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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Myth: Mythos Greek word for story (not necessarily true or false) Mythology the study of myths Primitive people needed to make stories /myths in an effort to understand what was going on in their world. Humans are the only beings with a need to understand things; a dog doesnt think why me??. Primitive people, when scared, hurt, depressed, created myths to explain their pain or discomfort. All cultures make myths in their early development. Around 1200 B.C., ancient Greeks began to take written history and to make rational and logical stories. Myth-making came to an end once this began. Myths illustrate the truth, much as Jesus did in his parables. He did not give an exact point, but told a story that showed what he meant. Myths may not tell the literal truth, but they illustrate human nature and human experience. Theories: Max Mller (Mueller) concluded that all ancient myths are about nature and natural phenomenon. Carl Jung noted that same kinds of myths turn up in all different cultures, such as each culture having their own version of the Great Flood. He developed his theory of the Collective Unconscious that all humans are born with these same ideas in their brains, lying deep and unconscious. He said that myths explore these deep ideas of the collective unconscious. Claude Levi-Strauss research on human brain, that different sides were responsible for different functions. Noted that the body is binary (2 arms, 2 ears, 2 legs) and says that we think in pairs with ideas (on & off, right & wrong, up & down, good & evil, yes & no). They are pairs of opposites in conflict with each other. Levi-Strauss says that mans entire experience is based on conflict , and that myths present the conflicts, then resolve them within the story. (Myths help people deal with problems through conflict.) The 20 th century was in ways spent examining and interpreting the ideas of the 19 th century. Despite technological strides, it has been said that no ideas came from the 20 th century. For example, 20 th century scholars spent their lives working on the 19 th century ideas of Darwin, Marx and Freud. Sigmund Freud all human nature is driven by sex . Freud started psychotherapy. He turned his focus to myths and concluded that all myths are about sex and are a way of revealing sexual fears and desires without having to confront them every day. Characters: Zeus, Semele, Hera Zeus lord and king of the gods. Constantly making love to females of all kinds. In this story, Zeus is making love to a human girl Semele. But Zeus is married to his sister, Hera, who always finds out about his infidelities and is not passive about them. Hera disguises herself as an old human woman and visits Semele, who confesses that not only is she making time with Zeus, but that he loves her more than his own wife! Hera says that no, he doesnt, because having sex with his own wife, he appears to her as he really is as an almighty god. is as an almighty god....
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course CLST 2090 taught by Professor Warga during the Fall '07 term at LSU.
- Fall '07
- The Odyssey, Odysseus, Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, Hermes, Scylla