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Myths are known to have a very big impact in the lives of human beings and they are present in the modern society that we live in. Joseph Campbell talks about how myths came into existence. In his book The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell talks about how he grew up and the myths that he encountered, which were from different cultures. He tries to explain that the society is under a transition from myths of the old times to new ones which suite the modern society which is based on the modern way of thinking that is new and more rational.
Myths are perceived to be part of cultures and they are derived from societal legends and stories. Myths were passed on from one generation to the next using rituals and traditions using oral method, because at ancient times people did not know how to write.Some of the myths portrayed truths pertaining to mankind (Campbell 62).
Myths are said to provide a framework of cultures in the society and are also said to educate people in the society so that they can have a means of coping with the traditions which involve passage through life stages that are different. The life stages are from birth to when one dies. Myths are said to be inclusive of religion which is a major element of the society. Myths are bound to the society using the time in which they occurred.
Myths are used to mark events that are special in people’s private lives. Examples of events such are marriage and most important circumcision. Some of these events occur due to the need to satisfy the requirements of the society. Myths are also used to put the society under unity because people tend to identify with them and hence lead them to a universal way of thinking.
Goddess within by Jennifer and Roger Woolger relate goddess spirituality to myths in the modern society using the psychology of feminism, in reference to the goddesses of Greek. Myths as explained by these two authors help people to self discover themselves. The Goddess Within acts as a guide towards life that people live. The goddess within helps people to fill the void that they feel on the inside. Myths help people to view life from a different perspective and hence knowing the description that the gods and the goddesses have.
Majority of mythological talk nowadays focuses on queens, mother’s priestesses or lovers and this helps to further explain the relationships that women have in the society. In their discussions Jennifer and Roger give a description of the orientations of goddesses.Some of the goddesses described are Athena who deals with intelligence and is very competitive, Artemis who is adventurous and loves wilderness, Aphrodite whose body is sacred and represents romance, Hera who is a wife and has access to worldly power, Persephone who is in charge of dreams, transformation power and death. Lastly there is Demeter who is mother to the earth and goddess of child bearing.
Women are said to be at an advantage because they can easily discover who they are. Myths are said to rescue women from confusion in a society that is entirely dominated by men. This yearning makes them look for guides from spirits that are from a higher rank thus enabling women to be converted into a healer.
This book says that myths, which are integrated with personal lives, do not always apply and that they may vary from time to time. Myths are also known to put a restriction in the development of human lives if they are unable to satisfy an individual’s spiritual needs.
O Brother, Where Art Thou, is a movie which has so many similarities with the movie Odyssey. In this movie, Everest and his two friends Pete and Delmar set out in the retrieval of treasure that Everest claims to have hidden after stealing. On their way they met a blind person who told them about their future, the blind man told Everest that he would not find the treasure that he was looking for because it was not in existent.
In reality this treasure did not exist because he was going back home to his wife and so, he had tricked his two friends so that they could escape with him. However even after he confessed to his friends and went back to his wife, the wife did not accept him back because she did not have her ring and it was to be found at the river. He managed to get the ring but it turned to be the wrong one and hence by the end of it all he did not get his treasure. In their search for the treasure we find them talking about the color of the devil as described by myths.
Oddesy is a legendary tale that is about a man who goes by the name Odysseus who struggled to go back to his motherland which is known as Ithaca. Odyssey believes in God. In both movies mythical aspects are depicted in the sirens and powers which were possessed by the Circe who was the goddess witch.
The goddess had powers to turn one of the men in the O Brother Where Art Thou into a frog, while one of Odysseys men was turned into a pig. The mentality that they have due to the myths about heroism gives them the courage to fight the Circe and eventually succeeded in defeating it. Odysseus instructed his men to use wax to cover their ears so that they could not hear the sirens because they were aimed at seducing them and hence lose focus on going back home.
Also we find that there is the use of a lotus fruit which is intoxicating , use of this fruit was said to cause persons to forget about going home or having memories attached to their past. And we find that when Odysseus and his crew used this fruit, they become obsessed with it. This is a myth which represents the rebirth of persons and also represents a new way of looking at things. This is related to the sacrament that Christians were given for their sins and for rebirth. However this is a myth and they choose to believe in its revelation.
The Fisher King is also known as the king who was wounded. This movie is said to figure in an Arthurian legend. The story about him is that of having an injury in the leg near the groin. This injury caused him to be unable to move his leg. While he is still suffering from the injury his kingdom is also said to be in suffering too. His injury caused him to be impotent and this went a long way to affecting the fertility of his kingdom. This caused his land to become barren and a wasteland. The king starts fishing in the nearby river which is close to his castle which was known as Corbenic.
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So many knights were said to travel from so many areas in order to cure him but they were not able because the only person who could have cured him had to have been chosen. The myth lies on the wound of the Fisher King and in the connection of the land to the king because when the king fell sick the land became a wasteland.The waste land is mystified as representation of the modern society which has no morals.
In Odyssey we find that the search for treasure was a characteristic of myths that were held by many societies. Myths have been shown to influence the faith that people have on religion and other small things in the society. Myths help to show how cultures in different societies have developed with time. Myths cannot be disintegrated from the environment which is defined by the culture because they are based on the surroundings (Horowitz 223).
Myths existed in the ancient times and they continue to exist in the modern society. In the modern world that we are living in people are not so much into the myths and rituals are not being performed.As a result societies are not mature in their way of doing things. This myths have been greatly affected by technology and materialism and hence causing the youth to lack an identity and hence become alienated from the social order of the society. This has led to a rapid rise in deviant behaviors.
Campbell, Joseph. The power of myth. London: Anchor Books, 1991.Pg 56-78
Horowitz, Anthony. Myths and Legends. New York: Kingfisher Publications, 2009.Pg 201-227