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A myth is a story that embodies a particular conception of the human condition. In the Odyssey, life is represented as a journey. Mythology scholar Joseph Campbell thought all myths followed a similar journey, which he believed symbolically expressed deep truths about human psychology. For Campbell myths are a way we learn to be human and to deal with the ordinary challenges of life and society. For more about Campbell’s theory, see Matthew Winkler’s animated video “What makes a hero? (Links to an external site.)” in this week’s Recommended Multimedia Resources.
This journal assignment explores the relevance of the literary texts we are reading to our own lives. This week, as we read the about the journey of Odysseus, we might consider our own journeys. In two to three pages, describe one obstacle that Odysseus meets in his journey. What is the obstacle and how does he overcome it? Making connections to your own life, discuss a situation when you faced and overcame an obstacle in one of your own journeys that came between you and your destination. You may interpret this journey symbolically, for example, a journey to yourself (your own personal identity), back to your family or heritage, or one to follow a dream. In keeping within the three page limit, be sure to focus on essential points in both your journey and that of Odysseus.
Homer. (n.d.). The Odyssey (Links to an external site.) abridged (I. Johnston, Trans.). Retrieved from http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/homer/abridgedodysseyweb.htm
Brenzel, J. (n.d.). The value of forgotten ideas (Links to an external site.). [Video file]. Retrieved from http://bigthink.com/videos/the-value-of-forgotten-ideas-2
The Book of Life. (n.d.). What comes after religion? (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.thebookoflife.org/what-comes-after-religion/
The Book of Life. (n.d.). What is the point of the humanities? (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.thebookoflife.org/what-is-the-point-of-the-humanities/
Johnston, I. (2004). Lecture on the Odyssey (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://johnstoniatexts.x10host.com/lectures/odysseylecture.html
Segal, R. (2008). Myth and ritual. In J. R. Hinnells (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (pp. 355-378). London: Routledge.
Mapping the stars: The Great Bear (1992) ~ Simon Patterson (Links to an external site.)” (2011, March 27). [Web blog post] George’s Journal. Retrieved from http://georgesjournal.org/2011/03/27/mapping-the-stars-the-great-bear-1992-simon-patterson/
Pattanaik, D. (2009). East vs. West – the myths that mystify (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/devdutt_pattanaik
Segal, R. (n.d.) UO Today #561 Robert Segal (Links to an external site.) [Video file] Retrieved from http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/2013/12/21/uo-today-561-robert-segal/
Warburton, N. (2010). Martha Nussbaum on the value of the humanities (Links to an external site.) [Podcast]. Retrieved from http://philosophybites.com/2010/12/martha-nussbaum-on-the-value-of-the-humanities.html
Winkler, M. (n.d). What makes a hero? (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-makes-a-hero-matthew-winkler
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