Basic mythology

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Basic mythology

  1. 1. WEEK 2 LECTURE: MYTHS & LEGENDS HWST 104
  2. 2. MYTHOLOGY • Mythology is the study of myth. • The term “myth” is often used to refer to a false story. However, the academic use of the term does not pass judgment on truth or falsity.
  3. 3. MYTHOLOGY • Mythology is a collection of traditional stories that express the beliefs or values of a group of people • It is the basis for the understanding of our own existence – All cultures have some type of myths (ie: Greeks, Romans, Native Americans, Maori, etc.) – The same myths can often be found in different parts of the world. For example, creation stories related to plants, animals, and people are common among many cultures.
  4. 4. MYTHS • Myths are poetic stories that express a world view and embodies the ideals, beliefs, and dreams of a society. In fact, if a dream is the unconscious expression of an individual reality, then a myth is the collective consciousness of society's dreams • Myths help groups of people identify themselves and define their values. It helps validate social order and provides a moral code by which to live.
  5. 5. MYTHS • In other words, by studying myth, a person can learn how a culture thought, lived, and expressed themselves.  HISTORY can tell you facts about a people, but MYTH shows you the personality, their beliefs, fears, and
  6. 6. MYTHS • Myths often explain natural phenomena. • Myths explain universal truths or values using symbols.
  7. 7. MYTHS • Myths are spiritual in nature and are meant to instruct/teach the spirit and resonate something within you. They are clues to the spiritual potential of the human life.
  8. 8. MYTHS • Myths inform people in the ways of living successfully in a given geography
  9. 9. CHARACTERISTICS OF A MYTH • Sacred stories concerning the distant past • Often uses the supernatural to interpret natural events and to explain the basic questions of human existence such as the nature of the universe and humanity • Conveys how to live: assumptions, values, core meanings of individuals, families, communities, and cultures • Often incorporates characters that are non-human such as gods, goddesses, demigods, and supernatural beings.
  10. 10. MYTHS • You may encounter different versions of stories. No one can say that one version of a story is “right” and the others “wrong.” • To understand myths, one must look beyond the literal translation. Instead, you should study the symbols and ideas.
  11. 11. MYTHS • Characters and symbols in myths can mean different things to different people. • In fact, they can even mean different things to the same person at different
  12. 12. EXAMPLES OF MYTHS • Classic Myths – Pandora’s Box – Homer’s Iliad – Pele & Hi’iaka • Modern-day myths have many components of ancient/classic myths, as in the following: – Star Wars – Lord of the Rings – Whale Rider – Superman – Finding Nemo – Monsters Inc.
  13. 13. MYTHOLOGY IN MODERN DAY SOCIETY • Mythology is everywhere! Many companies/groups/corporations take their name, logo or theme from ancient mythology. Below are just a few: – Ajax: Greek warrior in the Trojan war who “cleaned up” in battle (household cleaner) – Apollo: God of music (Apollo Theater) – Nike: Winged goddess of victory who can run and fly at great speeds (shoes/apparel) – Olympus: Home of the Olympian gods (camera company)
  14. 14. MYTHOLOGY IN MODERN DAY SOCIETY • There are many words/expressions that are derived from ancient myths – Achilles’ heel • Achilles: Greek hero of the Trojan War who was said to be invulnerable on all his body except for his heel. It is said that he was killed in battle by an arrow to his heel – Midas touch • Midas: King with the golden touch who transformed all he touched into gold – Herculean strength • Hercules: Roman name for Heracles, the greatest Greek hero
  15. 15. LEGENDS • Legends are stories handed down through generations that are about the more recent past • Does not incorporate all essential elements of a myth – Often blends facts with improbable elements – Legends may contain references to the gods or accounts of extraordinary or miraculous events , however it generally includes or is based on historical events • Main characters are usually human. The main character is generally a hero who serves as an exemplar or model of behavior for people within a society
  16. 16. EXAMPLES OF LEGENDS • King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table • Robin Hood • Atlantis • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow • Kamehameha & The Naha Stone
  17. 17. MYTHS VS. LEGENDS • Considered true sacred stories that happened in the distant past • Main character is often non-human • Story is timeless, events are symbolic • Considered true stories that happened in the more recent past • Main character is usually human • Story told has historical information/value
  18. 18. “Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.” -Joseph Campbell
  19. 19. “All of these symbols in myths refer to YOU.” -Joseph Campbell “If all of these symbols in myth refer to YOU, what could it mean?” -Kaipo Frias
  20. 20. “Follow your bliss. When you do, . . . doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.” -Joseph Campbell

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