Mythological Criticism on Movie Jaws

As a matter of fact, for a contemporary person it is not an enigma any more that a lot of phenomena have mythological background and were somehow connected with myths, reflecting the eternal wisdom and delusions of ancient times. Myth still lives its full life in modern fiction and films. The myth of Leviathan and Behemoth, for instance, is at the core of the movie Jaws. As usual, imaginary beasts take the form of quite natural creatures, perhaps, being a little exaggerated. In the terms of natural biological and cultural evolution, exploring the mysterious essence of ancient legends becomes especially topical.

A bright manifestation of how mythology is interspersed with the intricate plot and characters’ interrelations in the movie is film Jaws. It is by far one of the most masterful movies of the period which was legendary screened by Steven Spielberg in 1975. This talented director has a special manner of attracting viewers’ attention with catching episodes and intriguing way of filming. Jaws is not only a horror film portraying monstrous sea creatures devouring innocent men who came to the Coast of Amity Island, it is a story seeming remarkably true to life. The island administration even never had signs: “Beach Closed”, it attracted thousands of tourists and according to Martin Brody there were no murder cases at all within the last twenty-five years. But this tranquility was horribly disturbed with Great White Sharks. In the morning Martin Brody is called to the beach as the first shark victim’s mangled body has been found washed up to the shore of the ocean. The possible cause of death is identified as shark attack. Before Martin Brody managed to order to place warning signs along the beaches, mayor prevented him from that and disallowed him to close down them. The authorities advertised that the one who killed the shark would receive three thousand dollars and this would one more time make common people risk their lives instead of keeping aside.

Such marathons with danger led to no good, this is later proved by the accident which happened to Quint. There occurred one more victim, a young boy Alex Kintner, who was permitted to swim only for ten minutes which turned to be fatal for him. After a shark was killed in the neighborhood everyone considered the problem solved. Soon another man was killed and Brody again asked Vaughn to hire the shark hunter Quint. Brody, Quint and Hooper were sent to sea in Quint’s boat the Orca where they managed to attack the shark. Here Martin was not sure, they were sharks, he claimed: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”. Hooper and Brody remained alive and constructed a raft to paddle back to the Amity Island but still it remained a mystery for them if all these attacks were really shark attacks, as they were too violent and the jaws were incredibly strong.

According to the legend the sea creatures which so much resemble the ones described and screened in the movie were “met” in a number of sources including the Bible, the Book of Job, pagan myths, the Ugaritic texts. Consequently, any description of the huge sea serpent can be of generalized character, data collected from various sources. It is supposed to be a monstrous fish-like creature created on the fifth day of Creation. Multiplying, the creature should attack people and destroy the whole world. Scholars argue if Leviathan is mythological of literal, crocodile-like or similar to reptiles which inhabited our planet thousands years ago. The myth on Behemoth and Leviathan may be based on exaggerations of hippopotamus or elephants and crocodiles or dinosaurs, reptiles. According to the Bible at the End of Days, the Behemoth and Leviathan will fight and obliterate each other.

Leviathan lives in the depth of the ocean and this monstrous creature corresponds strictly to no animal, according to the scholar T. Cheyne.

According to Thomas Aquinas, Leviathan was equated with the whale; the creature appears several times in the Bible. But actually the mythological monster is supposed to be beyond the power of men to capture or even an imaginary monster. The Leviathan is described as a creature which is too powerful and savage for even the strongest man to conquer it. According to Jahovah, the Leviathan’s eyes are like the eyelids of the morning, the mouth gives the fire out and his nostrils let the smoke out.

There is some evidence proving that Leviathan is a flesh-and-blood animal rather than an imaginary creature. But it belongs to an extinct dinosaur-like type which died out thousands years ago. Other sources give evidence that it has a long tail and always stands in fighting position towards a man. Its body possesses illuminating power and embodies the evil, is a symbol of opposition to God, a kind of Demon, the enemy of the order on the Earth. The image of this gigantic whale- or shark-like creature devours people, ships, etc.

Through the monsters which seem to be real clotheshorses hold an archaic mythological aspect true and several generation’s hearts are chilled with fear and curiosity towards these mysterious and violent sea creatures.

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