foundation of mythology

Essay by shellyh014University, Bachelor'sA-, January 2014

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Foundations of Mythology



Foundations of Mythology

In the popular context, the word "myth" is generally used to describe urban legends. Urban legends are false stories, told as if they were true, and passed on to others. Myth, in this context, is defined as stories that undergo a series of events sharing characteristics of legends and folktales. These stories, present themselves in our everyday lives through fictional characters, such as Tooth Fairy or Cupid.

In an academic setting, the word "myth" is used to describe ancient narratives that attempt to answer the enduring and fundamental human questions such as creation (Leonard & McClure, p. 1, 2004). The word mythology is derived from both Greek words mythos and logos. The academic study of mythology could be described as the logical thinking used to produce mythical thinking; hence mythos forms the structure in which logos is employed.

I would describe myths as an unexplainable or unknown actual event created by individuals to make sense of the unknown. Creation is a perfect example of this.

Cultures around the world have different Myths. They all share the basic human desire to understand life and its meaning. Claude Lévi-Strauss expresses similar sentiments about myth's functions when he postulates that myths serve to mediate conflicting or dualistic elements of society and life and conflicting nature of human beings are same around the world. (Leonard & McClure, p. 18, 2004).

Creation is one of the most popular myths. Most cultures have a creation myth. The cultures utilize their surroundings and cultural backgrounds to help the citizens understand the unknown. Since we all have different backgrounds, it makes sense the stories would differ however, the...