Midterm Flashcards Preview

ENG 201 > Midterm > Flashcards

Flashcards in Midterm Deck (138)
Loading flashcards...

Why did humans establish myths? (2)

- They began to settle after realizing cosmic order (e.g. cycle of days, seasons, moon)
- They became agriculturally-based


What are early examples of mythological thinking and human consciousness? (3)

- Religious practices (e.g. burial sites with objects to be used in the afterlife)
- Bear skulls (cycle of hibernation and sleep)
- Venus figurines


What do the Venus figurines represent? Where were they found? (3)

- Fertility
- A matriarchal order before the patriarchy
- Commonly found next to fireplaces, the heart of the home


What does myth/mythos mean?

Speech or story; originally oral then written down around 1000 BC


What does mythology mean?

A collection of stories


What are the functions/purposes of myths? (5)

1) Give historical facts (e.g. Trojan War)
2) Express religious rites (e.g. worship of gods)
3) Often aetiological (express aspects of nature/origin)
4) Express human feelings and emotions (leads to psychology)
5) Express philosophical ideas


What are sagas/legends?

Stories with their basis in history


What are folktales/fairy tales? (3)

- Stories with fantastic beings (e.g. monsters)
- Heroes who win in the end
- A world of magic


Mircea Eliade

A historian who emphasized the relationship between myths, rituals, and rites and provided explanations to individuals and society


Myths and aetiology (2)

- Explains nature and facts
- Okay for creation and origins, but doesn't include heroic myths


Myths as allegory and metaphor

Suggests that myths contain other meanings, but leaves out complexities


Myths and rationalism

Suggests that individuals who did great deeds were deified, but doesn't consider aetiological myths


Freud (4)

- Used myths as analysis for inner human
- Recurring patterns, symbols, motifs, (e.g. Oedipus complex)
- Reflect incoherent vision and impulses of the sleep world (e.g. the Legend of the Minotaur, Saga of the House of Atreus)
- Telling myths as a form of catharsis


Jung (3)

- "Collective consciousness" -- archetypes and heroic patterns
- Emphasizes the dependence of all societies on myths (important but overvalues similarities in the minds of individual human societies)


J.G. Frazer and Jane Harrison (3)

- The Golden Bough
- Links myth to ritual and religion
- Limiting


Robert Graves (2)

- Emphasis on archaeological and literary
- Stresses ritual


Bronislav Malinowski (3)

- Anthropologist
- Stranded near New Guinea in WWI to grasp the native's point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world
- Explores myth not in cosmic terms but as charters of social customs and beliefs


Claude Lévi-Strauss (2)

- Relation of myth to society
- Makes meaningful connections between different myths, but they are oversimplified


Vladimir Propp (2)

- Heroic sequence (e.g. Heracles, Theseus, Perseus, Jason)
- But can't do it for others


Walter Burkett (2)

- Combines structural with historical/cultural
- Tales are founded on basic biological or cultural


Importance of making meaning of myths

It's important to identify patterns, but not all myths fit into patterns


What is comparative studies?

They show structures and motifs in Greek literature that are common to mythologies of the world


Joseph Campbell (3)

- His work encompasses oral literal, and material mythology
- Looks at shared spiritual values and legends of various people's over the centuries
- Sometimes overlooks the complexity of Greek and Roman myths


Feminist approaches to myth (2)

- Often focus on psychological and social situations of female characters
- Examine the position of women in ancient society (yet cannot impose modern values onto the classical world)


Women in Greek society (3)

- Were citizens but couldn't vote
- Took part in society (e.g. religious ceremonies)
- Women had the education (went to the theatre, etc)


Common themes of Greek myths (4)

- Blinding passion
- Little distinction between love and abduction
- Homosexuality was respected and practiced
- Homer inspired poets, who inspired drama, who inspired philosophy


Who was Hesiod? (2)

- An epic poet
- Wrote 2 important texts around 700 BC


What is Theogony?

Hesiod's poem about the creation of the world, the origins of the Gods and of humans


How does Theogony begin? (2)

1) With the invocation of the muses
2) There are 9 of them, they are associated with the arts


What purpose do the muses serve? (2)

1) The primal importance of the female
2) Inspiration for the male poet