Myth and Reality

Myth and Reality

This writing assignment asks that you think about the material attached and arrive at a personal definition of mythology.

* Readings:

“ and Reality” (handout)

“Myth, Method, Meaning” (handout)

“Introduction: The Meaning of Myth” (pp. 3-9 in Leeming)


We will take a broad survey of myths from different cultures, but read and analyze them through the lens of Joseph Campbell’s theory of the heroic monomyth.

But, before we can begin to understand Campbell’s perspective, we must first understand our own ideas, prejudices and theories about what constitutes myth and its study. The readings this week are intended to give you an introduction to how scholars explore myth. “Myth and Reality” is a joint article written by the faculty of the University of Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute. This is one of the best articles to understand the serious study of myth as something parallel and foundational to philosophy. “Myth, Method, and Meaning” is explication of “myth”. Finally, David Leeming offers his own perspective on myth in his introduction to our text book. As you read these articles, keep you own perspective about myth in mind and consider how these ideas are the same or different than your own.

You may approach this assignment in two ways:

How is your idea of myth different or the same as the perspectives presented in the readings? Be clear and specific as you present your ideas by directly responding to the authors.

In your opinion, how should ? In an ideal circumstance, what should myth do? Again, be clear and specific as you present your ideas by directly responding to the authors.

Answer preview to myth and reality


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