Chapter

Myth and psychology

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/9780198724704.003.0007

Series: Very Short Introductions

Myth and psychology

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‘Myth and psychology’ explains how, in psychology, the theories of Sigmund Freud and of Carl Jung have almost monopolized the study of myth. They both parallel myths to dreams. Freud analyzes myths throughout his writings, but his main discussion is of Oedipus. For Freud, myth functions through its meaning: myth vents Oedipal desires by presenting a story in which, symbolically, they are enacted. Like Freudians, Jungians at once analyze all kinds of myths, not just hero myths, and interpret other kinds heroically. Creation myths, for example, symbolize the creation of consciousness out of the unconscious. For Freud, heroism involves relations with parents and instincts. For Jung, heroism involves, in addition, relations with the unconscious.

Keywords: archetype; Bruno Bettelheim; myth; psychology; story; unconscious

Chapter.  5155 words. 

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

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