Classical Mythology: Ways of Interpretating Myth
Classical Mythology: Ways of Interpretating Myth CLAS 160D2 - 002
Popular in Classical Mythology Lecture
Popular in Classical Mythology
This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha Work on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLAS 160D2 - 002 at University of Arizona taught by Michael Teske in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 87 views. For similar materials see Classical Mythology Lecture in Classical Mythology at University of Arizona.
Reviews for Classical Mythology: Ways of Interpretating Myth
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 01/27/16
Classical Mythology: Second Class Wednesday January 20, 2016 @ 2pm WAYS OF INTERPRETING MYTHS: Rational (i.e. Euhemeristic) Approach: Euhemerism (ca. 300 B.C.) –gods were originally just men who were glorified for their great deeds on earth; later generations came to believe (mistakenly) that these earlier humans were, in fact, divine beings and so worshipped them accordingly. Example: Zeus was once the king of Crete who later came to be regarded as a skygod. Allegorical Approach: Myths are like extended metaphors; they contain obscure symbols which must be deciphered to understand their hidden meaning. Example: Cacus steals Hercules’ cattle but is caught and strangled The late roman writer Fulgentius (ca. 500) A.D.) Says Cacus represents cacon “evil”, so “virtue triumphs over evil”. Example: Daedakus and Icarus myth: notion of “golden mean” is promotedmoderation in all things. Aetiological Approach: Myths explain the origins of practices, beliefs, or natural phenomena o Aetiology derives from the Greek word aition “reason, or cause” This is myth functioning as a prelude to science, or as a kind of primitive science. Example: The peacock’s eyelike adornments were created when the goddess Hera placed the 100 eyes of the slain creature Argus on its tail feathers, or poisonous snakes were created in Libya’s deserts when the Gorgon Medusa’s blood dripped down from her decapitated head as Perseus flew by with it. Psychological Approach: Freud – Myths may be an organized telling of subconscious fears or desires Example: Oedipus complex – males have a subconscious urge to possess their mothers and destroy their fathers (or, at least, get them out of the way). Also, Freud described myths as the collective dreaming of society. Jung (Freud’s disciple) claimed that myths arise from “the collective unconscious” of mankind and contain archetypes, “primordial images” from early stages in the evolutionary development of the mind Example: the Great Mother, the Wise Old Man, aspects of the Universal Hero, the Trickster, etc. Anthropological/Sociological Approach: Mythic themes, structures, etc. can be traced crossculturally in search of mythic universals (databased approach) Example: the external soul motif, the idea that a man’s destiny may be contained in or controlled by an external object, animal, etc. is found in many cultures (consider the Meleager myth – “LogMan”) – sire James Frazier, The Golden Bough Structural Approach: Linear Structural Analysis was pioneered by the Russian folklorist Vladimir Propp in The Morphology of the Folktale (1920’s) Myths can be broken down into basic units of narrative sequence. Propp identified 31 basic plot elements (later called motifemes) that every traditional tale draws upon to produce its storyline. Each tale only contains some of these motifemes, but the order in which they appear (if they are present) is inalterable. Example: the modification of Propp’s motifemes to produce the “standard heroic biography”: the hero’s mother I a royal maiden, the circumstances of his conception are unusual, etc. Binary Thematic Analysis was advanced by the French anthropologist Levi Strauss in 1950’s o He theorized that the function of myth was to mediate between the polar opposites encountered in the human experience: Night and day Good and evil Male and female The hunter and the hunted Nature and civilization Hope this helps guys! Sam
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'