Foundations of Mythology

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1. How is the word myth used popularly? For example, what does the statement, “It’s a myth” mean? In contrast, how is the word myth used in the academic context? After considering the definition in your textbooks and course materials, write a definition in your own words. The word myth is used popularly in tales and stories. These tales and stories have been passed down from generation and are based on some truth, but mostly myths. The statement “It’s a myth” means that a tale or story may be based on some truth, but that it is also based on fiction. For example, if one of your friends told you that they saw a UFO it would be hard to believe them because you did not witness this event and your friend does not have any proof. However, you might find that you are asking yourself if it was real, or if it was only a myth. Myths were created in an attempt to answer questions such as where did we come from? How did the world come into existence? and who are we? Other questions that individuals also wonder about are: “What are our proper, necessary, or inescapable roles as we relate to one another and to the world at large? What should our values be? How should we behave? How should we not behave? What are the consequences of behaving and not behaving in such ways?” (Leonard & McClure, 2011, para. 3). My definition of a myth is in stories and movies such as Urban Legends. Sometimes I find that I am asking myself whether or not urban legends are real or only myths. For example, one urban legend that I can remember from when I was younger is Bloody Mary. The myth behind it was that if you faced a mirror, turned out the lights, and said bloody Mary three times while facing the mirror that you would die. This used to scare me when I was younger, but now I realize that it was only a myth. 2. Why do myths from different cultures around the world address such similar or universal themes? Think about how myths explain the unknown and the trials and...
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