A Comparative Study of Mythology Essays

A Comparative Study of Mythology Essays

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Zeus hurls his thunderbolt and the world trembles. Odin invites fallen warriors in the halls of Valhalla for a drink. Jesus Christ spreads the words of his father and gathers disciples. Buddha sits and meditates the meaning of the universe. Across the world there have always been mythological stories. From the first civilization to modern times, mythologies help explain the vents of the world and attempt to provide answers for unanswerable questions. Though every mythology appears different, if one looks close enough, commonalities appear. Joseph Campbell spent his life studying mythologies and religions along with compiling the commonalities amongst them. This study on the works of Joseph Campbell focuses on the following areas:
I. Reasons for the commonalities amongst mythologies
II. Carl Yung’s Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, and their relation to mythology
III. Modern Mythology

Reasons for the Commonalities amongst Mythologies
Throughout history there have always been commonalities. This idea may seem in contrast with the ideas of modern thought, but if one looks hard enough the commonality of humanity remains. Joseph Campbell, in his many books, takes an in-depth look at one area of commonality, mythology.
When discussing mythology Joseph Campbell includes not only the beliefs of ancient civilizations, like that of ancient Greece or Egypt, but also religions of modern peoples, such as Christianity and Buddhism. This inclusion occurs because of the similar ideas that crop up in both ancient and modern mythology.
Campbell describes myths as “the search for meaning; for an experience of being alive” (Power of Myth). “That every myth every legend is true,” and is “metaphorical of the human and cosmic myster...


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...s not one chosen religion, or mythology. Whether one follows an old mythology or a brand new one the commonalities will always be there, tucked away amongst the myths and legends.



Works Cited

Apostrophe S Productions. (Producer). (1988). Joseph Campbell and the power of myth. [Video].
Campbell, J. (1986). The inner reaches of outer space. New York: Joseph Campbell Foundation.
Campbell, J. (1973). Myths to live by. United States of America: Bantam Books.
Campbell, J. (1976). Occidental mythology. United States of America: Penguin Books.
Campbell, J. (1976). Oriental mythology. United States of America: Penguin Books.
Campbell, J. (2004). Pathways to bliss. Canada: Joseph Campbell Foundation.
Campbell, J. (1976). Primitive mythology. United States of America: Penguin Books.
Thinking Aloud Productions. (1998). Understanding mythology with joseph Campbell.

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