Hamilton presents a fairly detailed overview of the major figures and tales of Greek and Roman mythology. She organizes her stories around “Gods, Love and Adventure, Heroes, and Families,” then she concludes with a brief introduction to Norse mythology. Most stories feature themes of conflict and deception, usually stemming from interactions between the human and the divine.
Because myths play such a prominent role in literary allusions, I recognized many of these stories as I encountered them, but reading Mythology provided a much clearer picture of each myth. As I read the story of Theseus and the tributes of Athens paraded before the inhabitants of Crete before being forced into the Labyrinth to face the deadly Minotar, the parallels to The Hunger Games grew clear. I appreciate the accessibility of this text, and, aside from the multitude of ancient names, I found Mythology a fairly easy and informative read. I especially enjoyed the dramatic poetry in Aphrodite’s farewell to her dying lover Adonis: “Kiss me yet once again, the last, long kiss,\ Until I draw your soul within my lips\And drink down all your love” (118). Though comparatively brief, Hamilton’s description of the Norse heroic ideal and her section on Nordic mythology left me eager to learn more about Norse culture and myths.