Myths: comes from Greek “muthos” which means “story” stories about beginnings; originally had religious purpose - to explain mysteries that people regard as sacred (i.e. How world was created, why people must die, why world is imperfect) - to explain historical events - to teach moral lessons Folktales: - stories told by common people (passed orally generation to generation) - for entertainment - may teach values - secular, nonreligious, not related to religious rituals - - types of folktales: legends, tall tales, fables, fairy tales - feature magic, transformation, enchantment - heroes are common, everyday folks
Both explain important truths about life
Origin Myths: explain how things came to be or happen (Creation) Golden Era Myths: time when world enjoyed perfect peace, happiness, and prosperity - ends evil, sickness and death come to the world (Example: Garden of Eden?) Gods & Goddesses: always associated with Origin myths Belong to family groups Pantheon with “Father” god and “Mother” god. Associated with aspects of life values: wisdom, fertility, love, justice…
Archetypes : recurring patterns themes, characters, plot, images b asic models to which specific cultural details are added Very Powerful: Change slightly over time Example: myth of a great flood today: science-fiction novel about the end of world in which war, disease, or alien invasion destroy almost everything but leaves hope of rebirth.
Purpose: told people who they were, where they came from, and what their destiny would be All stories are outgrowths of myths they deal with the hows and whys of human existence
Monomyth: “the one story” the hero of the hour archetype Theseus Modern Examples: Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker Spiderman, Superman
Mystic Hero Male or female offspring of god or goddess and a human being born under unusual circumstances unaware of heritage and raised by foster parents demonstrates early signs of being special or having special talents
Folktale Hero very ordinary person stepchild or neglected youngest child possess exceptional qualities Both mystic and folktale heroes may first refuse to accept or face the challenge presented….but they suffer greatly for their refusal….eventually they accept role and succeed.
Quest: journey or search for person or object of great value - the beautiful girl, truth or meaning of life, heritage, treasure or magical object Examples: the Holy Grail Help on Quest: Mythic Hero has loyal friends or a god Folktale Hero has people, animals or magical beings who are repaying them for good deeds Paths of Quest:
Paths of Quest: Always difficult with great risk…usually do not go smoothly (tests of character’s virtues and resolve) What are some examples of tests? may involve a decent into unknown place (tangible or intangible) Examples? This is the ultimate stage of journey “to boldly go where no one has gone before” may involve the ultimate sacrifice own life if survives….returns to society with heightened knowledge, renewed commitment, greater compassion and wisdom Usually rewarded by entering “royal marriage” or living happily ever after
Symbolism: challenges in own lives Killing monsters symbolizes fighting social injustice descending to underworld symbolizes inner conflicts (unpleasant personal realities=death)
Myths and Legends
World Literature I World Myths and Folktales 2007-08
World Myths and Folktales <ul><li>Myths </li></ul><ul><li>Folktales </li></ul>
Folktales & Myths: the difference <ul><li>Myths are a direct expression of a culture’s religious beliefs; </li></ul><ul><li>folktales are not </li></ul>
Tales about the Beginning <ul><li>Origin Myths </li></ul><ul><li>Golden Era Myths </li></ul><ul><li>Roles of Gods & Goddesses </li></ul>
Staying power of myths <ul><li>archetypes </li></ul>
Purpose of myths <ul><li>Provides sense of place in universe </li></ul><ul><li>Stories outgrowth of Myths </li></ul>
The Hero and the Quest <ul><li>Monomyth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modern examples </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Mythic Hero </li></ul>Who are the Quest Heroes?
Who are the Quest Heroes? <ul><li>Folktale Hero </li></ul>
The Quest <ul><li>Quest: </li></ul><ul><li>Help on Quest </li></ul>
Paths of the Quest <ul><li>Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Involves the unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Survival & rewards </li></ul>
Meaning of the quest <ul><li>symbolic to life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Killing monsters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Descending to underworld </li></ul></ul>