Foundations of Mythology Sample Essay.
Foundations of Mythology
Foundations of Mythology
‘Myth’ comes from a Greek word mythos. This literally means a word or story. The study of myths is called Mythology. Myths have come to refer to some category (genre) of stories which distinguish them from other oral narrative genres such as folktales or legends. Most definitions of the word myth happen to repeat a similar general aspect of the genre itself and are hereby discussed. Many communities all over the world have adopted myths and incorporated them into their cultures even in today’s world.
Definition of Myth
Myths, by definition, refer to tales or stories which are believed to be true, originating from distant parts of the world with extra inhuman, human or heroic characters. Barlett, (2017) explains that the word myth has been associated with the “fake” or “fairy tale” tag since its conception in the English language.
Meaning of the statement, “It’s a Myth”
The myths in most areas are regarded as “origin” stories whose function is to provide an order. The order, as symbolic expressions in myths, help establish important values of cultures worldwide. Additionally, people have come to use myths as value-laden discourse in explaining more about human nature. One sort of myth can be to say, one should not swim within 30 minutes after taking some food lest he or she would get swimming cramps. It is important to note that there is no biological explanation how the above scenario can exist.
Academic Context of Myth and Personal Definition
In the academic context, myths can be talked of as in the following example: “A thesis should be written in just a sentence” This is not right always since so many steps and concepts are involved in thesis writing that it may end in multiple sentences. In my opinion, I regard myth as a way of validating some common idea whose usage is otherwise outdated or has been proven false. The myths are put forth by people who do or are involved in some unacceptable deeds but want to justify those deeds. They would cling to the myths to authenticate their doings even if they are wrong.
Common Mythological Themes across Cultures
One of the most common mythological explanations is the origin of mankind. Almost all communities and races all over the world have their own version explaining how they came into existence. The fact that every culture explains their own origin must be viewed as significant. It can be argued that people tried to figure out their origin once they became civilized.
Why Different Cultures Have Similar Mythical Themes and Their Existence Today
Since civilization came at different times in different ways, people in their communities devised their own stories about their origin. These cultures attempted to explain what they could not figure out clearly. Myths also attempt to explain where we came from and exactly why we exist. The myths address the existence of a supernatural being who decided to separate his residence from those of man for management purposes. There is also an explanation of how a single god or a group of gods took control of the universe. In the present world, these myths still exist. According to José Luiz, (2016), people still believe in the existence of one omnipotent God who created the heaven and the earth and all that is in it. God is believed to still be in control of the whole universe.
How Myths Explain Mankind Tribulations
The tribulations of mankind are explained mythically as a punishment for failing to honor this supernatural god. The myths indicate the presence of a son to the god who would save mankind from their sufferings. Mythological stories try to give a lifeline to those who follow and obey the rules of the god. These people are promised an “afterlife”. These myths are highly favorable to those who consent to them and follow the rules (Kerry, 2016). These people always live a moral life and doing all that their god requires with a hope of future life. Those who do not follow these rules live in fear that they would undergo unending tribulations to their death. These mythological themes, thus, appear terrible to violators of these rules and is believed to explain the origin of their unending tribulations.
Myths are traditionally regarded as folk stories. They have been used to explain the origin of various things and activities. The myths have also been used to explain the origin of human nature. The mythological reason behind the existence of mankind is universal. These myths also link the tribulations of mankind to the source of existence. The only burning question is to whether we should believe in these myths or not.
Barlett, J. A. (2017). American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore. Reference & User Services Quarterly, (3), 215.
José Luiz, I. (2016). Apocryphal Narratives and Religious Language As Memory And Meanings Of The Early Christian Communities By The Aegis Of Language Theories. Horizonte, Vol 14, Iss 42, Pp 262-283 (2016), (42), 262
Kerry, H. (2016). The Ch’orti’ Maya Myths of Creation. Oral Tradition, Vol 30, Iss 1, Pp 3-26 (2016), (1), 3