Four Theories of Myth
There are four basic theories of myth. Those theories are: the rational myth theory, functional myth theory, structural myth theory, and the phsycological myth theory. The rational myth theory states that myths were created to explain natural events and forces. Functional myths are what you call the kinds of myths that were created as a type of social control. The third myth theory is the structural myth theory. This theory says that myths were patterned after human mind and human nature. The phsycological myth theory is the fourth myth theory which states that myths are based on human emotion.
The rational myth theory states that myths were made to better understand natural events and forces that occurred in the everyday lives of people. This theory also explains that the gods and goddesses controlled all of these happenings of nature. Examples of this type of myth are creation myths from different cultures. Creation myths explain how man was created and explain what the gods and goddesses used and what actions they took to create humans. These myths also tell what substances were used (if any) in order for man to exist. The existence of man is a natural event but creation myths give other explanations.
The functional myth theory talks about how myths were used to teach morality and social behavior. It states that myths told about what types of things should and shouldn't be done, and the consequences for those wrong doings. The functional myth theory also states that myths were created for social control and served the function of insuring stability in a society. A story about a tribe who rebelled against the great serpent, Degei, is a good example of a functional myth. This story is about a tribe who learned many skills from their great serpent god, Degei, and then became Degei's workers and servants. Two chiefs of this tribe were sick of working for him and tried to defeat him; they were too weak for...
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