Introduction to Western Literature and Arts
|Some Definitions of Myth
* Myth is a constant among all human being in all times. The patterns stories, even details contained in myth are found everywhere and among every one. This is because myth is a shared heritage of ancestral memories, related consciously from generation to generation. Myth may even be part of the structure of our unconscious mind, possibly encoded in our genes. eg. "the Oedipus complex" (戀母情結) and "the Electra complex" (戀父情結).
* Myth is a telling of events that happened before written history, and of a sense of what is to come. Myth is the thread that holds past, present, and future together.
*Myth is a unique use of language that describes the realities beyond our five senses. It fills the gaps between the images of the unconscious and the language of conscious logic.
*Myth is the glue that holds societies together; it is the basis of identity for communities, tribes, and nations. (Hero worship and gender, social, national identity)
*Myth is an essential ingredient in all codes of moral conduct. The rules for living have always derived their legitimacy from their origins in myth and religion.
*Myth is a pattern of beliefs that give meaning to lilfe. Myth enables individuals and societies to adapt to their respective environments with identity and value. ( Joseph Campbell--the power of myth)
List of Names
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the earliest epic (c. 2150-2000BC). Earlier than the two great
Indian epics (Mahabharata, and Ramayana, 1000-800BC) and the two great Greek
epics (The Iliad, and The Odyssey, 900-700BC).
*What is the significance of Gilgamesh's journey to find Utnapishtim?
*What make a person a "hero"?
*If you want to read some English translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh or want to know the cosmogony and theogony of Mesopotamian Mythology:
→Visit Mircer Eliade's webpage From Primitive to Zen and browses through "Myth of Creation and Origin," "Death, After Life and Eschatology"
* If you want to read the related myth in the Bible, you can visit the website on World Wide Study Bible. Chose the book (chapter) and section you want to read (eg. Genesis 1, or Genesis 1:1), and choose the specific version of translation (eg. King James Version), then push "search." You can even find definition of any term in the Bible, and lots of tools for Bible study in the websites linked in this website (such as dictionary, encyclopedia, and commentary). I have downloaded some texts for your quick reference.
Genesis 1 (New King James Version): The Creation
Genesis 1:1 (King James Version with Definitions)
Genesis 1:26 (New King James Version with Definitions)
Genesis 1:27 (New King James Version with Definitions)
Genesis 2 (New King James Version): Adam and Eve
Genesis 3 (New King James Version): The Fall of Man
Genesis 4 (New King James Version): Cain and Abel
Genesis 5 (New King James Version): The Descendents of Adam
Genesis 6 (New King James Version): The Flood and the Ark
Genesis 7 (New King James Version): "
Genesis 8 (New King James Version): "
Genesis 9 (New King James Version): The Covenant with Noah