Hello and Welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
Well we all know who the Looney Tunes are. They are classic Warner Brother characters famous for their slapstick humour that is sadly banned today. But this isn’t a history lesson, as you probably know by now. No this is the part where I make some strange sort of connection to something completely off topic. The Greek Underworld for example, and how the Looney Tunes are trapped there. Don’t believe me? Well lets see if I can convince you otherwise.
So lets start with two classic Greek myths that deal with the underworld. The first is that of Sisyphus or, as you know him, the guy that has to push the rock up the hill. That is pretty much the extent of his punishment. In life he cheated death by chaining up to a rock, which really screwed everything up (don’t worry, he eventually go free). Upon reaching the Underworld, he was given the task of rolling a giant boulder up a hill. The only problem was that by the time he got it up there, it just rolled down the other side instead. The ultimate exercise in futility, since he’s never going to be able to finish the goal.
The second is the origin of the word tantalize. Tantalus, according to what I’ve read on an unreliable website, apparently killed his son and fed them to the Gods (don’t ask me why, at the end of the day it’s not that important). So he got punished by being stuck in a pool of water with low hanging branches fruit. Doesn’t sound too bad? Well every time he reached for the fruit, the branches would rise out of reach. And every time he bent over to get a drink, the water would recede. Thus he was forever stuff having stuff just in his reach, but being unable to get it. He was tantalized for the rest of eternity.
So what do these two seemingly random stories have to do with Looney Tunes? Well lets examine the poor Wile E Coyote. He is forever forced to chase the road runner down, but will never catch him. No matter how many strange or interesting weapons he might order from ACME, he’ll never catch the Road Runner. Also no matter how much Elmer Fudd tries, he’s never gonna have rabbit for dinner. And lets not forget other classic characters like Sylvester trying to catch Tweety, Sylvester trying to catch Speedy Gonzales, Pepe Le Pew trying to get some ‘love’ and Daffy just can’t catch a single break. These are characters that will never complete what they are trying to do. Forever stuck repeating the same undoable task again and again and again.
So my theory is this: Perhaps these Looney Tunes characters are stuck in the Greek version of the Underworld? So lets start with the ruler of all this, the Hades of this land. Well who else could it be then good old Bugs Bunny. He’s the most famous of all the Looney Tunes, so it makes sense that he’d be the man on top. Furthermore he’s usually the one that causes the most grief among all the other characters. So if Hades is Bugs Bunny, what about some of the other characters? Well the characters that get away from being harmed, characters like Road Runner and Tweety, are similar to Greek mythological characters like Keres and Thantos. Characters that live in the Underworld, except the Looney Tunes are far more sadistic. They love to torment the lost souls that have been trapped there, enjoy making them suffer. So lets have a look at the souls trapped.
Well lets start with Elmer Fudd. In the real world he was probably a bloodthirsty hunter, who would kill just for the sake of killing. Makes sense that in the Underworld he can never catch any of his prey. So what about Daffy? Well he was a man full of pride, so he’s suffering for his sin. He was a big movie star that was known for having a huge ego. Now he pretty much spends his day trying to be more famous then Bugs, but failing miserably. Penelope was a victim of lust, and would often violate personal space in the worst way possible. So it makes sense he’s one of the most unlovable creatures constantly trying to get some. Or, on the flip side, the females he chance are suffering for being rather… promiscuous. And so on and so forth. At the end of the days they’re all characters that were evil in life and are now suffering in the Underworld for the sins they’d committed.
So there you have it. A little bit of Greek Mythology and its relation to Looney Tunes. If you have anything you want to add, or anything you want to disagree with, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.