Understanding the feminist theory in greek mythology

Herodotus One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events. Apollo represents the sun, Poseidon represents water, and so on.

Understanding the feminist theory in greek mythology

Page Excerpts about myth criticism and feminism French feminists who follow [Jacques] lacan, particularly Helene Cixous, often propose a utopian place, a primeval female space free of symbolic order, sex roles, otherness, and the Law of the Father in which the self is still linked with what Cixous calls the voice of the Mother.

This place, with its Voice, is the source of all feminine writing. Luce Iragary also describes this utopian feminine space, but Julia Kristeva is most explicit about the distinction between it and the "real" world.

Kristeva calls this Mother--centered feminine realm the semiotic as opposed to the symbolic. Before we end this section, we must mention one other type of psychological feminism, myth criticism. Though myth criticsm has its own history and methodology see chapter 4several feminist writers have adopted its perspectives and transformed them for the purposes of feminist criticism.

Notable among these is Annis Pratt, who, although she criticizes Jung for his lack of treatment of the female developing psyche, offers intriguing connections between feminism and Jungian archetypal criticism. Pratt attempts to construct archetypes of power that are useful to practicing women critics as a means of avoiding the patriarchal tradition.

Harvester, ], and "The New Feminist Criticisms: Feminist myth critics tend to center their discussions on the Great Mother and other early female images and goddesses, viewing these figures as the radical others that can offer hope and wholeness as against the patriarchal repression of women.

Especially popular are figures of the Medusa, Cassandra, Arachne, and Isis. In The Lost Tradition: Mothers and Daughters in Literature ed. Ungar, ]prominent feminist myth critics, including Annis Pratt and Adrienne Rich, define myth as the key critical genre for women.

Criticizing male myth critics of the s and s, such as Northrop Frye, for ignoring gender in their scientific classifications of myths and archetypes, these writers direct our attention to gender as well as to the actual practices of diverse ethnic groups. Many of these new feminist myth critics reject the Greco-Roman tradition as hegemonous and instead seek pre-Greek myths, such as those of Isis, and diverse, lesser known cultural myths in different parts of the world, such as those of Native American legend.

Understanding the feminist theory in greek mythology

Rich conforms to these general strategies, but focuses on the ways mothers are portrayed in mythology and literature. Although some early feminists seem to have felt that motherhood and feminism do not go comfortably together, Rich argues through myth that motherhood is the feminine status. Myth can teach women how to live, and it can help ethnic groups, especially oppressed minorities, reorganize and reorient themselves within a dominant culture.

Myth manages to bring together private and public experiences in forms that can be as direct or as masked as the situation demands. It especially appeals to women in their identification with nature, as in the vegetation-goddess archetypes such as Ceres, and it can connect the individual woman with the totality of the cosmos, as with a goddess such as the three-faced goddess of the crossways, Diana-Selene-Hecate.

Even the most destructive women in mythology, such as Medea, can be analyzed to show their attraction for modern women; it is well-documented that in many cultures, when matriarchal societies were replaced with patriarchal ones, the previously veneerated goddesses are turned by the new culture into witches, seductresses, or fools.

Yet myth criticism in general and feminist myth criticsim in particular have been attacked as too homogenizing, promoting a false universality of identity. To Levi-Strauss, the structures of the human mind common to all people--that is, to the way all human beings think cf.

Myth thus becomes a language--a universal narrative mode that transcends cultural or temporal barriers and speaks to all people, in the process tapping deep reservoirs of feeling and experience and often invested with divine origins. To Levi-Strauss, even though we have no knowledge of any entire mythology, such myths as we do uncover reveal the existence within any culture of a system of abstractions by which that culture structures its life.

In his study of the Oedipus myth, Levi-Strauss found a set of mythemes--units of myth analogous to linguistic terms like morphemes, phonemes, or tagmemes, and like those linguistic counterparts based in binary oppositions--whose structural patterns invest the myth with meaning.

For example, Oedipus kills his father a sign of the undervaluation of kinship and marries his mother, Jocasta an overvaluation of kinship. In either case, Oedipus has choices, although a pitying reader may not think so: Although Levi-Strauss was not interested in the literariness of myths, some of his contemporaries saw his work promising implications for purely literary studies, particularly studies of narratives.Ever loved a book or story, and been unable to find another quite like it?

Maybe we at Magic Dragon Multimedia can help to steer you in the right direction. Understanding the Feminist Theory in Greek Mythology PAGES 2.

Ancient Greek Philosophy. From Thales, who is often considered the first Western philosopher, to the Stoics and Skeptics, ancient Greek philosophy opened the doors to a particular way of thinking that provided the roots for the Western intellectual tradition. Understanding the Feminist Theory in Greek Mythology PAGES 2. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: greek mythology, ancient greek goddesses, the feminist movement. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. Comparative mythology is the systematic comparison of myths from different cultures. It seeks to discover underlying themes that are common to the myths of multiple cultures.

WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: greek mythology, ancient greek goddesses, the feminist movement. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.

Exactly what I needed.

Understanding the feminist theory in greek mythology

Academy of Social Sciences ASS The United Kingdom Association of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences formed in gave rise to the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences incorporated , which became the Academy of Social Sciences on ASS Commission on the Social Sciences Notes from the meeting on by Ron Johnston.

The Straw Feminist trope as used in popular culture.

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A character whose "feminism" is drawn only for the purposes of either proving them wrong or providing . Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, fictional, or philosophical discourse.

It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examines women's and men's social roles, experiences, interests, chores, and feminist politics in a variety of fields, such as anthropology and sociology, communication, media studies, psychoanalysis, [1] home economics, literature, education, and .

Comparative mythology is the systematic comparison of myths from different cultures. It seeks to discover underlying themes that are common to the myths of multiple cultures.

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