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CLA 2323 Midterm.doc

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Lecture 2January1110510 PMMeaning of the word mythosEarliest evidence found in the IliadStory as a part of a public speechvery important at the timePlato was the 1st to distinguish the differences in the ideas of logos and mythosLogos is a true story factMythos is a false story sometimes with connections to realityAristotle referred mythos as the plot of a story narrative structureModern definition an untrue story or traditional storyAcceptable definition a socially powerful traditional story about the divine and heroic deeds CharactersPlotCharacters supernatural related to eachotherSettings specific placeTraditionalOral performanceAnonymousUnknown creatorsDifferent versionsSubject to change TypesDivine Myth or True MythCharacters are mostly divine beingsSettings are usually beyond human chronology and unapproachable places SIG to explain aspects of naturalsocial environmentExample the abduction of Persephone by Hades Nothing grows because the fertility of the earth is lost When she returns the earth blooms This explains the concept of birth and rebirthExplains analogous to science etiology explanation and origin of thingsaetiology causeLegends or SagasCharacters are heroes noble humans of high statusSettings usually identifiable placesSIG describes and justifies Analogous to history Political significanceExample the Trojan warFolktalesCharacters are ordinary humans animals and imaginary beingsSetting once upon a timeSIG to entertainExample in the Odyssey there is the witch that turns people into animals Common Elements in Greek MythsMotif 1 Compelled to seek an object and overcome a terrifying enemymonster Example Perseus seeks the head of MedusaMotif 2 To overcome the monster he needs the assistance of divine beings magical weapons or devicesExample Perseus was assisted by the goddess Athena Hermes and the Nymphs They have him a cap of invisibility winged sandals and a pouch nymphs Athena gives him a shield to reflect other images Hermes gives a sickle Motif 3 The hero overcomes the enemy and escapes taking the object with himExample Perseus decapitates Medusa in her sleepMotif 4 During his quest the hero is involved with a woman who may marry at the endExample Perseus saves Princess Andromeda and they marry Origins of Greek MythsMost heroic myths were shaped during the Late Bronze Age MycenaeanMany myths may indicate a much earlier date and different geographical origin1Pelasgian Pre Hellenic2Minoan Non Greek Island of Crete3IndoEuropean4Eastern Primary Sources of Greek Mythology1Written2VisualThe Epic Poetry lengthy narrative poems about the deeds of gods and heroesHomer 750 Hesoid 700 BCBCIliadTheogonyOdysseyWorks and DaysHomeric Hymns collection of 33 poems dedicated to individual gods and goddesses Birth and deeds of the godsThese poems were performed at public events such as festivals or a kings courtsPoets accompanied with musical instrumentsTragic Poets myths and dramatic performances 5th CenturyAeschylusSophoclesEuripidesMyths source for a dramatic plotDramatic performance to express political and philosophical views to the audienceApollodorus 2nd Century AD created the Bibliotheca a compilation of all known Greek mythsRoman Poet Ovidcreated Metamorphoses transformations 200 myths involving the motif of transformation VisualPottery survives1Black figure black on red1Red figure red on blackArtists use the simultaneous method the narrative characterOther sources sculptures coins rings etc
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