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Myth - Essay Example

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A myth can be said to be a story with a purpose, which tries to explain the way the world is. Through myths, a relationship between human being and god can be explained. In most cases, myths send a message that has got an important religious or social meaning to people, even though the events might be impossible…
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Myth
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Download file to see previous pages According to Campbell, myths are not lies or tall-tales. They are however imaginative, symbolic stories that people of virtually all times have told as a means of expressing their deepest feelings and insights of the ultimate reality1 .
Therefore it is not possible to suggest that a myth means only one thing. With time, it is easy for a story to loose its concrete localization, or even become associated with a different story or hero altogether. This implies that a myth can go into a number of directions with time, acquiring new associations or losing the old ones. In many performances, mythical stories that are familiar to certain people were used to catch the attention of the audience.
Self conscious collection in a body becomes very important when it is found that the common body of knowledge within a certain culture has started to fade away. However, some people perceived myths to be for those people who are weak and had undergone psychoanalysis and thus needed only to see through their superficial covering of the past incidents2.
Myth is so enduring that it does not easily vanish with the increased complexities of life. The changing global economic and political situation has had little effect in causing the myth to wither. Myths appear at all levels of social life although it has been felt that it is important at the primitive social life. Therefore, a myth can be taken to be a sacred form that can explain how for instance the world and mankind came to be. A myth can be used to give an explanation of something that extends beyond human mortal beliefs but has certain meanings. This can be based on what many people refer to as sacred beliefs/life. However, some scientists have argued that a myth is not based on sacred traditions or collective rituals. In this perspective it is also a fact that modern human beings are products of non-mythological world's way of thinking. It is however true to claim that myths have been highly coiled around many sacred socio-historical settings, which might seem to be more of traditional and less technologically oriented modern people.
However, putting the myth stories from one society with another that are related can make a person to understand more of what happens and why such things happens. It also helps people to live harmoniously in the society. According to Billias, myths helps to human beings to know their true selves by creating a world that all the people can live in with the surrounding community3.
Literal Vs Metaphorical Interpretation of myths
In interpreting mythical stories, they can be taken to be literally or metaphorical. When talking about literal interpretation, it is assumed to represent factually true statements or false, depending on the case. Metaphorical interpretation is taken to mean merely poetical language or existentially significant. Therefore, literal language is simply cognitively meaning while the metaphorical language expresses attitude and commitment4.
The literal and metaphorical interpretation can be applied in the case of incarnation of Jesus. As Gill explains, "that Jesus was God the son incarnate is not literally true since it has no literal meaning, but it is an application to Jesus of a mythical concept whose function is analogous to that of the notion of divine sonship ascribed in the ancient world to a king", (Para 11)5. Literal and metaphorical meaning depends on the authors or narrators implicit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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