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1

Definition of Myth

- traditional tale
- word of mouth origins

2

Two reasons why myths are important to society

- explanatory and exemplary
- they give aitia (fact, ritual, practice, institution)

3

3 Types of Myths

True Myth
Saga or Legend
Folktale

4

True Myth

aka divine myth/ myth proper/
- deals with deities and relations w/ mortals

5

Etiological

Have aitia

6

Modern Analogue of Myth

-aitia/ etiological
- explain science

7

Sagas or Legends tell tales of....

Heroes and Heroines
- nobility

8

What is the modern analogue of sagas?

History -
- contain kernels of historical truth despite later fictional accretions

9

Who was described as the nobility of the ancient world?

Heroes - "upper class and powerful people"

10

True or false: All heroes were do gooders

False: Some of them = villains

11

Other words for Folktale

fairytales and fables

12

Modern analogues for folktales

Movies, novels, etc.

STORIES ARE ABOUT REGULAR PEOPLE INTERACTING WITH MAGIC YO

13

Folk tales main purpose

to provide entertainment

14

When did Xenophanes flourish?

6BCE

15

Anthromorphism

(anthropos = human; morphos = shape)
- the idea that gods are created in the shape of the believer

16

What did Xenophanes do?

- Tried to radically alter perceptions of deities
- tried to find difference between religion and mythology
- criticized gods on rational basis

17

Allegory

sustained metaphor
- favoured by anti rationalists
-

18

Who was the first to propose physical allegories

Theagenes

19

What was the example of allegory that theagenes used?

Apollo = Fire
Poseidon = Water

20

Psychological / Moral Allegory?

Athena = Wisdom
Aphrodite = Desire

21

Who coined the term Euhemerism?

Euhemerus of Messene

22

Who interpreted kings as gods?
What kind of allegory was this?

Euhemerus - example of a historical allegory

23

Sigmund Freud known for 2 things

Oedipus Complex
Dreams

24

Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex

- first sexual feelings are for mom because of jealously for dad
- electra complex

25

Signmund Freud's 3 functions of Dreams

-condense elements
-displace elements by altering them
- represent elements through symbols

26

Carl Jung

Collective Unconscious
Archetypes

27

Carl Jung's Collective Unconscious: "What are dreams?"

"either personal or collective"

28

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

29

Anima and Animus

anima = female within male
animus = male within a male

30

Divine Child

birth of a young child can symbolize a new era

31

Earth Mother

Rampant throughout greek myths
very voluptuous women that symbolize fertility

32

Wise old man archetype

figure who has incredible knowledge
- someone who has an apprentice

33

What did Vladmir Propp do with the "morphology of the folk tale"?

- saw narrative structure in folk tales
- found 31 motifemes

34

How do motifemes appear in myths?

Not all at once but in sequential order

35

What is a motifeme?

The smallest narrative unit of a myth

36

What is an example of a motifeme?

- the quest
- the hero
- the hero answering the quest

37

Who is a structuralist with an opaque style?

Claude Levi Strauss

38

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

39

What are binaries?

Irreconcilable Opposites
- hot/ cold
- bitter/ sweet
- alive/ dead

40

Walter Burkert's Structuralist style had a synthesis of 2 things..

Structuralism and Cultural/ Historical Elements

41

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

42

4 Theses of Walter Burkert

1. Myth belongs to the more general class of traditional tales.
2. The identity of a traditional tale is to be found in a structure of sense within the tale itself.
3.Tale structures, as a sequence of motifemes, are founded on basic biological or cultural programs of actions.
4.Myth is a traditional tale with secondary, partial reference to something of collective importance.