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Myth and the Origin of the Humanities

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1 Myth and the Origin of the Humanities
Chapter 3

2 Mythology Mythology is the basis for all humanities.
“the science or study of myths” “a traditional story of unknown origin to explain nature, origin, customs, etc. of a people”

3 Archetypes Term coined by Carl Jung
Characters, symbols, buried assumptions passed on through the collective unconscious Models by which people comprehend experience and cope with life Exs. hero, outcast, angel, advocate, truth seeker

4 Hero-World Myth Birth of the Hero Early Recognition Great Deed
Born under wondrous circumstances Early Recognition Fills the early need for acceptance Great Deed End of childhood/transition to adulthood

5 Hero’s loss of power Their failures testify to the greatness of their lives Modern Heroes rejected during life but celebrated in death include-Joan of Arc, Galileo

6 The Hero as a Special Someone
We still look for modern day heroes to admire Olympians Celebrities Newsmakers Chelsey Sullenberger Landed his malfunctioning Plane on the Hudson River saving 155 lives

7 The Power of Words and Numbers
Language is another special kind of archetype Magic Words A person’s “word” can make or break their credibility “God Bless You” after a sneeze “Jinx” when you speak at the same time “Abra Cadabra!” Numbers also have significance. 7 and 3 show up in most stories, myths and fairy tales.

8 The Circle Unbroken line without a beginning or end
Used to symbolize oneness, completion, and eternity

9 The Journey Implies both purpose and a sense of destination not just randomness Must overcome obstacles, “no pain, no gain” Eastern Mythology is a series of happenings, not necessarily a final task In the East, life is one thing after another, must be accepted for what it is.

10 The Garden “Would that we had never embarked on this journey; we have lost too much” Idea of a golden age or better time Primitivism-return to the state of Nature, led by Rousseau Book of Genesis Wizard of Oz The Odyssey King Arthur Pilgrims searching for the New World

11 Gods as Human Beings Greeks felt gods were made in human’s image (opposite of Judeo-Christian belief) Physical perfection, attainable by certain mortals Gods were envious of humans In humanizing their gods, the Greeks deified themselves Athena punished a boastful Arachne after losing a weaving competition to her, turning her into a spider

12 Myth as Explanation Myths were created to explain natural phenomena
Ex. Changing seasons Myths were created to explain the troubles that are part of life Death and loss

13 Myths Explain… Creation Seasons Changing Human Suffering
Cursed by Fate

14 Myths of Childhood Explain values
don’t talk to strangers Obey your parents Work hard Importance of Being Attractive and Rich Cinderella Princess and the Pea Importance of Names Rupelstiltskin Affirms identities The Dark Side Life is not always sunny

15 Common Sayings What goes around, comes around Mother Nature
They’ll think of something All you need is love It must be fate Just desserts Us versus Them There’s always room at the top Isn’t that just like a man/woman? Everybody does it

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