WORLD LITERATURE I. MAN, MYTH, MEANING A MYTHOLOGICAL/ARCHETYPAL APPROACH. Various definitions can be explored. A traditional explanation is that myth explains some phenomenon of nature, the origin of humanity, or the customs, institutions, and religious rites of a people.
WORLD LITERATURE I
MAN, MYTH, MEANING
Various definitions can be explored.
A traditional explanation is that myth explains some phenomenon of nature, the origin of humanity, or the customs, institutions, and religious rites of a people.
This is a good working definition, but myth is far deeper. For the purposes of this class myth will be defined as an underlying TRUTH told in story form.
These two individuals are GIANTS in the exploration of myth in the 20th century.
They opened a gateway to an understanding of human consciousness and the power of myth.
CARL JUNG 1875-1961
JOSEPH CAMPBELL 1904-1987
To return to Campbell’s point about myth being a teaching tool for learning how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances, this is exactly a major function of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
The term “archetype” appeared in classical antiquity (Plotinus, 3rd Century A.D.)
It originates from the Greek archetypos, a beginning or primal pattern.
These primal patterns reappear in human thoughts, actions, or desires constantly enough to be considered
A universal concept or gestalt.
Jung developed the theory that these archetypes emanate from an area of mind
He called the “collective unconscious.”
He asserted that this region of mind is shared by all human beings.
According to Jung, these archetypes are instinctive primal, human patterns.
There are far too many psychological archetypes to detail in this brief summary.
However, here are some of the more common ones that most people are familiar with.
Trickster or Jester
Anima and Animus
He begins in ORDINARY LIFE.
He receives the CALL TO ADVENTURE and encounters a helper along the way.
Next he crosses the THRESHOLD OF ADVENTURE.
He has entered into the other world where he undergoes TESTS and meets more HELPERS.
Finally the hero realizes his PEAK EXPERIENCE.
He then takes FLIGHT to his OLD LIFE with a BOON.