Got Milk?

18 Oct

In the various Momotaro stories, the old woman and old man had intentions to feast on the giant peach but they soon discovered that Momotaro was contained inside the peach. The origin of Momotaro is both mythical and magical. And when Momotaro leaves to fight, he is handed some millet dumplings in which he used to bargain for his retainers: the dog, the monkey and the pheasant. The dumplings served as a lure and payment for his soldiers. Momotaro’s millet dumplings gave him power to win the fight.

In a western myth, a mythical food also gave someone power. The true story is when Zeus had an affair with Alcmene, Alcmene gave birth to Hercules. When Zeus’ wife, Hera was asleep, Zeus let Hercules drink Hera’s milk which gave him the strength of immortals. The transgression and allowing Hercules to drink from Hera made Hera very angry. This milk is the mythical food which is the origin and source of Hercules’ infamous strength and power.

Disney had a different take on the myth. In the Disney movie, Hercules was born a God and was therefore immortal. However, the milk of Hercules was spiked by Hades which made him a mortal but his powers remained with him. This milk is the reason why Hercules was on Earth and not with the Gods on Mount Olympus.

On both different takes of the same myth, the milk that Hercules drank served as both a source of power and a source of downfall. Milk isn’t thought of as greatly in the myth but it had certainly affected the life of Hercules greatly.


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