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What is myth?

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by

Amani Francis

on 26 August 2014

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Transcript of What is myth?

similar literary genres
folk tale, folk story, legend, tale, story, fable, saga, mythos, lore, folklore, mythology
"ancient Greek myths"
how myths function
Mythos: Greek word for story
Logos: Greek for word, speech
ancient cultures
Many indigenous cultures "myths" fused seamlessly with their ways of living. Their traditions were orally transferred, and much of their storytelling was often done through drawings in the form of symbol and orally as allegory.

These strong, oral traditions do not make these cultures inferior to Western cultures as many of these
traditions predated those of the Western World.
Myths began as humankind's way of making sense of the world.

They answer such fundamental questions as...How did the world come into being? Why does the sun rise and set? Where did we come from? Who are we really? What is our purpose?
myth
noun
traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

traditional stories or legends collectively
What is myth?

as a "living" text
as a reflection of a people's self image
as an aspect of human interactions with nature
as a collective and individual expressions
Myths have been foundational elements in every society from ancient to modern times.

Although many of us are acclimated to myth through Greek, Roman, and Egyptian lenses, myths were in existence before these cultures existed. Indeed, they existed long before there was a word that explained them.

They just WERE.
how is myth studied?
Schools of thought as related to mythology have included but are not limited to the following:
Research each of these theories further to make your own critical connections.

Begin compiling a list of database articles on the scholars of each of the below schools of thought, as well as on the theories themselves.
Allegorical
Folkloric
Functional
Structural
Comparative
where should you go from here beyond your course text?

etymology
how? what? why?
origin
music credit
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created by Professor Amani Francis | updated 8-2014
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