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Myths: Timeless or Outdated?
Hufflepuff Head of House : CoMC & Mythology Professor : 5th Year
Regist. date : 2010-07-29
Number of posts : 17484
Age : 25
Location : Floating around the clouds
Real First Name : Katie
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|Subject: Myths: Timeless or Outdated? Wed Jun 27 2012, 16:17|| |
When one thinks of mythology, one usually thinks of Ancient Greece, Chinese folklore, Native American beliefs; stories from a culture long gone now. In an interview with renowned mythologist, Josept Campbell, he argues that mythology is a timeless way to pass on values through stories that affect humans universally, regardless of culture, race, religion and environmental factors. Campbell argues many perspectives of why mythology has declined so drasically over the years to the point of non-existance and gives his opinions on the effect this has on the world. Below are four of his main points from the interview; select one of his points and support/dispute his claim in no less than 550 words. Use at least two myths from any culture to support your argument, as well as any personal stories or thoughts you may have. Any response not meeting any of the requirements will not recieve the full points. This class is worth 500 points.
Question: Do you see some new metahpors emerging in a modern medium for the old universal truths?
Argument I: I see the possibility of new metaphors, but I don't see that they have become mythological yet...We can't have a mythology for a long, long time to come. Things are changing too fast to become mythologized.
Argument (in response to the claim that myths are "other people's dreams": Oh, no, they're not. They are the world's dreams. They are arthcetypal dreams and deal with great human problems...They myth tells me...how to resond to certain crises of disappointment or delight or failure or succes. The myths tell me where I am...What human beings have in common is revealed in myths.
Argument (regarding whether or not modern people can become myths and legends in today's time): When a person becomes a model for other people's lives, he has moved into the sphere of being mythologized. I remember, when I was a boy, Douglas Fairbanks was the model for me. Adolphe Menjou was the model for my brother. Of course those men were playing the roles of mythic figures. They were educators towards life.
Argument (on the difference between controlling a population's behavior through an increasing number of strict rules or through mythology): Now, in a culture that has been homogeneous for some time, there are a number of understood unwritten rules by which people live. There is an ethos there, there is a mode, an understanding that "we don't do it that way". An unstated mythology, you might say. This is the way we use a fork and knife, this is the way we deal with people and so forth. It's not all written down in books. But in America we have people from all kinds of backgrounds, all in a cluster, together ,and consequently law has become very important in this country. Lawyers and law are what hold us together. There is no ethos.
**Please note: for options III and IV, due to the more modernized nature of the question, you need only one ancient myth, and then two examples from modern life.
The interview questions and answers come from the book The Power of Myth, which I highly recommend to anyone with a deep interest in mythology as the views give a very interesting perspective on mythology and modern life. However, I believe wikipedia has a nice summary of Campbell's general ideas if you are confused by any of the options above or his views on them, though you may, of course, ask me any questions you may have regarding any of the material.
This class can be repeated at any time if you wish to support/dispute another of Campbell's claims but you may not do the same option twice!
H U F F L E P U F F P R I D E
Myths: Timeless or Outdated?