Mythology
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Mythology. The Death Motif by Chandra & Sheena. Theme. In each death story there are many different characteristics that classify it as a death motif. Such as: Death being a positive thing Life vs. Death A way to come back Nature representing spirits Fear of Death

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Mythology

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Mythology

Mythology

The Death Motif

by

Chandra & Sheena


Theme

Theme

In each death story there are many different characteristics that classify it as a death motif.

Such as:

  • Death being a positive thing

  • Life vs. Death

  • A way to come back

  • Nature representing spirits

  • Fear of Death

  • Underworld is the place of afterlife

    Each characteristic is incorporated into most of the death stories one can find. To be able to call it a “death motif story,” it must be all about death. The Lion King is an example that doesn’t fit into this category.

    Every culture has its own version of death and the afterlife, the ones present were Greek, African, Egyptian, Indian, with a couple of religions; Christianity and Buddhism.


Analysis chart

Analysis Chart


The stories

The Stories

  • “Coyote and the Origin of Death” is about a man and a coyote. The man thought that it would be a good plan for people to die and be gone for a little while and then return. The Coyote however does not agree that the people should come back. It was finally agreed upon that by all but Coyote, with the man’s idea. However when the first man died and his sprit came back as a whirlwind Coyote stopped his return forcing the dead to be gone for eternity.

  • “Hades and the Earth” this story is about the gods Zeus, Hades and Persephone. Hades falls in love with Persephone and gets the approval of Zeus to capture and marry her. Persephone was then taken to the underworld against her will where Hades tricked her to eat pomegranate seeds (food of the underworld), which meant that she could never fully return to the living. Her mother Demeter goddess of the seasons was so overcome by sadness that she hid causing the whole earth to starve. Finally they came to an agreement that Persephone would spend three months in the underworld with Hades and the rest of the time with her mother. For this time the earth went into winter, it was when Demeter withdrew her gift of fertility.

  • “ The Death of Osiris” this story is about Osiris and Set. Osiris is the king of Egypt and Set is jealous of his power and wants the throne for himself. Therefore he plans a mutiny on Osiris, Set is very sly in his plan. He has a chest made the exact dimensions of his brother, then on the day of a great feast says whomever could fit perfectly inside would be given the chest. Osiris was finally persuaded to get into the chest, but the minute he was inside the cover was put on and he was locked inside. Then the chest was thrown into the river and Set thought he was rid of Osiris forever. However he was found entombed inside a tree by the king of the Phoenicians. The body of Osiris eventually was in the hands of his wife Isis. She tried to restore him to the living, but was unable to. Therefore he became the ruler of the underworld for eternity. He decided who was worthy to enter the underworld.


The stories1

The Stories

  • “ How death Came into the World” is about a red ant and a man named Saynday. The ant starts realizing that come of the animals are getting ready to die. Saynday devised a plan where they will die but will return after four days. The ant disagreed with this concept saying that if this happens the world will become to full with the living. He believes that the old people have lived their to the fullest and do not wish to live any longer. However Saynday disagrees because not all people are old and he believes that is young people die they should be able to come back and live a full life. The ants decision came to be reality. Saynday blamed the ant for death coming to the world. Now when Kiowa women mourn the dead they should cut themselves but not kill themselves. Because it was women who brought death into the world.

  • “Realms of the Dead” is not so much a story as it is a discussion about each cultures belief of what the underworld is. Each culture has a different outlook on what the afterlife is, if there is belief of one. In the stories read, the following cultures were present; Greek, Egyptian, African, Indian, with a couple religions thrown in; Christianity and Buddhism. Within all of these cultures, there are vast differences in how they perceive the afterlife. In Greek mythology, the Underworld is hidden within the earth. While in Egyptian mythology, the Underworld is called "Duat" which is a place where dead souls are sent to be judged by Osiris. In the Indian culture, Anguta, the gatherer of the dead, forces the souls to sleep with him for a year. In Buddhism, the souls are reincarnated, by Yama, the judge of the dead, decided what happens to them, depending on what they did in their life. Hence: karma. Naraka is where the bad souls are sent to live their afterlife.


Comparisons

Comparisons

Each culture has a different outlook on what the afterlife is, if there is belief of one. In the stories read, the following cultures were present; Greek, Egyptian, African, Indian, with a couple religions thrown in; Christianity and Buddhism. Within all of these cultures, there are vast differences in how they perceive the afterlife. In Greek mythology, the Underworld is hidden within the earth. While in Egyptian mythology, the Underworld is called "Duat" which is a place where dead souls are sent to be judged by Osiris. In the Indian culture, Anguta, the gatherer of the dead, forces the souls to sleep with him for a year. In Buddhism, the souls are reincarnated, by Yama, the judge of the dead, decided what happens to them, depending on what they did in their life. Hence: karma. Naraka is where the bad souls are sent to live their afterlife.


Artwork

Artwork

  • The God Horus in Egyptian mythology son of Osiris and goddess Isis. Kills Set avenges his fathers death.

  • The Buddhist hell one of the eighteen realms of torment. This being one of the hot ones.


Artwork1

Artwork

  • This scene form the Egyptian Book of the Dead shows Egyptians standing before Osiris and proclaiming their worthiness for entrance to the underworld.

  • Hades God of the underworld shown with some of his demon monsters.


Artwork2

Artwork

  • Coyote from “Coyote and the Origin of Death”

  • A bridge with the fog representing passing into death and the lit side representing life.


Bibliography

Bibliography

“Coyote and the Origin of Death”

Albert, Susan Wittig, Richard Cohen, and Rose Sallberg kam. World Literature. Austin, Chicago: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1993.

“Realms of the Dead”

Eliot, Alexander. Myths. New York, St. Louis: Hill Book Company , 1976.

“How Death Came into the World”

Marriott, Alice, and Carol K. Rachlin. American Indian Mythology . New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1968.

“The Death of Osiris and Hades and the Earth”

Wyly, Michael J.. Death and the Underworld. San Diego: Lucent Books, 2002.


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