Myths According to Joseph Campbell Essay

1158 Words Nov 9th, 2012 5 Pages
Kevin Gerbier What is a myth? When one thinks of a myth perhaps one thinks about a story being told by the fire, or a dramatic tale about an invincible hero, or perhaps a cosmological occurrence that caused everything to be. Personally, when I think of the word myth, I think of the ancient Greeks or Romans with their many gods and goddesses; however, to most, the story being told by a myth is simply that, just a story. To most the term “myth” has been confused for a legend or folklore. The truth of the matter is however, that to religious scholars, a myth is more than just a story; a myth is how a society’s religion came to explain what seemed the inexplicable. With modern science booming and being capable of explaining the events …show more content…
From these written down myths, the teachers or the wise from each religion can interpret the metaphorical story that has been passed down from older generations of that religion and enlighten those who follow it. The importance of myths is how it functions and plays a role in a particular religion and society.
Joseph Campbell was a mythologist and a writer. He believed that myth was in fact non-fiction and that it played a great role in how it functioned with religion and beliefs. He wrote The Hero’s Journey where he outlined four major components that gave a function to myths. These were that, first myths produce a mystical function, myths also have a cosmological function, myths posses a sociological function, and finally myths have a psychological function according to joseph Campbell.
The mystical function of myth is meant to keep the believer in awe and be able to experience first hand the power of the divine through the story. The stories are meant to engage the listener or reader so that they can relate to an extent beyond their comprehension. This function places the believer in a humble state when the realization of how miniscule they are compared to their “god.” The mystical function unites the believer with the “transcendent reality” to which they originated from. This function is meant to instill a sense of faith to that which cannot be directly seen but

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