Mythology final essay questions

Mythology final essay questions - Mythology final essay...

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Mythology final essay questions ESSAY ONE Based on the class lectures and your readings in Eric Csapo’s Theories of Mythology, describe the comparativist approach, the Freudian approach, the sociobiological approach of Walter Burket, and the structuralist/ ideological approach of J.-P. Vernant, Marcel Detienne, Claude Levi-Strauss, and others. Illustrate each of these four approaches by application to at least one Greek myth. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. Comparativist Approach Scholars have used the relationships between different myths to trace the development of religions and cultures, to propose common origins for myths from different cultures, and to support various psychological theories. Compares myths from different cultures in an attempt to identify shared themes and developments and try to link them together Assumes that the underlying meaning of the myth is consistent throughout all versions and translation of the myth CONS: this approach may incorporate extraneous themes and motifs , may become too focused on the similarities of the myths to recognize the uniqueness of each PROS: Comparitivism can propose a common origin between myths from different cultures, and also by using the relationships between different myths - it could also trace the development of different religions and cultures. EXAMPLE: Cultures around the world tell stories about a great flood. In many cases, the flood leaves only one survivor or group of survivors. For example, both the Hebrew Bible and the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh tell of a global flood that wiped out humanity and of a man who saved the Earth's species by taking them aboard a boat. Similar stories of a single flood survivor appear in Hindu mythology, Aztec mythology, and the Greek myth of Deucalion. Freudian Approach Psychoanalytical Their perspectives on man and myth search deeper into the psyche than mere emotions or instinctive stimuli Freud believed in dividing the human personality into systems, and had its ground work based on the human mind ’s lust for sex urges as a deciding factor in ones actions Human behavior is motivated by sexual desire Includes pinpointing the influences of a character's id (the instinctual, pleasure seeking part of the mind), superego (the part of the mind that represses the id's impulses) and the ego (the part of the mind that controls but does not repress the id's impulses, releasing them in a healthy way) PROS: It expresses the desire for sex which is human nature and quite often a theme in Greek myths. CONS: This psychological criticism can turn a work into little more than a psychological case study, neglecting to view it as a piece of art. Also, this approach tends to see sex as the motivation behind everything, when in reality, this is not always the case. Some works of literature, including myth, do not readily lend themselves to such critiques.
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EXAMPLE: What better than the Oedipus/Electra Complex! Sociobiological Approach
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2011 for the course CHEM 302 taught by Professor Mccord during the Spring '10 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Mythology final essay questions - Mythology final essay...

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