ENGB30 Lecture Notes - Merriam-Webster, Multiple Choice, Franz Kafka

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Published on 20 Nov 2012
Lecture 1
ENGB30: Classical Myth and Literature
Midterm: reading check
Multiple choice (mainly memorization)
Based on mythology texts
what is a myth?
Legends about heroes
Creating a figure
Something that potentially can happen but is perhaps not true
An oral history that explains a history or a phenomenon
Something to do with a belief dimension to it
o Ex. Greek gods
Foundational stories with cultural motifs
The Greek term “mythos” =
Authoritative speech (Homer)
(untrue) story- as opposed to “logos,” (reasoned)
account (Pindar; Plato; Aristotle)
Plot (Aristotle)
In a narrative perspective, Zeus is not a myth, he is a
Myths are made up of plots
Several modern definitions of “myth”
o OED: a traditional story, typically involving supernatural
beings or forces, which embodies and provides an
explanation, aetiology, or justification for something
such as the early history of a society, a religious belief
or ritual, or a natural phenomenon
o Merriam Webster: A usually traditional story of
ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of
the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief,
or natural phenomenon
o Barry B. Powell, Classical Myths: “Myth is a traditional
story with collective importance” because it explains a
society to itself, promulgating its concerns and values”
Traditional stories (group of people and what they
share together)
Historical element to it
Implications of Myth as Tradition
Impossibility of identifying the “original” and/ or its author
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