Sept 6. Journal
Thursday Aug. 30 Class Time
Today in class we took a quiz testing our knowledge of the characters, storyline, and vocabulary of the Narcissus and Echo myth and the Oedipus Tyrannus myth. After that we began discussion about the biggest questions humans ask. Most of these questions were about the purpose of life, how to find your purpose, and what happens after death. We spent a lot of time focusing on how people decide what their purpose in life is, if they find out at all. Do we decide our purpose in life or is it already destined for us by some other divine agency ? If it is already set out for us, it is possible to stray away from your purpose in life? Is there even a purpose to life ? These are just some of the questions I still wandered about after the class discussion.
Friday Aug.31 Study/Homework Time 9pm-11:30pm
Today I read the part one of the Mythology in Context textbook. It mostly focused on where greek mythology comes from, the basic foundations of mythology, and what the term “classical myth” means. From the reading I learned that there is a poem named Theogony written by Hesiod that pretty much lays out the inner-workings of the Gods and Goddesses in greek mythology and explains which Gods and Goddesses make up the twelve Olympians and how the twelve Olympians got to their place in power. I also learned what makes a myth a myth, rather than calling it a legend or folktale which can be seen in the chart below. Overall I enjoyed the reading. It presented a lot of new information that I had never really thought about deeply before when it comes to Greek mythology. I always focused more on the myths themselves and not as
much on the history behind them.
Classical Mythology is the study of stories and tales from Greece and Rome during their pinnacle of success in antiquity.
I do agree with her reasoning for studying classical myths in the 21st century because I feel like it is an interesting subject and it helps you understand how people used to think about the world and the culture in which people once created for themselves.
Tuesday Sept 4 Class time 9:30–11:45pm
Today in class we discussed the ways in people can interact, experience, and participate in stories beyond just hearing, seeing, and reading them. We talked about the differences between the three stories: the story of Easter, the story of Thanksgiving, and the story of Star Wars. While all three are in fact stories, we respond and react to them in different ways. Easter is treated as a holy story, and people interact with it by having dinners, performing plays, going to church, and wearing bright spring colors. Thanksgiving is a more traditional story that we interact with by eating certain foods, and performing plays but it is not sacred like Easter. We interact with Star Wars by buying merchandise, going to amusement parks, participating in cosplay, and worshiping the heroes. This is also not a sacred story. In class we came up with a lot of ways of interacting with stories that I had never even really thought of as interacting. I was surprised to find out that the net worth of Catholicism is around $10-$15 billion while the networth of Star Wars is almost catching up coming in at around $8billion.
Wednesday Sept 5 Study/Homework Time
Today I looked over my notes as well as reread some of the first portion of reading from Mythology in Context. When rereading my overall thoughts on the chapter changed from when I initially read it. Part 1 focuses on the Twelve Olympians (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hermes, Hera, Dionysus, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Athena) who are the major deities in Greek Mythology. Each of them is God/Goddess that is said to have control of things that humans interact or experience in their day to day lives. I already knew some information about the Twelve Olympians from when the Percy Jackson series I used to read when I was younger. It was interesting to think that people used to think of these Olympians as real Gods when I’ve always thought of them as just characters in a story. I also found it interesting that while Theogony is a epic poem that Greeks used to understand their theology and cosmology, that it was not seen as a sacred text even though it described the vast network of Greek Gods and Goddesses of which they worshipped. I want to further look into the story of why Aphrodite is included in the grouping of the 12 Olympians when she was born before Rhea and Cronus and also why Hephaestus is said to be the son of Hera in Theology but not in other writings where he is the son of Hera and Zeus (in Percy Jackson he is the son of Hera and Zeus). I do not understand why it would be different if Theology is what the Greeks used to confirm God/Goddess relations yet, this is relationship is not consistent across all works.