Mythology with Erin

Adventures in storytelling

Month: November 2018

Week 12 Reading: King Arthur, Part A

What is the beginning of this text saying about human nature and leadership? I think there’s a lot of “divine right of kings” philosophy in this myth, that a chosen one has to be the leader in order for goodness and chivalry to reign. Still, it’s a very good set up and presents a fallen world for a hero to save.

I love magical, sacred items like the Sword in the Stone. The idea a of a “chosen one” is an old trope, and one that doesn’t really fit into modern philosophies, as we now much prefer stories where anyone, even the low-born nobodies can be heroes.

“Kay shall not be without a sword this day. I will take that sword in the churchyard, and give it to him,” Arthur is a pure hero with such perfect behavior and ideals that it’s almost unbelievable. How would this story be different if Arthur displayed some kind of flaw, like pride or a bit of selfishness?

How would this story be different if Arthur realized what he was doing when he pulled the sword out? I don’t really like that he does it in such a casual, ignorant way. I feel like that could be a really epic moment.

I don’t think I had ever realized that Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone were different swords. That’s so interesting.

“Sir,” answered Merlin, “what you say as to her beauty is true, but, if your heart was not set on her, I could find you another as fair, and of more goodness, than she. But if a man’s heart is once set it is idle to try to turn him.” Yeah, I know the whole Lancelot incident, but every other time I’ve read about Guinevere, she’s been portrayed as perfectly good and wholesome. This is the first time it’s been implied that she might not be a good person, even when she’s young. I kind of like this angle; it makes her a much more interesting character that would be fun to explore. 

Sir Tor sounds like a really interesting character since he was born a commoner and then made a knight. I wonder how that affects his actions and relationships with the other knights.

I don’t really like Merlin in this version of the story. He comes across as a controlling old dude and doesn’t seem to be very loving or respectful of Arthur. He almost seems to be scheming, with the way he says things without explaining them.

Morgan le Fay throws the magic scabbard in the lake; I wonder what would happen if someone found it in the future. That could be an interesting spin.

Morgan le Fay reminds me a lot of Loki and other mischief gods and trickster characters. She never seems like a true formidable villain; just a jealous, scheming sister.

The Chapel of St. Augustine can only be found by “adventure.” I like settings like this because it turns travels into Quests. Just like the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur, Arthur has to go on an adventure in order to find what he’s looking for.

It’s definitely interesting that the Holy Grail is seen as a bringer of doom in this story, not a holy and good artifact.

Bibliography: 

King Arthur: Tales of the Round Table by Andrew Lang. (1902). – Web Source.

Image 1: Sword in a boulder. Source – Pxhere

Image 2: A sword-in-the-stone pewter figurine that I got at Norman’s Medieval Fair last year! Source – My photo.

Image 3: King Arthur by Charles Ernest Butler. Source – Wikipedia.

Famous Last Words: Toss the Tortillas

Welcome to November! I love this month because it means the beginning of the holiday season, and the weather is generally pretty brisk and mild. Last night was the time change, though, and I’m not a fan of that. I don’t like it when it gets dark early, but it does make evening band rehearsal more interesting. We call it Pride After Dark.

This week, I was still in the lull following midterms, so there wasn’t a whole lot of work to do. I did have one exam in Native American Music, and I kind of blew it off. I think I still did well on it, but it wasn’t as easy as it could have been. Other than that, I’m very proud of how I’ve been performing. I got a 92% on my Latin Literature midterm, which was one of the best in the class. I’m also consistently averaging above a 90 in my Media Writing, which will be valuable soon since the assignments keep getting more difficult. I’m right where I want to be to shoot for a 4.0 this semester!

In this class, I’m nearly done. I’m really only wrapping up my project, which is all I’ve done this week. It’s been nice to put this class aside so I can focus on other things, but I really do enjoy the creative time I get to spend working on my Story and Storybook. This week, I’ll add the final installment!

To continue my football season journal: this weekend I travelled to Lubbock with band to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders! It was such an exciting game to be at; I’m just glad we came away with the W. If you watched the game, you almost certainly saw me playing snare drum with the band! It was such a small group that they could show all of us in one TV shot.

Since it was a 7:00 pm kickoff, we had a ton of free time during the day, which was relaxing compared to our usual non-stop game days. We even got to walk around the Texas Tech campus! I’m still partial to OU, of course, but they had some neat things to see, like their giant seal.

Also with the beginning of November has become Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month! I started my novel on the 1st and wrote 1,800 words. Unfortunately that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I couldn’t write on Thursday or Friday because of the trip, and I’ve been too busy today. Hopefully I’ll get some words down before bed, though! I’m feeling pretty good about my novel now. I was nervous coming in because I haven’t done a lot of outlining for it, but while I couldn’t write on the bus, I could daydream and think about my novel for the 5 hour trip. 

I’m looking forward to Bedlam this weekend! There’s no one else from my high school at OU, and there’s no one from my high school in any of the other Big XII bands EXCEPT Oklahoma State. I’m really hoping I get to see my old bandmate for pictures and to show all of my Oklahoman and Texan friends, who have pals all over the Big XII, that my band actually did exist, haha. See you next week for a recap of what’s sure to be another crazy game.

Image 1: The drumline has a tradition of choosing two OU players to “sponsor” for the game and writing their numbers on our hands. We’ve also recently started writing inside jokes, funny phrases, and symbols on our knuckles. Last night, I wrote “Roll Tide” upside down and backwards because I really wanted Alabama to beat LSU. Source – My personal photos

Image 2: The Texas Tech pep band drumline. What you can’t see in the picture is that the wind is blowing, and the temperature is dropping 15 degrees. Source – My personal photos.

Image 3: The four snare drums that went to Texas Tech. Source – My personal photos.

Image 4: The Texas Tech seal, which is placed outside the front entrance of the university. Source – My personal photos.

Week 11 Story: Daedalus’ Haunted Labyrinth

Author’s Note: I hope you enjoyed this choose-you-own-adventure Halloween story! I had a lot of fun working with Twine to create it. Hopefully you found a way to survive!

The rooms and monsters within the story come from different episodes I’ve read from throughout the semester.

The giant spider is based on Arachne, a Greek woman who was turned into a spider after challenging Athena to a weaving contest. Versions differ about whether or not Arachne won the competition, but the transformation was because of her hubris (pride) in challenging the gods. Thus, by flattering her, you can talk your way past the fearsome spider.

The flaming field of grass comes from the stories of the Japanese hero, Yamato. At one point, Yamato is stuck in a burning field, and he uses his sword to put out the flames. In my version, you can use the blanket from Arachne as a shield against the flames.

The monster in the forest is a Wendigo, which I learned about in a Crash course Mythology video about monsters. The Wendigo is a mythical monster from Native tribes in Canada. They are humans who have surrendered to their own wickedness and have become cannibal monsters. In some tribes, the transformation can be reversed with fire, which is seen as purifying. 

Finally, the eye-stealer in the mansion comes from a Blackfoot story that I read last week about a man called Thunder, who steals eyes and displays them in his house. The only way to defeat him is with a raven’s medicine (or power) so you need to team up with a raven to get past him in my story.

The overarching concept is that of Daedalus’ Labyrinth, which is where the minotaur is kept in the story of Theseus. 

Bibliography:

Here’s some more information about Arachne.

Crash Course Myth: Monsters, Horses, and Dragons. Web source.

Romance of Old Japan by E.W. Champney and F. Champney. Web source.

Blackfeet Indian Stories by George Bird Grinnell (1915). Web source.

Image: Stone Labyrinth. Source – Wikipedia.

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