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Department
Classical Studies
Course
CLAS 104
Professor
Ronald Kroeker
Semester
Spring

Description
CLAS104Classical MythologyUniversity of WaterlooSpring 2012Chapter 1Interpretation and Definition of Classical MythologyThe word myth comes from the Greek word mythos which means word speech tale or storyoThe story must have proved itself worthy of becoming traditionalMyths can be told by means of various mediums oral written music painting dance etcTrue MythMyth Proper Refers primarily to stories of the gods and humankinds relations with themSagaLegend Myths and stories with roots in historical factFolktalesFairytalesStores of adventure which are meant to entertain with familiar characters and motifsoStarts with once upon a time ends in happily ever afterProblems imposed by rigid definitionsThere are rarely pure examples of stories that can be classified by these definitionsProblems occur when classifying myths by rigid definitionsMyth and TruthMyth is known as fiction Myth is a manyfaceted personal and cultural phenomenon created to provide a reality and unity to what is transitory and fragmented in the world we experienceMyth and religion True myth is primarily stories of the gods religion and the super natural Mythology and religion are intertwined mythical conceptions of deity may still be considered true today and provide the dogma for devout religious beliefthMircea Eliadeprolific 20 century writer on myth believed that god once in a holy era created the world and became the original myth a model for creations of every kindoTrue myths are fundamentally paradigms and explations and most important to an individual and societyMyth and etiologyEtiology from the greek work for cause aitia in this view the mythmaker is a kind of primitive scientist using myths to explain facts that cannot otherwise be explained within the limits of societys knowledge at that timeothe theory that myth should be interpreted narrowly as an explication of the origin of some fact or custom the assignment of causes or originsoMyths try to explain physical emotional and spiritual matters not only literally and realistically but figuratively and metaphorically as welloDoesnt identify myth specifically and distinguish it from other forms of expression Rationalism versus metaphor allegory and symbolismThe desire to rationalize classical mythology is associated with the name Euhemerus 300 BC who claimed the gods were men deified for their great deeds Euhemerismfrom Euhermerus 300 BC who rationalized mythology claiming gods were men deified for their greatnessAntirationalists favour metaphorical interpretation of storiesopposite of euhemerism Allegorydefined as sustained metaphor interpreting mythsas symbols of universal truthsopposite of euhemerismthMax Mullerinfluential 19 allegorical century figure who argued all myths are nature myths representing natural phenomenaMyth and Psychology Freud and JungSigmund Freudmyths in the Freudian interpretation reflect peoples waking efforts to systematize the incoherent visions and impulses of their sleep worldoFreuds contributions emphasis upon sexuality infantile sexuality theory of the unconscious interpretation of dreams identification of the Oedipus complex man hating their fathers love towards their motheroDreamwork three primary mental activitiesCondensation of elementsthey are abbreviated or compressedDisplacement of elementsthey are changed particularly in terms of allusion and a difference of emphasisRepresentationthe transmission of elements into imagery or symbolsmany are sexualoAccording to Freud the Oedipus complex inspired the beginning of religion ethics art and society
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