Assertions about the value of mythos

| June 19, 2015

"Myth was regarded as primary; it was concerned with what was thought to be timeless and constant in our existence. Myth looked back to the origins of life, to the foundations of culture, and to the deepest levels of the human mind. Myth was not concerned with practical matters, but with meaning. Unless we find some significance in our lives, we mortal men and women fall very easily into despair. The mythos of a society provided people with a context that made sense of their day-to-day lives; it directed their attention to the eternal and the universal. It was also rooted in what we would call the unconscious mind. The various mythological stories, which were not intended to be taken literally, were an ancient form of psychology. When people told stories about heroes who descended into the underworld, struggled through labyrinths, or fought with monsters, they were bringing to light the obscure regions of the subconscious realm, which is not accessible to purely rational investigation, but which has a profound effect upon our experience and behavior" (The Battle for God, xv)

I started this class with this excerpt from Karen Armstrong’s book The Battle for God, which I used to explain the difference between mythos andlogos. I’d like you to revisit a passage from this work (quoted above) for your final exam. In a medium-length essay of at least 5 pages, expand upon Armstrong’s assertions about the value of mythos by using at least five specific stories and one character from modern fiction, television, or film. I would like you to draw your support from more than one pantheon(this class is called World Mythology, after all).
You will need to find some way of approaching this broad subject that allows you to connect multiple stories to Armstrong?s theory. You could, for example, narrow your focus down to creation myths, death myths, hero stories, or some other type of myth that we?ve looked at throughout the readings. But remember to ground your discussion in her ideas. I am expecting a thesis-driven paper, with prose that is clear and grammatically-correct. Please use specific details from the myths to support your assertions, and make sure anything you quote or paraphrase is cited in MLA or APA format. You should also include a Works Cited list at the end of your essay.


 

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