Classical_Mythology_Midterm_1 - Classical Mythology Midterm...

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Classical Mythology Midterm 1 Outline Part 1: Theory of Myth How is myth defined? o Definition: Myth is a comprehensive (but not exclusive) term for stories primarily concerned with the gods and humankind’s relations with them. o It can also mean “word” “speech” “tale” “story” o Misconception : mythology is a genre of stories that are entirely false (ex) Virgil’s Anied about foundation of Rome and back then, they accepted it as truth. (ex) It depends on our belief system Cupid/Eros holds meaning to us Aspects of stories develop from historical reality. Think about Davy Crockett or game of telephone. o 3 types: divisions are useful but not absolute (1)- Myth Proper - deal with gods and rel bw them and bw gods and men (2)- Saga or Legend- more human focused, stories of men (3)- Folktale - stories of adventure, heroes, most exciting Interpretations o ETIOLOGICAL from Greek word for CAUSE “ atia ”; Explains causes or origins of things (ex) Homeric Hymn to Demeter explains the foundation of religious cult. o ALLEGORICAL Symbolism; Everything represents something about human nature Max Muller - all myths are nature myths that refer to meteorological and cosmological phenomena; this was very extreme allegorical approach o PHSYCHOLOGICAL Sigmund Freud - theory of unconscious, interpretation of dreams, emphasis on sexuality, identification of Oedipus complex. Dreams condense elements of wishes and desires; the origin and evolution of myths may be similar process. Carl Jung - beyond individual; interpreted myths as the projection of “ collective unconscious ” of mankind; archetypes—dramatic abbreviation of patterns of story or situation (ex)- anima; societies are psychologically dependent on traditional myths. o STRUCTURALISM Claude Levi-Strauss- link between myth and society, mode of communication Analytical approach- break down myth to component parts, patterns Binary Opposites Myths are derived from mind which is binary as constantly dealing with pairs of contradictions or opposites. Myth mediates bw opposing extremes (M/F, raw/cooked) o MYTH AND SOCIETY RITUALIST Theory- “Myth implies ritual, ritual implies myth, they are one and the same.” . Malinowski- anthropologist; connection bw myths and society and said they related to practical life; we must have understanding of culture itself to look at myth
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Ancient Religion- polytheistic, plurality in understanding myths, often contradictory, text is not fixed as can change through time (unlike Bible or Torah) Shinto- can still see polytheism, Japanese, both are open, flexible, tolerant Part 2: Hesiod’s Theogony Parallel Enuma Elish, Hurrian Hittite Genealogy of Gods (refer to chart) o 1 st - Chaos which was chasm or void; then Ge, Tartarus, Eros (love- essential for reproduction) o Ge = Uranos, Mountains, Pontus, o Ge + Uranos (S+ E) = 12 Titans (Olympians descend, hate dad), Cyclopes, Hecatonchires
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course CC 303 taught by Professor Perlman during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Classical_Mythology_Midterm_1 - Classical Mythology Midterm...

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