It is in Corfu that Hercules, just before embarking on his ten labours, slept with the Naiad Melite ; she bore him Hyllus, the leader of the Heraclids.
Corfu marks the Argonauts' refuge from the avenging Colchic fleet, after their seizure of the Golden Fleece.
In the mythical sea adventure of Homer's Odyssey, Kerkyra is the island of the Phaeacians, (Phaiakes) wherein Odysseus (Ulysses) meets Nausica, the daughter of King Alkinoos. The bay of Palaiokastritsa is considered to be the place where Odysseus disembarked.
Corfu in literature
British naturalist Gerald Durrell wrote three well-loved books about his 1935–1940 childhood on Corfu: My Family and Other Animals; Birds, Beasts and Relatives; and The Garden of the Gods. His brother, literary author Lawrence Durrell, also wrote a volume about Corfu: Prospero's Cell: A Guide to the Landscape and Manners of the Island of Corcyra (Corfu).
Mary Stewart's novel This Rough Magic is set in Corfu.
Prospero's island in Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest, is often said to have been based on Corfu.
Humbert Humbert's first love, Annabel Lee, is said to have "died of typhus in Corfu" in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.
Corfu in film
A number of cinema productions have been filmed in Corfu, including the 1981 James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only. The most memorable scene of the film to be bound with the island is of the underwater ancient Greek temple, with a huge turtle swimming in front of the camera; a casino scene was also filmed at the Achilleion. Other scenes filmed here include those tracing 'Melina' and James' walk through the city's streets, and Melina being greeted by Bond at Pontikonisi island. The film's scene depicting a Greek wedding was filmed at the Bouas-Danilia traditional village (Μπούας Δανίλια παραδοσιακό χωριό). Action scenes were also filmed at Neo Frourio.
Corfu was one of the main locations featured in the 1970 film The Executioner starring George Peppard and Joan Collins.
Corfu is also the setting of a 1987 BBC TV series version, and a 2005 BBC movie version, of My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell's book about his childhood in Corfu in the late 1930s.
Corfu was one of the settings of The Burglars, a 1971 film starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Omar Sharif.
A Greek movie "Η κομισσα της Κερκυρας" (The countess of Corfu), featuring Rena Vlahopolou, is set in Corfu in 1972.
The Greek film "Η Τιμή της Αγάπης" (The Price of Love), directed by Tonia Marketaki is a tragic love story taking place in Corfu. It is based on the novel Honour and Money by Konstantinos Theotokis.
The Gaze of the Gorgon (1992): a poem-film for BBC television by British poet Tony Harrison. The film examines the politics of conflict in the 20th century using the Gorgon as a metaphor. The imaginary narration of the film is done through the mouth of Jewish poet Heinrich Heine. The film describes the connection between the Corfu Gorgon at the Artemis Temple of Corfu and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Harrison concludes his 1992 film-poem by making a proposal that in the 1994 European Union summit in Corfu, Heine's statue be returned back to Corfu on time to preside over the new Europe so that EU can keep its eyes open and not turn to stone from the Gorgon's gaze.
Corfu in popular culture
Corfu is one of the locations in the legend of Simon and Milo, where Simon falls in love temporarily. It is the setting of the 1998 song Mediterranean Lady by Prozzak. The island is alluded to several times in David Foster Wallace's The Broom of the System. Drake mentions Corfu in a song.