Richard Adam's use of mythology in his novel "Watership Down"

Essay by biggallemoreHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2003

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Throughout history there have been many occasions where mythology has been used. Also, there are many different forms of mythology. Such forms as Greek mythology and many people also see the bible and the stories in it as a form of mythology. In this essay the significance of Richard Adam's use of mythology in his novel Watership Down will be interpreted. This will be done in an effort to help one better understand this great novel, which has a greater meaning than just a book about rabbits.

For someone to understand how Adams used mythology to write his novel that person must understand what mythology is. According to the Standard Dictionary, the definition for mythology is "The myths and legends of a people concerning creation, gods, and heroes (dictionary 841)." There are many instances in this novel where a story is told or a prophecy seen that relates back to mythology.

For example, in the first part of the novel they state that "what Robin Hood is to the English and John Henry to the American Negroes, Elil Hrair-Rah, or El-ahairah- the Prince with a Thousand Enemies- is to the rabbits (32). This can be related to mythology as well as the bible. Many times in mythology there is a great prince or warrior that all the people look up to, and believe that they will receive some kind of blessing for being one of their followers. In Greek mythology one of these great leaders was Zeus the king of the gods for the Greeks, and Mars the god of war for the Romans. Also, there is a very large prince figure in the bible. Jesus the prince of princes and the lord of lords was considered to be one of the world's most influential figures of his time. In...