Download Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Helen Morales PDF

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By Helen Morales

From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of old Greece and Rome appear to exert a undying strength over us. yet what do these myths signify, and why are they so enduringly interesting? Why do they appear to be any such powerful method of speaking approximately our selves, our origins, and our desires?

This inventive and stimulating Very brief advent is going past an easy retelling of the tales to discover the wealthy historical past and various interpretations of classical mythology. it's a wide-ranging account, analyzing how classical myths are used and understood in either excessive paintings and pop culture, taking the reader from the temples of Crete to skyscrapers in ny, and discovering classical myths in a number of unforeseen areas: from Arabic poetry and Hollywood motion pictures, to psychoanalysis, the Bible, and New Age spiritualism.

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Land where—and’tis in Europe counted a reproach Where man asks questions for which man was made. Land without nobility, or wigs, or debt, No castles, no cathedrals, and no kings. Land of the forest. 1057/9781137301673 42 Media, Myth, and Society We do have great natural parks but we are no longer a “land of the forest” the way we were when we had a frontier. Emerson contrasted America with its “rejected fatherland” Europe and its nobility, hierarchies and ancient institutions as reflected in its kings, castles and cathedrals.

Is based on the myth of the Exodus; that of the Christian Communion on the myth of the last supper. 1057/9781137301673 36 Media, Myth, and Society slavery in Egypt; the Christian moral precept of meekness and mildness, on these traits attributed mythically to Jesus. (1972: 132–133) For Patai, as for Durkheim before him, it is ancient myths that shape contemporary religious practices, rituals and beliefs, for Jews and Christians and other religions as well.  (1972: 134) The interesting thing, Patai adds, is that thousands of years after these myths were created, large numbers of people still believe in them as “truths” and accept them and they are part of the official doctrine or Judaism and Christianity.

For many scholars, the genius of America is the way it has accepted millions of immigrants from all over the world and turned them, after a generation or two, into “real” Americans. I suggested earlier that the theme of “innocent” Americans confronting evil foreigners is a dominant motif in American mass-mediated or popular culture. We find this theme of innocence in many of our comic strips from the twenties and thirties up until today. The comic strip Li’l Abner is about a hillbilly named Abner from a small town called Dogpatch, who has adventures with urban villains, oddballs and evil characters of one sort or another.

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