Kingdom.  And in The Lion King the Hyena's could perhaps be viewed as representing those foreign oppressors.

Of course Egypt being one of the most Ancient nations on Earth, and which had long periods of influence and contact with other regions, means that this pattern was mimicked elsewhere quite frequently.  And perhaps even Egypt didn't do it first, but from what we can verify their version was probably the first written down.

In Greek mythology there was Perseus who it seems may have originally been fathered by Proteus, the brother of Acrisius, not Zeus.  Which in turn influenced Herodotus's version of the biography of Cyrus.

Kyle talks in the video about how every work has many ancestors.  I feel like noting how a writer may not always be consciously aware of what's influencing them.  I know because of who I've spent my time with I've spent a lot of time seeing and hearing movies and TVshows I would never have chosen to watch on my own.  And I have vague memories of things I do not remember the name of, or maybe never knew.

Kyle chose Moses as a potential Biblical example.  I would have picked David as a future King who spent time in Exile, though there is also Hadad of Edom in 1 Kings 11.  And then Athaliah as a blatant Usurper. I also have a tendency to suspect Jehosheba and Athaliah are echoed in the tale of Snow White.

But also as a Christian I could compare this pattern to The Bible's overall depiction of Satan as the current Archon of the Kosmos and god of this Aion, having stolen the Dominion from Adam.  And Jesus as The Son of Adam who will restore everything.

While Shakespeare's Hamlet fails to be like The Lion King or the story of Horus due to how Hamlet never takes the Throne or cares to.  In the original Danish legend of Amleth he actually does become King.

Other plays of Shakespeare also echo this pattern.  You can see it somewhat in the Henriad as Kyle points out.  Macbeth, Richard III and King John are all plays where the title character is the Set figure.

Paul Feval novels where this pattern is reflected include Revenants, and the DeClare story in The Blackcoats: Heart of Steele.

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the original backstory we are given made Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader kind of surrogate brothers, students of the same master.  In which case Anakin becomes Osiris, Vader is Set and Luke is Horus.  Later when we learn the truth this analogy doesn't really change, Osiris and Set simply become two sides of the same person.  Even the Dismemberment theme may go back to Horus castrating Set.  So yes you can say that the voice of Mufasa had previously voiced Scar.

In Super Mario RPG The Legend of The Seven Stars, Mallow is a rightful prince in unknowing exile while Valentina is the usurper.

Recent takes on Snow White try to play up how she can be viewed as a female version of Horus, and the Evil Queen as a female Set.  I think there is a lot more potential to be had from taking that approach.  There is also Ashe in Final Fantasy XII.

So, those are my elaborations on Kyle's thoughts.

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