Four Functions of Myth

Topics: Religion, Mythology, Joseph Campbell Pages: 2 (822 words) Published: July 3, 2012
Jessica Loucks
Joseph Campbell has four functions that go along with myths, he explains the meaning and understanding of mythology and how they function with today’s society. According to 1. “The Mystical/Metaphysical Prospect. This is the religious/spiritual function: a myth is meant to make people experience the powerful feeling of the divine in their lives. 2. The Cosmological Prospect. "The second function of a mythology," Campbell writes, "is to render a cosmology, an image of the universe." This might include how things like time, space, and biology work and are organized -- for example, how the world and its creatures came to be. 3. The Social Prospect. Campbell somewhat ominously defines this function of myth-telling as "the validation and maintenance of an established order." As I put it more positively above, it can also be seen as wisdom-rich models for social behavior. Parables embedded with morals attempt to teach us how we should behave -- what is model behavior and what is unacceptable. 4. The Psychological Sphere. This is the aspect of mythology where stories symbolize important points in an individual's life, with the purpose of "the centering and harmonization of the individual." Freud, with his Oedipal and Electra complexes, was one who explicitly connected myths with life paths.” The Greek myth has multiple views that you can view on different things. In the mystical/metaphysical outlook there was just more than one god. They didn’t think one god was good enough so they looked at all the types of creators. For example Eros was the creator of Love; we all call him cupid nowadays. And Aphrodite was the goddess of love. With the power of these two together not one person would be alone. But the one god that was above them all was Zeus. He was the mighty king. According to “The first scientific...
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