Untraditional telling's of Greek myths


We have all heard the same stories from Ancient Greece, the Battle of Troy, the gorgon Medusa. But most of the time we are told these tales, we hear them from the same perspective, in the same tone, with the same events. However, it is important to read these stories from perspectives other than the main “heroes.” I also find it entertaining to hear these typically dark stories with an exaggerated or sarcastic tone. If any of these points seem of interest to you then here are a couple of my favourite non-traditional telling's of Greek myths.


The Shadow of Perseus- by Claire Heywood

This book, a modern novel published in February of this year, tells the story of the hero Perseus on his journey through life and the many quests he faces along the way. However, instead of the focus being on Perseus himself, it instead focuses on the women in his life and how many of his actions negatively impact them. The three women she follows are Perseus’ mother, wife, and Medusa.

I particularly liked the book as it shows the “hero” in a very untraditional light and shows the flaws that are often ignored. What I also think is particularly interesting about this book, which made it one of my all-time favourites, is it focusing on women’s suffrage, something which is frequently ignored in literature. The novel also takes a more realistic approach to mythology, with no actual “magic” or the supernatural involved. When it comes to exploring the gorgon medusa, she is not a gorgon and is instead part of a commune of misunderstood and abandoned women. The book is beautifully written and really allows the reader to see inside the suffering women’s minds and let us sympathise with them as they cope with their lives controlled by narcissistic men.

Overall, this book is fabulous for anybody looking for a more feminist take on a myth that commonly focuses on the main male character. It is also perfect for anybody who enjoys the stories in myths but finds it difficult to get past the more unbelievable parts.


The book is available online and in most physical bookstores.



Troy- by Stephen Fry

Another modern novel, published in late 2020, Stephen Fry’s Troy is a hilarious retelling of the myth of Troy. This book is an especially great option if you’re looking for a more comedic touch on a typically dark and depressing tale. It follows the typical story of the battle for Troy, looking into all the important figures, Agamemnom, Helen, Odysseus, Achilles ect.

The book is amazingly written with Fry’s well known witty, comedic touch and is perfect for both those who know the story well and those who are interested in starting their knowledge. I particularly liked it as someone who knew the main points of Troy but wanted to dive deeper and learn all of the details that make it such a complex and amazing story. It isn’t the only amazing retelling of greek myths that Fry has written. Troy is part of a trilogy he has written, Heroes and Mythos being the other two. Overall I highly recommend his books if you want a funny but still intense take on the myth of Troy.


The book is available online and in most physical bookstores.