Flashcards in Chapter 1 Deck (42):
Definition of Myth
- traditional tale
- word of mouth origins
Two reasons why myths are important to society
- explanatory and exemplary
- they give aitia (fact, ritual, practice, institution)
3 Types of Myths
Saga or Legend
aka divine myth/ myth proper/
- deals with deities and relations w/ mortals
Modern Analogue of Myth
- explain science
Sagas or Legends tell tales of....
Heroes and Heroines
What is the modern analogue of sagas?
- contain kernels of historical truth despite later fictional accretions
Who was described as the nobility of the ancient world?
Heroes - "upper class and powerful people"
True or false: All heroes were do gooders
False: Some of them = villains
Other words for Folktale
fairytales and fables
Modern analogues for folktales
Movies, novels, etc.
STORIES ARE ABOUT REGULAR PEOPLE INTERACTING WITH MAGIC YO
Folk tales main purpose
to provide entertainment
When did Xenophanes flourish?
(anthropos = human; morphos = shape)
- the idea that gods are created in the shape of the believer
What did Xenophanes do?
- Tried to radically alter perceptions of deities
- tried to find difference between religion and mythology
- criticized gods on rational basis
- favoured by anti rationalists
Who was the first to propose physical allegories
What was the example of allegory that theagenes used?
Apollo = Fire
Poseidon = Water
Psychological / Moral Allegory?
Athena = Wisdom
Aphrodite = Desire
Who coined the term Euhemerism?
Euhemerus of Messene
Who interpreted kings as gods?
What kind of allegory was this?
Euhemerus - example of a historical allegory
Sigmund Freud known for 2 things
Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex
- first sexual feelings are for mom because of jealously for dad
- electra complex
Signmund Freud's 3 functions of Dreams
-displace elements by altering them
- represent elements through symbols
Carl Jung's Collective Unconscious: "What are dreams?"
"either personal or collective"
Examples of archetypes
What are the purpose of these archetypes?
anima, animus, divine child, earth mother, wise old man
-developed over thousands of years
-establish patterns of behavior = serve as exemplars
Anima and Animus
anima = female within male
animus = male within a male
birth of a young child can symbolize a new era
Rampant throughout greek myths
very voluptuous women that symbolize fertility
Wise old man archetype
figure who has incredible knowledge
- someone who has an apprentice
What did Vladmir Propp do with the "morphology of the folk tale"?
- saw narrative structure in folk tales
- found 31 motifemes
How do motifemes appear in myths?
Not all at once but in sequential order
What is a motifeme?
The smallest narrative unit of a myth
What is an example of a motifeme?
- the quest
- the hero
- the hero answering the quest
Who is a structuralist with an opaque style?
Claude Levi Strauss
What did Claude Levi Strauss think the meaning of myth was?
-Since the meaning of a myth is “coded” in its structure, all versions of a myth have the capacity to be equally valid.
- to meditate binaries
What are binaries?
- hot/ cold
- bitter/ sweet
- alive/ dead
Walter Burkert's Structuralist style had a synthesis of 2 things..
Structuralism and Cultural/ Historical Elements
What does Walter Burkert's synthesis indicate?
That myth has cultural/historical elements that relate to specific story tellers and their own cultural needs - specific aitia