World Mythologies - Saturday
Myths are fictional stories told to others to teach a moral and/or lesson. Myths are based off of true events that happened throughout history. The events in the story change by adding mythical events. Myths are based loosely on evidence that is found throughout history. The evidence is used as a platform and with added magical elements, a myth is told. The stories may be based on a religious story that can be modified to teach a lesson.
A myth that was told to us as children to teach us that bribing is not good was Aphrodite and the Trojan War. The myth was told that Aphrodite and her two sisters, Hera and Athena, fought over which daughter of Zeus was the fairest. Zeus told the daughters that Paris, the Prince of Troy, would make the final decision. Prince was promised by Aphrodite the hand of her mortal half-sister, Helen. Helen was married to the King of Sparta and once he found out that she left him (she was put under a spell by Aphrodite) for Paris, the King of Sparta called war to bring his wife, Helen back home. The King of Sparta went to the city, Troy, to find Helen and bring her back with the help of his soldiers; this was known as the Trojan War.
Historical narratives are based on facts throughout history and current events. The evidence found in history can be used to tell a historical narrative. The story is not able to be based off of the exact events through history because it is subjective to the narrator. The person telling the story will base it off of their point of view which will make the story bias.
An example of a historical narrative is the event of September 11, 2001. The evidence of the hijackers, video of the terrorist attacks, audio recordings, and connections made between the terrorists are all used to put together the narrative. There was evidence later found such as articles found in rubble of the buildings and airplanes, phone call recordings of loved ones in the midst of the attack; this was used to inform the public which modified the historical event.
The setting, characters, and plot that take place for a myth can change over time unintentionally because the story is spread by word of mouth. Just as myths, historical narratives can contain all three elements but will have to take place in chronological order. Plot requires reason in a historical narrative and even though there may be details that change overtime, that will only be because evidence is found to help define the story to show the true historical events.
The scholar, Joseph Campbell, claimed that there were four functions of a myth. The first function was known as metaphysical function that allows the reader to take in the story with the knowledge that there is a sense of mystery. Noah’s Ark allows the story to have a metaphysical function because of the magical content that is embedded. The story takes place with a man, Noah, which builds an ark large enough to hold two of each animal. Onboard the ark, all animals are fed enough while the earth is flooded for 40 days and 40 nights by God, a powerful greater force. Along with the story containing many elements that we believe is impossible, the story of Noah’s Ark is first taught to children of a Christian belief background.
The second listed by Joseph Campbell is a cosmological function that allows the reader to comprehend the element of science in the myth. The science in a myth can be the star alignment in the sky or the different seasonal changes that happen here on earth. It is an explanation to how this universe works as a whole and that can only be explained by understanding time, space, energy, and physics in general. An example of this function is from the