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Myth, Atlantis, Folktale, Legend

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
A Keith
Semester
Fall

Description
CHAPTER ONE The Nature of Myth Western Roman Empire ended more than 1500 years agoNames stood in background as later Western art and literatureThree main types of myth divine myth legend and folktaleWhat is a myth Greek word mythos meant authoritative speech story or plot but later writers used the term in more restricted ways A definition that is widely agreed on is that myth is a traditional story with collective importance Greek word character meant a certain mental imprintStory has a plot where a narrative structure consisting of a beginning middle and end Ex Zeus is not a myth but a character in myth in the plotted stories that tell of his exploitsBelief in the existence of a particular god the observance of a ritual in a gods honor and religious symbols are not myths Another element of myth is setting timeplace Myths are never set in the present or the recent past the action always takes place in the distant past or in a shadowy time altogether outside of human chronology They may be in an actual city Athens or Thebesfamiliar places or it may be in an obscure place such as the underworld no one in the real world ever visited Mount Olympus which really exists but in myth it is the home of the gods or Crete of a very long time ago Traditional came from Latin trado hand over which has been handed down orally from one storyteller to another without the intervention of writing traditional tales maintain contact with the past about which little real is known and pass inherited wisdom on to the future They explain a society to itself promulgating its concerns and values Collective Importancemyths hold meaning for the group not just the individual Describes patterns of behavior that serve as models for members of a society especially in times of crisis Because myths are traditional they are also anonymous literary works may have an author themselves not the myths The teller of a logos takes responsibility for the truth of what is said Logos is a reasoned explanation of something that emphasizes a continuing casual sequence as in the proofs of plane geometry The teller of a mythos does not claim personal responsibility of what is said they did not invent the story but only passed it on so there is no need to use the suffix ology to indicate a reasoned inquiry into a topic PERSPECTIVE 11 THE MYTH OF ATLANTISUtopia Greek meaning nowhereAtlantis Athenian lawgiver Solons trip to Egypt where he learned of a utopian kingdom that once exited on an island in the western seas
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