Expert Answer:Jung on Myth and The Grail Legend as Frazerian Myt

  

Solved by verified expert:No one conjures ideas from thin air. All great theories begin somewhere and are influenced from thoughts elsewhere. Joseph Campbell is no different. We would be denying Campbell his intellectual depth if we did not begin this class by exploring the thinkers and ideas that started Campbell down his path with his multi-faced hero. This week, our readings come from the work of Robert Segal who, while not a philosopher of myth, is an honest and fair historian of the study of myth. In the first article, Segal looks at the influence the psychologist and mystic Carl Jung had on the study of myth. Jung’s ideas of dreams and symbols greatly influenced Campbell and his approach to myth. Consider that Campbell once said that dreams are “personal myths and myths are public dreams.” Once you subscribe to that perspective, you can begin to analyze any narrative as you would a dream. The importance of this perspective is that Jung’s influence on Campbell freed the mythographer from the restraints of literalism. You can no more read a myth literally than you could a dream. So, the fundamental question shifts from “Is this true?” to “What does it mean and How?” This is a very important perspective to grasp in the study of myth.In the second article, Segal looks at the Grail Legend as well as the Myth and Ritual school. The Grail Legend is the prototypical quest narrative. Campbell’s journey begins with this classic story’s ideas and structures and then extend to the entirety of his theory. The Myth and Ritual school was a fascinating movement centered at Cambridge University in the years after World War One. The idea, in a nutshell, was to examine how narratives influenced social action and consciousness. Granted, this is an idea as old as Plato, but the Cambridge Ritualists delved deep into the role myth plays in society. As you read these articles, keep in mind your paper from week one. How do the ideas expressed in these two articles add to your understanding of myth? ReadingsJung on MythThe Grail Legend as Frazerian Myth and Ritual A microtheme will be due each week. These will be short (2-4 pages) summaries of and responses to the required readings from that week. Microthemes will address your questions about the readings as well as attempts to answer these questions as you work to make sense of the material. This is a good place for you to make connections between the work of the class and ideas regarding rhetoric and communication. This is a good opportunity for you to work at making sense of the reading and building awareness of your thinking process.
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Running head: MYTHOLOGY
1
Definition of Mythology
MYTHOLOGY
2
Definition of Mythology
Introduction
In my opinion, myth is a story that is passed from one generation to another that aims at
explaining phenomenon in the society that cannot easily be explained. Myth transcends the
dwellings of mystery, which is the unknown things, and proceeds to the abnormal and
unimaginable. The use of myth, in my opinion, is to instill fear or courage to the younger
generations in order to teach valuable societal values that are important for future generations
and as such has to carry some form of truth. To understand the definition of myth, we shall look
at the similarities and differences that exist between my opinion of myth and those expressed by
“Myth and Reality”, “Myth, Method, Meaning”, and “Introduction: The Meaning of Myth”.
“Introduction: The Meaning of Myth”
In “Introduction: The Meaning of Myth”, the author begins by stating that myth is sound
of mouth. This first statement echoes my idea of myth as a story that is passed from generation to
generation. In the olden days, there were no writings and often myths were passed from one
person to another by use of word of mouth. Therefore, in agreement, myth is word of mouth
however, due to development of literary works; some of the myths have been preserved in text.
Just as in the Introduction: The Meaning of Myth, research into myth is not always conclusive
due to lack of text or any scientific evidence. In the Introduction: The Meaning of Myth, the
concept of monomyth is introduced which I find plausible and in fact very much relatable to the
modern man.
The monomyth is brought about in eight basic steps. The first step is that a child is born
into the world or reality. This child is now a hero of his own life. The birth is the beginning of
the hero’s life. This stage is followed by the childhood of the child. The childhood is the
MYTHOLOGY
3
initiation into the world or reality where the child realizes that there are things that are greater
than it. This realization is followed by a preparation and meditation phase where the child has to
search in them for the god in them that is brought into the forefront through temptation. The
child then goes through agony and trials in adulthood, and then moves to death as a mystical and
miraculous thing. Depending on the man’s representation of afterlife, they proceed to the
underworld to confront the forces of death and then rise from the dead. To break this cycle, the
man seeks to gain a permanent place in heaven where the person will spend their life with eternal
god.
“Myth, Method, Meaning”
In “Myth, Method, Meaning”, the concept of myth is touched on in a slightly different
way where man’s life is considered to have some basic steps that begin with birth and end with
death. The major events are marked by representation either by lighting candles or cakes. This
event is remembered annually for its significance by recreating the representation. This
recreation is a myth in the basic life of a human being. This is a concept that I have not
considered in my personal life as relating to myth.
To make meaning of a phenomenon, three elements have to come together, the object, the
subject and the expression. This process explains the difference between reality and myth. Myth
seeks to express itself through experience while reality looks logical explanations. As such, a
myth can perfectly explain the chaos through emotions and experience that is present in life
while science is not able to do the same. In the same respect then, my view of myth as carrying
some truth aligns to “Myth, Method, Meaning” since myth is seen to have some truth to it that
has to be searched for and discovered by the investigator.
“Myth and Reality”
MYTHOLOGY
4
Similarly, my opinion of myth bearing some truth is supported further in another text.
Myth continues to develop a relationship with truth that is expressed in “Myth and Reality”.
Myth is expressed as a form of poetry that transcends and any other poetry since it proclaims
some form of truth; a form of reasoning that wants to transcend reasoning that wants to bring out
reasoning; a form of action, of ritual behavior, that does not find fulfillment in the act but must
proclaim an elaborate poetic truth.
Personal Definition
From the texts, the personal definition that I develop for myth is that it is a form of
literary works that is passed by word of mouth from generation to generation to restate the
hidden truths that help man live through life with particular attention to the main events in life –
birth, life, death – for finding greater meaning and reasoning in the rituals of daily behavior.
Conclusion
In conclusion, my view of myth differs and shares similarity with “Myth and Reality”,
“Myth, Method, Meaning”, and “Introduction: The Meaning of Myth”. The main similarity that I
share is the fact that myth has to do with word being shared and the existence of some form of
truth in myth. In fact, in “Myth and Reality”, myth is seen as to be purposed at expressing a
hidden truth in its very nature that transcends that very meaning that is represented in literary
works. The key difference is that my perception of myth differs with the authors especially in
“Introduction: The Meaning of Myth”, is that myth is present in everyday life through the basic
life processes of birth up to death and further transcendence to heaven.

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