It has been said that there are under thirty plots in the world, and that all stories, in all languages, all over the world and throughout history, are simply variations on these. Parallels can be drawn between all literature; however, classical mythology has had particularly far-reaching effects on our present civilization. Modern society holds a fascination with Greek and Roman society, and classical literature and mythology are certainly no exceptions. Regardless of location, language and time period, humankind has always followed relatively similar thought patterns. Therefore, it follows that all stories created by humans would have certain parallels and would contain certain universal themes, details and values.
One of these is the idea of the wrongdoings of mortals being punished. The idea of punishment for sinners is a ubiquitous one, found in cultures all over the world. For instance, in the Bible, as well as there being a hell in which sinners are imprisoned, there is also Tartarus (a compartment in the underworld of hell), which was created by God for those fallen angels who left their first estate. In almost all cultures, some form of this idea has evolved. The concept of sinners’ eventual penalization is a comforting one for those who have been wronged. This philosophy, of course, retains a place in the current day, with the idea of hell, present in most religions in some form. In addition, it is unequivocal that in most contemporary films and books, the villain is inevitably punished in the end. Many cultures have also adopted some form of an apocalyptic end of the human race. The image of Noah and the Great Flood is one of the most familiar in the Bible. Oth...
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...y his harsh treatment of the wrongdoers as well as the lavish reward given to the elderly couple who made them welcome. Clearly, this tremendous emphasis on hospitality has since become archaic; nevertheless it gives us a better idea of the value system adopted by the Romans. Like most stories, the classical Roman tale of Baucis and Philemon can be related to the narratives of many other cultures. Because all literature and legends stem from the same origins, they all contain certain inevitable similitudes. Patterns of archetypes, values, and themes can be seen in writings and stories throughout history and all over the world. As well as using these patterns to study the similarities between ancient and modern society, mankind can use them to recognize the differences that exist and learn more about the civilizations which helped to shape the world in which we live.
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