How Modern Works Help Embrace The Classical

1072 words - 5 pages

The tale of Hero and Leander, a story birthed from ancient Greek mythology, is a powerful story captured through the words of Christopher Marlowe in his almost epic poem “Hero and Leander.” Although Christopher Marlowe was unable to complete this work before his untimely death, his poem lived on to be know as one of his masterpieces. His work has spawned multiple remixes, each with their own style and value.

The excerpt of “Hero and Leander” we will focus on is the very beginning of the poem. Here Christopher Marlowe sets the stage. The focus begins with the background. Two cities, opposing each other on either sides of the Hellespont (a body of water). After only a few lines, Marlowe shifts focus from the cities and towards Hero, one of the main characters in the story. The interesting thing here is that Marlowe does not give much attention to the details of the story, but rather dives into an intense seen of imagery regarding Hero. Marlowe, an a successful attempt to convey the Hero's beauty, says “Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain, Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain” (29). Not only did she have many suitors, but their love for her wash dashed down like a man being slain. Then Marlowe goes on to say “Many would praise the sweet smell as she past... And there for honey bees have sought in vain” (41). This imagery shows that Hero was so beautiful that even nature could not stay away from her.

Standing beside the epic worthy poem by Christopher Marlowe is the short and concise musical remix by Adam Guettel. In his song, Adam Guettel takes on the perspective of Leander and sings conveys his intense love for Hero. The remix by Adam Guettel is a soft remix. The storyline of the song is abrupt when compared to Marlowe's poem, but it follows the same idea of intensity. Near the end of the song, Leander exclaims “Even if I drown here inside this wave… My loving you was meant to be” (Guettel). Love so powerful that even drowning to death makes it worth while is the type of love Marlowe intended to show.

With large, original poems such as Christoper Marlowe's “Hero and Leander” and short, remixes following the same topic like Guettel's “Hero and Leander,” the question becomes what are we to do? In a day and age where time is everything, many individuals, if forced to choice between the two, automatically would default to viewing the shorter musical interpretation of “Hero and Leander” just to save time. This may seem like a problem since classical works like Marlowe's poem may go unnoticed, but in reality, short remixes have a positive effect on an original work. The problem many have with pieces of literature such as Marlowe's works is that they require an investment to get started with. If they were shorter or could be comprehended in a short amount of time, they would become much more readable. This gap that is created can be easily filled by modern day remixes. The benefit of many modern day remixes is that they are short,...

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