Foundations of Mythology Short Answers Write 150- to 200-word responses to each of the following:
How is the word myth used popularly? For example, what does the statement, “It’s a myth” mean? In contrast, how is the word?
Myth Used in the academic context? After considering the definition in your textbooks and course materials, write a definition in your own words.
Etymology Dictionary (2010) a myth is defined as, “a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature” (p. 1).According to Popular Culture Association (PCA)/American Culture Association(ACA) (2012), “many of them have had their roots in real characters and events but with retelling and elaboration have been built up into great 'ripping yarns'”(para. 1). In modern times, the word myth is used to refer to a fairy tale, an exaggerated tale that may hold partial truths, or a story to teach a lesson to the receivers of the story. In an academic context, the word myth has changed over time. Myths are ancient narratives that attempt to answer the enduring and fundamental human questions (Leonard & McClure, 2004). I believe the stories of myths may have some truth within them, but the facts have (over the retelling) been skewed. This is similar to the game of gossip that children play where the first thing whispered is retold around the circle until it is told aloud at the beginning of the circle to see how accurate it remains. The stories are used to teach lessons to people (children) on how to aspire to behave, what not to do, and consequences in life choices.
Why do myths from different cultures around the world address such similar or universal themes? Think about how myths explain the unknown and the tribulations of humankind.