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Myths Theories


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Myth`s Theories Essay, Research Paper

There are four basic theories of myth. Those theories are: the rational myth

theory, functional myth theory, structural myth theory, and the phsycological

myth theory. The rational myth theory states that myths were created to explain

natural events and forces. Functional myths are what you call the kinds of myths

that were created as a type of social control. The third myth theory is the

structural myth theory. This theory says that myths were patterned after human

mind and human nature. The phsycological myth theory is the fourth myth theory

which states that myths are based on human emotion. The rational myth theory

states that myths were made to better understand natural events and forces that

occurred in the everyday lives of people. This theory also explains that the

gods and goddesses controlled all of these happenings of nature. Examples of

this type of myth are creation myths from different cultures. Creation myths

explain how man was created and explain what the gods and goddesses used and

what actions they took to create humans. These myths also tell what substances

were used (if any) in order for man to exist. The existence of man is a natural

event but creation myths give other explanations. The functional myth theory

talks about how myths were used to teach morality and social behavior. It states

that myths told about what types of things should and shouldn?t be done, and

the consequences for those wrong doings. The functional myth theory also states

that myths were created for social control and served the function of insuring

stability in a society. A story about a tribe who rebelled against the great

serpent, Degei, is a good example of a functional myth. This story is about a

tribe who learned many skills from their great serpent god, Degei, and then

became Degei?s workers and servants. Two chiefs of this tribe were sick of

working for him and tried to defeat him; they were too weak for Degei. Instead

of winning their freedom, they were killed in a great flood caused by Degei.

This myth is trying to say that you should not be lazy because if you are, then

you will regret it. Structural myths are said to be myths based on human

emotion. These types of myths show the two sides of the human mind; the good

side and the bad side. They show the divided self and the duality of human

nature. Myths about Hercules show how the human mind can be both good and bad.

Hercules did both good and bad things. One of the bad things he did was (in

?Jason and the Argonauts?) he stole a broach pin from the treasure chamber

of the god Talos. This sin caused his friend to be killed. Hercules knew that

his friend was killed because of his sin, so to make up for it, he vowed to stay

on the island until his friend was found. The phsycological myth theory states

how myths are based on human emotion and that they come from the human

subconscious mind. Cultures all around the world had similar fears, questions,

and wishes which, to them, were unexplainable. That is the reason that

phsycological myths were made; and that is why there are archetypes shared

between cultures. Archetypes are general forms and characters used by all

cultures. Some archetypes found between cultures are having a sky god (Zeus and

Oleron),a sea god (Poseidon and Olokun), and an agricultural god (Orisha-Oko and

Demeter). These archetypes are examples of how people think alike when it comes

to things that are to them mysteries and fears. In conclusion, it appears that

man created myths for quite a few reasons. These reasons include explaining the

unknown, natural events and forces, to show the duality and pureness of human

nature and the human mind, and to help societies maintain order and remain

stable. There must be more reasons of exactly why myths should have arisen but

that is beyond the extent of this essay.

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