Literary Analysis: Myths
Myths are stories that are part of an oral tradition: Before they were written down, they were told and retold from one generation to
the next. Myths reflect the culture of the people who originated and told them.
Some myths explain a feature of the world by telling of its origins—how it came to be. These myths reveal the beliefs of ancient
Myths typically include characters with exceptional or fantastic characteristics. These characteristics emphasize qualities that the
culture admired or feared.
Some myths tell of a quest, or search, for knowledge or some important object. These myths reveal what was important to a culture.
Other myths tell of a transgression, or the violation of a rule. These myths teach the values of a culture...
The Hero’s Journey is recognizable both in literature and movies. Just think about the similarities between Frodo’s journey to Mordor
in The Lord of the Rings and Luke’s journey to the center of the Death Star in Star Wars. Both heroes are archetypes who exude
similar qualities of determination, self-sacrifice, and courage as they overcome obstacles. As you read the selections in this
assignment, be aware of archetypal patterns. Look to see if any of the characters contain similarities to others you have met before in
Literary Analysis: Epic and Epic Hero
An epic is an extended narrative poem about the deeds of heroes. The typical epic hero is a warrior, and his character may be
based on a historic or a legendary figure. In a number of epics, the hero strives to win immortality or undying fame through great
deeds, especially in combat. The typical hero has the following characteristics: