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Why ancient monsters still enthral

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Why ancient monsters still enthral

  • Date31 October 2019

An academic at Royal Holloway has written a new book on classical monsters in film and explains how they are still as relevant today as when they first appeared in the human psyche generations ago.


The book, ‘Tracking Classical Monsters in Popular Culture’, by Dr Liz Gloyn from the Department of Classics at Royal Holloway, is the first in-depth study of the role of ancient mythical creatures in modern film and TV.

The book explores what it is about ancient monsters that popular culture still finds so enthralling and how monsters of antiquity continue to stride across the modern world.

Dr Liz Gloyn’s book also reveals the trends behind how we have used monsters since the 1950s to the present day, and considers why they have remained such a powerful presence in our shared cultural imagination.

She presents a new model for interpreting the extraordinary vitality that classical monsters have shown, and their enormous adaptability in finding places to dwell in popular culture without sacrificing their connection to the ancient world.

Dr Liz Gloyn, said: “My new book takes readers through a comprehensive tour of monsters on film and television, from the much-loved creations of Ray Harryhausen in Clash of the Titans to the monster of the week in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, before looking in detail at the afterlives of the Medusa and the Minotaur.

“I have developed a broad theory of the ancient monster and its life after antiquity, investigating its relation to gender, genre and space to offer a bold and novel exploration of what keeps drawing us back to these mythical beasts.

“From the siren to the centaur, I am hoping all monster lovers will find something to enjoy.”

The book, published by Bloomsbury, is out now.

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