Myths of Cultures and Civilizations Essay

Myths of Cultures and Civilizations Essay

Length: 1415 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

From before the dawn of civilization as we know it, humanity has formed myths and legends to explain the natural world around them. Whether it is of Zeus and Hera or Izanami-no-Mikoto and Izanagi-no-mikoto, every civilization and culture upon this world has its own mythos. However, the age of myth is waning as it is overshadowed in this modern era by fundamental religion and empirical science. The word myth has come to connote blatant falsehood; however, it was not always so. Our myths have reflected both the society and values of the culture they are from. We have also reflected our inner psyche, conscious and unconscious, unto the fabric of our myths. This reflection allows us to understand ourselves and other cultures better. Throughout the eons of humanity’s existence, the myths explain natural phenomena and the cultural legends of the epic hero have reflected the foundations and the inner turmoil of the human psyche.
Over the recent centuries, the definition of myth has decayed into a word synonymous with falsehoods and lies. This idea of myths being completely false and therefore useless is a fairly modern one. To combat the rise of empirical science in the 1900s, theologians brought the idea of wholly literal, fundamental religion into being to combat ideas that did not perfectly align with the tenants of the religion (May 24). This was the final death blow to the idea of the metaphysical myth that was already wounded from thousands of years of being denounced as pagan or barbaric. The rise of empirical science also lent to the decay of the meaning of myth. Science was able to explain the natural world far better than a myth ever could; however, it lacked the metaphysical aspect. Due to these rising ideologies, myths hav...

... middle of paper ..., Ph.D.. n.p. 2002. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.
Drysdale, Jilian Miller. “Faces of the Goddess.” Synchronicity. Dec. 1999/Jan. 2000: 29-31. Sirs Renaissance. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.
Freud, Sigmund. The Future of an Illusion. New York: Norton & Company Inc., 1961. Print.
Henderson, Joseph. “Ancient Myths and Modern Men.” Man and his Symbols. Ed. Carl Jung. New York: Doubleday & Company Inc., 1964. 104-158. Print.
Jung, Carl. “Approaching the Unconscious.” Man and his Symbols. Ed. Carl Jung. New York: Doubleday & Company Inc., 1964. 1-104.
Kromholz, Susan Foster, and P. Kyle McCarter. “Why Myth Endures.” Johns Hopkins Magazine. Aug 1990: 32-37. Sirs Issues Researcher. Web, 07 Apr. 2104.
May, Rollo. The Cry for Myth. New York: Norton & Company, 1991. Print.
Sels, Nadia. Myth, Mind, and Metaphor: On the Relation of Mythology and Psychoanalysis. n.p. 2011. Web. 25 Mar 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Will Modern Civilizations Suffer the Same Fate as the Roman Empire?

- “Today, when human beings have the capacity to destroy civilization, we might reflect on humanity’s long and painful climb to the civilized state. (Perry, 2009, pg. 5) As we take a look at the long progression of how humankind has moved from the remote unknown, uncivilized barbaric civilization that it was so long ago, and compare it to present day civilization, one can assume that the surrounding cultures have taken a dramatic turn from what it used to be. But what happens when we contemplate the religion of the world that was once believed long before....   [tags: What is the Fate of Modern Civilizations?]

Strong Essays
754 words (2.2 pages)

Human Civilizations: Diversity in the World Essay

- ... When the tears reached the Earth, they changed to jade (Todd, 2010). Another myth that has been recounted for many centuries is about a man named He Shi Zhi Bi, or Bian, who found a piece of uncut jade in the mountains of China. He immediately presented the stone to King Li who asked a craftsman to examine the gemstone. The craftsman declared that the piece of stone that Bian had found in the mountains was only an ordinary stone, therefore the king decided to amputate one of Bian’s leg for dishonesty and being disrespectful....   [tags: cultures, chinese people]

Strong Essays
1493 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on A Personal Perspective of the Clash of Civilizations

- Even though Samuel Huntington believes that world conflicts are brought about from a clash of culture, global conflict portray the source as being more religious as religious influence has promoted global conflicts aiming toward a New World Order where everyone sees the same views and aiming towards the same objective. James Gelvin stated in his book that scholars, journalist, and policy makers adopted and popularized the ideas of Samuel P Huntington a professor at Harvard University to explain the emerging post-cold war world....   [tags: Samuel Huntington essay]

Strong Essays
2615 words (7.5 pages)

Essay about Sandra Cisneros's “Never Marry a Mexican”

- Sandra Cisneros’s short story “Never Marry a Mexican” deals heavily with the concept of myth in literature, more specifically the myth La Malinche, which focuses on women, and how their lives are spun in the shadows on men (Fitts). Myths help power some of the beliefs of entire cultures or civilizations. She gives the reader the mind of a Mexican-American woman who seems traitorous to her friends, family and people she is close to. This causes destruction in her path in the form of love, power, heartbreak, hatred, and an intent to do harm to another, which are themes of myth in literature....   [tags: Mexicans, Cisneros, myths]

Strong Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Thinking Critically, Challenging Cultural Myths

- ... Colombo explains, “The legends of gods and heroes like Athena, Zeus, and Oedipus embodied the central ideals and values of Greek civilizations- notions the gods” (Colombo, p. 3). The society in North America has their own believes but a lot of people use television and media for a big influence. Colombo expresses that “Cultural Myths as Obstacles to Critical Thinking” (Colombo, p.4). Cultural Myths will throw different obstacles in the mix, and put people in different categories: Either men or women, heterosexuals or homosexuals....   [tags: beginning college life, instructors]

Strong Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)


- When one approaches the biblical text, it is important to explore the cultural context in which the text occurs. With regard to the Book of Genesis, it is important to examine the writing with other contemporary works of similar geography and topics. The people of ancient Mesopotamia, where the oldest civilizations originated, produced a number of stories of creation and natural occurrences. It is important to note that many of the stories of the Sumerians, Akkadians and Hebrews began as oral traditions as the events they depict predate writing, so it is difficult to date these works on the basis of when these prehistoric myths were initiated....   [tags: Cultural Context, Enuma Elish]

Strong Essays
917 words (2.6 pages)

A Brief History of Robin Hood by Nigel Cawthorne Essay

- The legend of Robin Hood is widely known throughout the world. There are various literary works pertaining to the adventures and tales of Robin Hood. The main legacy that Robin and his band of merry men leave behind is the heroic concept of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. The tale has been around for hundreds of years, and is still a recurring theme used for different types of entertainment such as movies, plays, and books. As with most historical heroes, the facts of their lives may have been slightly fabricated with the passing of time....   [tags: heroic adventures, myths, outlaws]

Strong Essays
1626 words (4.6 pages)

The Truth within Creation Myths Essay

- In the dictionary, a myth is “an ancient story; a traditional story about heroes or supernatural beings, often attempting to explain the origins of natural phenomena or aspects of human behavior”, which, in the context of our lessons, is correct. But this definition is so logical and steely that it couldn’t possibly encompass even a fraction of the meaning that they held for the people who created them, and, thus, believed them to be not fiction, but truth. When early man began pining for answers to everyday occurrences, they found them, usually....   [tags: myths, ]

Strong Essays
2260 words (6.5 pages)

The Myths of Creation Essay

- When the modern person ponders the formation of human beings, our mind automatically goes to Adam and Eve, whom were the first man and woman created by God according to the Book of Genesis. Before there was Adam and Eve, diverse cultures came up with myths about the construction of humans. These myths included: “The Song of Creation” from the Rig Veda, An African Creation Tale, From the Popol Vuh, and A Native American Creation Tale “How Man Was Created” Each one of these legends gives a diverse perspective on the creation of human beings....   [tags: Man, Different Cultures]

Strong Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis of The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington

- Analysis of The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington The article “The Clash of Civilizations?” by Samuel P. Huntington is an intriguing view on how modern day civilizations have grown to become cultural and economic entities trying to make new identities for themselves. A civilization is defined as the broadest cultural grouping of people. It contains a group of people with common languages, history, religion, and customs. Huntington states in his hypothesis “the great division among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be culture.” Huntington sees the Western civilization, consisting of mainly the United States and most of Europe, as a dominate civilization....   [tags: Civilizations Culture Economics Essays]

Strong Essays
461 words (1.3 pages)