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CLA204 - Lecture 1.docx

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George Kovacs

January 12 2011 CLA204H1 Lecture 1Introduction What is mythTraditional tale or storyComes from Greek word muthos which means storyStructure beginning middle and endCharacters gods goddesses supernatural beings and animalsSetting always in distant past or outside human chronologyEvidence literature drama pottery dance sculptureFunction of MythTraditional from Latin word trado meaning to give or transmitOral memorized and reflected before written formCommunal important for its communitypreserves wisdom concerns laws values of a cultureAnonymous no author of originals literary authors take myths and represent them in a certain wayTruth Greeks thought myths were accounts of historyGenres of MythGenre classification of literary worksThree main genres of the traditional tale divine myth legend and folktaleDevine MythProse narratives considered to be truthful accounts of what happened in the remote pastCharacters gods and heroes superior to normal humansConflicts are on large scale oceans sky landSetting world beforeoutside ou present order OlympusBasis of Religion but not the same as religionEtiological Accounts explains world as it is in a nonscientific wayLegendLike history tries to answer what happened in human pastSetting less remote our own world but distant pastCharacters tend to be human heroes and heroines supernatural elementsTopics migrations wars and victories deeds of past heroes chiefs and kings succession in dynastiesElement of Truth sometimes reflects major events confirmed by archeological recordLocal Tales buried treasure ghosts fairies and saints FolktaleFictionmakes no claim to be trueCharacters ordinary men women children of lower social status
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