Introduction to Mythology

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Introduction to Mythology

  1. 1. Introduction to Mythology Mrs. Kocan World Mythology
  2. 2. DEFINITION OF MYTH <ul><li>AN ANONYMOUS, TRADITIONAL STORY THAT EXPLAINS A BELIEF, CUSTOM OR MYSTERIOUS NATURAL PHENOMENON </li></ul>
  3. 3. MYTHS <ul><li>examine the relationship between the individual’s desires and his/her responsibilities to society </li></ul>
  4. 4. World Mythology myth types <ul><li>creation </li></ul><ul><li>fertility </li></ul><ul><li>hero </li></ul>
  5. 5. Purpose(s) of Myths <ul><li>originally created to entertain with a serious purpose </li></ul><ul><li>to explain human nature </li></ul><ul><li>to instruct </li></ul>
  6. 6. Deities appeal to people because <ul><li>they have superhuman attributes </li></ul><ul><li>they have humanlike flaws </li></ul>
  7. 7. CHARACTERISTICS <ul><li>ancient, oral traditions </li></ul><ul><li>explain origins </li></ul><ul><li>explain natural phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>explain death </li></ul><ul><li>explain nature </li></ul><ul><li>explain function of divinities </li></ul><ul><li>include elements of folklore and legend </li></ul><ul><li>depict humans as an integral part of the universe </li></ul>
  8. 8. COMMON THEMES <ul><li>First parents are often gods of sky and earth. </li></ul><ul><li>The creator god usually fashions humans from earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Gods destroy at least one world of mortals by causing a great flood. </li></ul><ul><li>Death is followed by rebirth. </li></ul>
  9. 9. COMMON THEMES <ul><li>Heroes are children of gods but may exhibit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>unusual birth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>possess extraordinary strength </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>kill monsters with help of special weapons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>embark on arduous journey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>descend to Underworld </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>unusual death </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. CULTURAL SIMILARITIES <ul><li>start with chaotic beginnings </li></ul><ul><li>divinities that multiply </li></ul><ul><li>creator god </li></ul><ul><li>continued existence of evil </li></ul><ul><li>corrupt humanity </li></ul><ul><li>heroes as teaching tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>attitudes, behaviors, values, models for culture </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. HEROES <ul><li>earn fame in a variety of ways </li></ul><ul><li>remain true to religion </li></ul><ul><li>are flawed </li></ul><ul><li>human weaknesses are instructive </li></ul><ul><li>cannot accept mortality </li></ul><ul><li>define themselves by how they relate to external circumstances </li></ul>

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