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Episode Ten: Strange Magic

*BREAKING NEWS* People’s Sexiest Hybrid Alive has been announced. Well, more accurately, Abi and Sarah accidentally spend most of this week’s episode discussing how sexy each hybrid group is. To be honest this is wholly unsurprising when you consider that this week’s opening feature is taken from Song of Achilles – classical reception’s sexiest book currently in circulation. If you haven’t already, please read this fantastic book (and if you have, then join us in reading it again).


Remarkably, there’s more to this discussion of sexy hybrids than a simple case of objectification on our part. It’s interesting to us, completely intriguing to us, fascinating to us, how sexualised female hybrids have become since their narrative geneses in the ancient world. Just check out our discussion on the Siren, if you don’t agree with us. I mean, even the Sphinx is reduced to her sexuality in reception painting and her whole schtick is mental exercise *eye roll*. Alas, she’s more nipple than riddle nowadays.


It’s interesting to see which parts of these supernatural hybrids are animal, and which are human. And we’re not just talking about their physicality. Is the minotaur a horribly misunderstood hipster who just lives to smoke his meats in peace? Yes. We’re not even leaving that as a rhetorical question.


Anyway, this week we take you through the six major hybrids of ancient myth: the Minotaur, Scylla, the Sphinx, Harpies, Sirens, and Centaurs. These guys are littered throughout fantasy content and reception art. Tune in to hear us chat Disney, Harry Potter (obviously) and the terribly ill-advised breeding programme of Joe Exotic. We’re very happy to leave the hybrid experiments to the realm of fiction, thank you!

15 heroines, Jermyn Street Theatre

Story of Pasiphae, Circe, Madeleine Miller

The transformation of Scylla, Metamorphoses, Book 14, lines 1-74, Ovid

Oedipus Rex, Sophocles

The story of the Sirens, Odyssey, Book 12, lines 165-200, Homer

The story of the Centaurs and Lapiths, Metamorphoses , Book 12, lines 210-244, Ovid

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