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Barry B. Powell's A Short Introduction to Classical Myth PDF

By Barry B. Powell

ISBN-10: 0130258393

ISBN-13: 9780130258397

An important reference for someone attracted to gaining a deeper realizing and appreciation of classical mythology, this detailed consultant deals unique resource fabric at the social and old historical past, interpretation, and observation on significant literary books on Greek myth—such as Homer, Hesiod, the tragedians, the historians, Ovid, Vergil, and in Greek paintings. Written in a transparent and lucid demeanour, the booklet deals clean and unique interpretations according to the newest scholarship, and springs equipped into 3 designated components: I: Definitions and Interpretations (devoted to theoretical issues); II: historical past (to fill in details necessary to realizing myth); and III: issues (chapters directed towards particular themes within the learn of myth). For common readers of English literature and/or classical mythology.

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Together with such specialized esoteric texts, handbooks continued to provide basic information along with interpretations for artists or writers. Myth had virtually become a language for talking about timeless truths, and in the seventeenth century the theory that pagan myth was a distorted version of biblical history reemerged with vigor. Scholars gathered evidence intended to show that many details in Homer were muddled versions of events in the Old Testament. The siege of Troy was explained as a recasting of Joshua's attack on Jericho.

On the other hand, the aggressive potential in woman's nature was reflected in myths about the Amazons. Although Bachofen described favorably the early "mother right," he rec­ ognized a third, and higher, Apollonian phase, represented by Rome. Here the older, more primitive communal mother right was overthrown, and au­ thority was invested in law that embodied the higher values of patriarchy, in­ dividuality, and rationality. His scheme, which influenced later Marxist theory, combined speculation about a happier, maternal past with a typically evolutionary pattern that moved through earthly and lunar phases to the present solar triumph of the patriarchal principle.

Freud did not seek the origins of the legend in social history, as had the Soviet folklorist Vladimir Propp, but in the incest dreams of his patients, which he took to represent suppressed desires of childhood. The son wishes sexual contact with his mother, from whose CHAPTER 3 T H E MEANING OF MYTH II 39 breasts he feeds and in whose warm body he is daily encompassed. He resents the father's sexual demands on the mother, which displace him from her embrace. He wishes to kill the father, that he might have the mother to himself.

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A Short Introduction to Classical Myth by Barry B. Powell

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