June 25, 2013
Foundations of Mythology
• 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” can be used in so many ways and it can also have so many different meaning based on the contents of the word. It can have a religious tone to it, where it describes the foundations of some people’s belief system as most religions do. In an extreme case it can shape someone’s way of life. It can also be used as an escape from reality in storytelling, where the author can create a whole other mystical world where logic doesn’t matter and you can bend the rules of reality as needed to fit the story. And also it can more of a dismissive tone to it. Where someone can take something that disobeys reality or the realm of possibility and just excuses it bye just utter the words “That’s Just a Myth” and everything is excused and fantasy.
• Why do myths from different cultures around the world address such similar or universal themes? Think about how myths explain the unknown and the tribulations of mankind. Some of the reasons myths share similar and universal themes are throughout history early civilizations have used myths to explain away thing that early man could not understand. Things that today seem silly such as a god of thunder that controlled thunder and lighting and that would hurdle them down on us from above like spears would seem plausible and take on a life of their own. Other natural phenomena like, night and day, the changing of the seasons, lunar cycles, and natural disasters could all be associated with a myth or a god the controlled everything. Also the three major religions of the world today all seem to have their origins at least in part from the