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082307 ch1 notes - Classical Mythology Notes Chapter 1 The...

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08/23/07 Classical Mythology Notes Chapter 1: The Nature of Myth What is a myth? o Greek word mythos – “authoritative speech”, “story”, or “plot” o A traditional story with collective importance o Has a plot, narrative structure, characters with conflicts, setting, etc. o Myths always take place in the distant past or in a “shadowy time altogether outside human chronology” o Traditional story – passed down orally without the intervention of writing Anonymous Subject to constant change o Describes patterns of behavior that serve as models for members of a society, especially in times of crisis o Opposite of a logos – reasoned explanation/account of something Types of Myth o Divine Myths Sometimes “true myths” or “myths proper” Stories in which supernatural beings are the main actors Depicted as superior to humans Control awesome forces of nature (thunder, rain, fire, etc.) Stunningly beautiful or ugly
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