What is a myth?
It is a traditional story based on ancient beliefs of different communities and having supernatural explanations of facts or natural phenomena. The mythical story is related to religious beliefs, for that reason, has a ritual character, ie presents invariable elements and is distinguished by its durability. The purpose of myth is not to entertain, as with the story, but to explain the meaning of life. So there are certain subjects such as the origin of man and the universe, which are treated in the myths of all cultures. The myth responds to a particular way of seeing the world and to explain the phenomena that exist in it. Unlike science, which gives rational and logical explanations to these phenomena, the myth gives explanations mógicas and somewhat fantastic. For this reason, events occur absurd myths, magic solutions exist and appear fabulous characters. The fact that different communities have similar concerns led to the creation of myths about the same phenomena in different cultures. In the myth of Phaeton these aspects are reflected in the following manner: Phenomenon: The origin of deserts and of the black race. Made fantastic: Phaeton driving the chariot of the sun to prove its divine origin. Universality: The phenomenon, how it is explained and the characters are repeated with some different characteristics in myths of other communities. Classification of myths beind coded contents: - cosmogenic: explain the creation of the world. - Theogonic: explain the origin of the gods.
- Antropogónicos: explain the appearance of man
- Etiological: explain political, religious and social.
- Morales: Explain ethical principles opposites like good and evil, angels and demons.
According to Mircea Eliade, myth is a sacred story that chronicles an event that happened during primeval time, in which the world had not yet stood. The events of the periodically recurring nature are explained as a result of the events narrated in the myth (for example, in Greek mythology the cycle of seasons is explained from the abduction of Persephone). However, not all myths refer to a time "first" also can address occurring after the origin, but distinguished by their importance and the changes they brought. In the view of Claude Levi-Strauss, structuralist anthropologist, every myth has three characteristics: • This is an existential question concerning the creation of the earth, death, birth and the like. • consists of irreconcilable opposites: creation vs destruction, life against death, gods against men or good vs. evil. • provides the reconciliation of these poles in order to avert our anguish. For its part, the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski argued that no important aspect of life that is alien to the myth. Therefore, there are religious myths (such as the birth of the gods), politicians (such as the founding of Rome) or on particular issues (why corn became the main food of a people, as with the pre-Hispanic peoples of Mexico ). For Malinowski fundamental myths are narratives, while responding to the basic questions of human existence: reason to exist, because of what surrounds it, between otras.Malinowski also clarified that the myth of the order of beliefs and if it is an explanation, not a rational explanation, but cultural. Function of Myth
Functions are multiple myths. However, in general, can accept three essential functions: explanatory and pragmatic meaning. The explanatory function refers to the myths explain, justify or develop the origin, purpose and because of some aspect of social or individual, for example, the Greek myth that tells how the world originated from "Chaos" or Genesis that says the birth of the woman from the rib of a man. The pragmatic function of myth implies that myths are the basis of certain social structures and actions as well, a myth can make a genealogical line and determine who can govern or not. With this feature, specify and justify myths why a situation is in a...
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