Analysis of ovids metamorphoses in relation to campbells functions of a myth

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Arts

Document 1

Principally, myths present speculative fiction and justification about the occurrence of some phenomena and way of life that are in a way beyond our understanding and comprehension. For example, they tend to speculate on the way of life of gods, other supernatural beings, and the steady transformation of the cosmos. A number of scholars have attempted to study either the similarities or the differences that exist among varied myths from different communities or religions. One such scholar who shed more light on the perception of mythology was Joseph Campbell. Besides, he held a notion that most if not all myths found their origin from an original myth which he called the monomyth (Campbell). Also, a myth should offer an insight into how hell, heaven, and other religious places like the Garden of Eden are (Greg 1).

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According to Thury and Devinney, this is one aspect that Ovid has perfectly incorporated in his Book of Changes. Ovid begins by highlighting that the universe was in chaos just before the sky, land, and sea came to be. “…There was no Titan Sun to light the world, no crescent Moon, no Phoebe to renew her slender horns; in the surrounding air…” (Thury & Devinney). Furthermore, he goes on to state that although the land and sea existed, neither could people swim in the sea nor could they walk upon the land as everything was at war; the dry with the damp, hot and cold, or the hard and soft were in a continuous state of war. Myths maintain and validate an established social order of a given society.

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This prospect is rich in wisdom and offers a model of social behavior or can function to brainwash other people depending on their perception in relation to the given myth. Morals embedded in myths teach people how they ought to behave by outlining acceptable and unacceptable behavior (Greg 1). Thury and Devinney notes that, the sociological viewpoint is also not ignored by Ovid in his story of metamorphoses. By citing the Golden and Bronze age all through to the Iron Age, Ovid brings a picture of shared wrongs and rights upon which social units depended. Ovid story is all about transformation depicting continued change which in a way validates Campbell's worries. Throughout the story, Ovid presents a cosmos that continue to evolve meaning that even prescribed behaviour of a given society is likely to change even if to a lesser degree.

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Thirdly, Campbell posits that myths perform the function of pedagogical (Greg 1). Myths function to educate people as well as influencing the learner’s growth. Through myths, we come to receive great minds as well as diversity across varied cultures, therefore, touching on the psychological spheres of life by guiding individuals through the inevitable stages of life characterized by crises. A myth should make people have an experience of the powerful divine feeling in their lives. Mythology maintains and awakens an individual to be humble, respectful, experience awe, and recognize the mystery that transcends forms and names (Greg 1). These stories impart feeling and knowledge, and choices that are eternal and unchangeable. This mystical function is one main function that Ovid has expressed throughout his stories.

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Being a Catholic, his story resembles whatever is documented in the bible. For example, Ovid provides a speculative explanation of the existence of forces and supernatural beings that are far beyond our imagination. Also, he brings in the sociological aspect as he validates the existing of order and prescribes a standard social order. To Ovid, an individual who does the contrary is believed to have committed a sacrilege. In addition, Ovid fulfils the mystical function of a myth by exploring what is beyond our reality. Lastly, Ovid’s story offers education to people and functions to influence the non-believers about the way of life. google. co. ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=I1uFuXlvFgMC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=joseph+campbell.

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