For this paper choose two mythological narratives that we have examined so far in this course, or that you are otherwise personally familiar with. The two myths that you choose should have one or more elements in common, possibly including (but not limited to):
- Overarching story (e.g., creation, flood) or story elements (e.g., descent into the underworld, establishment of divine rulership, rapture of mortals by gods, divine disguise)
- Narrative structure (e.g., repetitive patterns, discursion)
- Themes (e.g., love, jealousy, mortality, revenge, mutability/transformation, limits of human power/knowledge)
- Characters (e.g., tricksters)
- Cultural functions (e.g., reinforcement of societal norms, explanation of origins of society, explanation of natural phenomena, incorporation in ritual practices, entertainment)
Compare and contrast the two myths you choose, taking into consideration the various elements noted above and any others you deem relevant. (In making comparisons, you do not necessarily need to apply the specifically “comparativist” approach discussed in the course as one historical strand of mythological analysis.)
While you are welcome to reference external sources, this is not a research paper and the use of secondary sources is not required or expected. If you choose to examine a myth not discussed in the course, however, please indicate the source from which you have taken this.