What Is Myth?
Myth combines many academic disciplines like psychology, science, and history
Myth vs Religion: blurry line, but even religious myths can be examined as stories from a literary perspective
Oral tradition is a big part of mythological storytelling
Myth: a story that has some sort of significance and staying power — I feel like this definition is too simple, but I guess it needs to be flexible.
It’s interesting to learn about the differences between versions: Does Persephone love Hades or not?
Used as an explanation for the seasons
Theories of Myth:
Mythology: study of myths
How are myths studied?
–Some ancient philosophers have stated that myths are irrational, false, and a form of lying
Euhemerism: views myth as a primitive form of science
Ancient Arians could have been the ones who formed the foundation for Indo-European language and myth
Mythology + Anthropology: we can understand cultures better by studying their myths
Joseph Campbell: the monomyth; mythology allows the individual to gain a sense of identity
The Hero’s Journey and the Monomyth:
Every culture has stories and heroes
Hero’s Journey: recurring outline of a typical hero myth
Heroes can be a reflection of ourselves
Hero’s Journey Steps (Abridged):
1. Normal Life
2. Call to Action
3. Refusal of the Call
4. Crossing the Threshold
5. Series of Trials
6. Ultimate Triumph
7. Return to Normal
Hero’s Journey examples:
Lord of the Rings
Crash Course Mythology
Image 1: Ivan Tsarevich, a Russian folk hero. Source – Wikipedia
Image 2: Diagram of the hero’s journey. Source – Wikipedia