Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Re-familiarising with the story behind 'Hylas and the Nymphs'

Last night I decided to dig out the old VHS player, and raided the old tape collection to find some old treasures to watch. I picked out a recorded tape of James and the Giant Peach. In my laziness, I left the tape playing in the hope that it would reach the end and rewind itself, but as chance would have it (after some interesting, verging on vintage adverts) Jason and the Argonauts started playing! This is perfect research and has helped me get into the story behind Hylas's quest, and find out a little more about his character/personality. 

In the film he is portrayed as the crew member with 'brains' rather than 'braun', as demonstrated when he confidently challenges Hercules at a discus throw. Hercules manages to throw the discus straight to a rock far off the coast, confident that Hylas (comparatively small and non-muscular) will not be able to beat him and win a place on the Argo. However, Hylas cleverly skims the discuss on the sea, hitting the rock with the discus which then flies clear of the rock. 

Considering his apparent intelligence (as portrayed in the film), it only highlights the power of the Nymphs. Although Hylas's cause of death in the film is not made explicit, his sensible character is still made evident; someone intelligent would surely be less vulnerable to the cunning charms of the women in the lake, yet even he can't resist them.

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