Myth in Culture and the Arts

philosophy

Description

Prepare three 7 to 10 minute mini-lessons/lectures on myth in our world. Each of your lessons/lectures should be about 500-750 words long (about 2½ to 3½ pages double-spaced, Times 12-point font, with 1-inch margins). This is not much time, so you will want to be concise but conversational, as this is a presentation rather than an essay.

a) Mini-Lesson/Lecture I: Myth in Culture and the Arts

Examine how a particular myth influenced/inspired something specific in culture or the arts, including but not limited to a work of art, a poem, a religious ritual, a film, a statue, a carving, a religious symbol, a novel, a video game, or a specific TV episode. Compare the original myth with its presentation in the chosen medium. 

b) Mini-Lesson/Lecture II: Myths and Values

Choose a specific myth and identify the specific values expressed through it. Explain how the myth functions to uphold, enforce, or reinforce a set of values within its culture/society/religion, to the detriment or benefit of that culture/society/religion.

 c) Mini-Lesson/Lecture III: The Impact of Myth 

Briefly describe a historical event, a controversy, a world event, a current event, a military group or action, a political event or group, a religious group or action, or a similar phenomenon. Then, show how a specific myth relates to that event, group, or action, as well as examining the impact that the values, attitudes, and ideas imparted by that myth have on the people, ideologies, and points of view in play.

In choosing your phenomenon, consider historical or political events that might be said to have myths as their ideological basis, such as the creation of the state of Israel, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, the Holocaust, the reign of Hirohito, Jonestown, the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir movement, the Branch Davidians, jihadist suicide bombers, kamikaze pilots, Manifest Destiny, Heaven's Gate, the Tea Party movement, and so on.

You could also consider founders of religions and heroic culture bearers who have mythic biographies or quest stories in their histories. Think of scriptural material, such as the New Testament gospels, which tell about the life of Jesus of Nazareth; and hero myths that have inspired courageous action, such as the story of Percival and his quest for the Holy Grail.


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