Chapter

Myth and literature

Robert A. Segal

in Myth: A Very Short Introduction

Second edition

Published in print July 2015 | ISBN: 9780198724704
Published online July 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191792328 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780198724704.003.0006

Series: Very Short Introductions

Myth and literature

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  • Social Psychology
  • Mythology and Folklore
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies
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The relationship between myth and literature has taken varying forms, the most obvious being the use of myth in works of literature. ‘Myth and literature’ explores mythic themes in literature and the mythic origin of literature. Common plots have been proposed for specific kinds of myths, most often for hero myths. It discusses the Viennese psychoanalyst Otto Rank (1884–1939), the American mythographer Joseph Campbell (1904–87), and the English folklorist Lord Raglan (1885–1964) who have theorized about the patterns that they have delineated in hero myths. Other categories of myths, such as creation myths, flood myths, myths of paradise, and myths of the future, have proved too disparate for all but the broadest commonalities.

Keywords: criticism; Northrop Frye; legend; literature; myth; Vladimir Propp; story

Chapter.  4686 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology ; Mythology and Folklore ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies ; Social and Cultural History ; Social and Cultural Anthropology

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