Mythology

What is the function of mythology?

  • Explains the world and natural phenomena
  • Teaches us lessons and values
  • Entertains
  • Provides authority and legitimacy, establishes a unified identity
  • A means of exploration

The Monomyth

An American psychologist  and anthropologist, Joseph Campbell, wrote a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), where he researched heroic narratives from around the world and noted some interesting patterns. Campbell discovered several common basic stages that almost every hero goes through on his/her quest. This structure is called the MONOMYTH.

Since Campbell’s original thesis, other scholars have formulated the monomyth in different ways. We will be examining a few heroic myths:

  • Heracles
  • Perseus
  • Theseus
  • Jason
  • Odysseus

Mythweb is A helpful resource that recounts Greek myths in a very user friendly manner.

HOMEWORK: Read your assigned heroic myth and complete the monomyth chart. Tomorrow we will be sharing these myths with the class.

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