Lecture 4 of the course

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Classical Studies
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

Lecture#4 What is Myth? -Divine Myths, Legends and Folktales. -From the Greek word mythos. -Myth can be defined as a traditional story. -With a plotline and characters like other stories -Set in the distant past, but sometimes in actual places. -Often part of an oral tradition, anonymous. -Not something untrue as myth is often used today -Different versions of the same myth can coexist Divine Myths -Main characters are divine or supernatural (gods) -Include Creation Myths (theogonies, cosmogonies,etc.) and other aetiologies of the natural world. -Gods may be natural elements andor real personalities with human weakness. -Myth is separate from religious belief and ritual. Legends -Concern the great deeds of human heroes of the past, although gods can still play a part. -Heroes are often semi-divine, and are members of royalty or the nobility. -Ancient people believed in such legends as we regard history, helping to explain the past. -There is usually a kernel of truth behind the legends -Many heroes ay have once been real kings. Ex-> the Trojan war. Achilles. -Includes aetiological explanations of social traditions Folktales -Main characters are ordinary people, not gods or heroes -But in folktale fables, characters are animals -Focus on entertainment, but also justify social cultural traditions. www.notesolution.com
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