Myths And Folktales


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Quick overview of the characteristics of myths and folktales, and the archetypes of origin myths

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Myths And Folktales

  1. 1. World Myths And Folktales
  2. 2. Early man was very similar to young children today…without answers to questions, they created their own “stories” in order to make sense of the wonders of the world they perceived.
  3. 4. MYTHS: THE WORLD'S OLDEST STORIES <ul><li>From the Greek word muthos , &quot;story&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Origins are uncertain because they are anonymous, generated and perpetuated by cultures through an oral tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Not intended to be recorded history of events, but of a people and culture, values, and beliefs. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Specific Characteristics of Myths
  5. 6. <ul><li>Explain the origins of the universe and life </li></ul><ul><li>Explain a natural phenomenon, why the sky is blue, what are stars </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the human condition such as flaws, suffering, death </li></ul><ul><li>Explain these elements through the involvement of a pantheon of deities (gods and goddesses), providing a system of religious beliefs and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Explain historical events </li></ul><ul><li>Teach morality </li></ul><ul><li>Passed along by leaders and priests </li></ul>
  6. 7. Folktales <ul><li>Stories told by common people </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose was primarily entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes taught cultural values and behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Served to inspire the ordinary person </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of folktales—legends, fairytales, fables, yarns </li></ul>
  7. 8. Specific Characteristics of Folktales
  8. 9. <ul><li>Stories told by the “folk” or common people </li></ul><ul><li>Passed along from generation to generation </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike myths, folktales are secular, not associated with religious rituals and beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>Often serve as entertainment, but teach social rituals or behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Folk heroes tend to be common people without magical powers. </li></ul><ul><li>Stories often include magical creatures, not gods and goddesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Help people believe that even ordinary folk can become great (inspirational) </li></ul>
  9. 10. Legends: stories that arise from historical figures or events Tall tales may involve real people, but the details are grossly exaggerated for a humorous effect. Fables: stories featuring talking animals that teach a moral lesson
  10. 11. Folk wisdom includes cures, superstitions, and predictions. Fairy Tales are folk stories involving magic. Urban legends are stories that have arisen about everyday events in modern life.
  11. 13. Myths are a direct expression of a culture's religious beliefs. Folktales are a direct expression of a culture's values and behavioral expectations.
  12. 14. Origin Myths & Archetypes Stories of how events, actions, or objects came to exist, featuring common archetypes found universally in myths from around the world. Archetype : a pattern or model that serves as the basis for different but related versions of a character, plot, or theme.
  13. 15. Familiar archetypes of origin myths <ul><li>Creator figure </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><li>Golden Age </li></ul><ul><li>Trickster </li></ul><ul><li>Talking animals </li></ul><ul><li>Sibling rivals </li></ul><ul><li>Fall from grace / loss of paradise </li></ul><ul><li>Great destruction </li></ul><ul><li>Earth diver </li></ul><ul><li>Sibling mates </li></ul><ul><li>Female earth </li></ul><ul><li>Creation from body parts </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Perfect numbers&quot; - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2, 3, 4, 7, 12 </li></ul></ul>
  14. 16. Archetype Seen in: Fall from grace Adam and Eve Gilgamesh Jurassic Park Trickster the serpent Bugs Bunny Q Great Destruction the Flood Terminator II
  15. 17. <ul><li>Origin myths give people a sense of their place in the universe: </li></ul><ul><li>who they are, </li></ul><ul><li>where they come from, </li></ul><ul><li>what their destiny will be. </li></ul>