Versions of Jason and the Argonauts
Made for a modern audience, this film diverges from the original myth in order to tell a story that is more satisfying to the contemporary audience.The oral traditions of epic poems and tales are the foundation from which the story originates. The story is Greek in origin and uses the traditional Greek gods as the moral compasses from which the story is guided. As stories are handed down and are presented to new audiences they are adjusted to have greater impact on their audience. As in the game ’grapevine’ where a large group of people start at one end and whisper something in the first ear, by the end of the retelling it is often greatly changed. In a bookby Jan Vansina called Oral Tradition as History, it is written that “epics contain hundreds or thousands of verses and present a complex tale full of wonders and heroism centered around a main personage.“ (Vansina, p. 25). As an epic poem is brought down through the generations it is not important that the details of the story remain unchanged. “What is essential to the historian is that the wording is totally free, provided the form is correct.” (Vansina, p. 25). In other words, the original story may evolve and change, but the style used to convey the story must be correct. Many stories are based on an historical event, but the events have been altered and enhanced by the use of magical tales of the gods to the point that the historical value has been lost.It is unclear if the story of Jason is based on historical events. A nautical journey may have been taken by a prince named Jason which affected his ability to retake a throne. It’s possible that he was a captain of a ship with no connection to royalty. There is some tradition that suggests that Jason is the legendary founder of the city of Aemona, today Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The coat of arms of that city has a dragon that is derived from the story of Jason.