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Analyzing Myths
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Analyzing Myths
Need to understand the concept?

  Once or twice, possibly multiple times, you will come across a moment when you have to analyze a myth and find what is its morals, or its personification of a part of the society. I will give you a basic guide to analyzing a myth.
       Here is a random myth I took and will tell and analyze it.
                         Arachne the Weaver
       A young woman was praised across Greece for her amazing weaving, and her name was Arachne. She boasted that she was far more skilled than the patron goddess of weaving, Athena. This hubris was not taken lightly by the goddess, so Athena, disguised as an old hag, came to a crowd surrounding the young woman as she worked. As Arachne soaked the aweness in, Athena asked her if she was better than Athena (even though she is really asking if Arachne was better than her in a way), and Arachne replied that she was not only better than Athena, but she would challenge Athena that very moment and win. Athena threw her disguise and presented herself as a goddess. Arachne turned pale, but she was too proud to back down from her proclaimations. They started and the crowd watched as the two women furiously weaved beautiful pictures. At the end, to Athena's horror, they were both judged equally beautiful, but what got Athena really furious was that while she showed the deities being in full splendor, Arachne presented them as foolish, immoral, and philandering. Athena ripped Arachne's shroud to pieces, and as a punishment for such hubris and blasphemy, Arachne was turned into an immortal spider, to eternally do what she did best, weave, just now webs.
 
       This story can be described many ways. One of course is do not cherish hubris, which is always proclaimed from different myths and priests say around Greece because it is considered a horrible blasphemy.
     Athena is of course a goddess, but she shows the proper model of a talented weaver, that her skills should not be something to glorify beyond all other things. Arachne shows the immoral version of the glorified 'celebrities' of Greece who have exceptional skills in their fields, but are overly boastful, and shows how retribution is properly distributed to those who are following in Arachne's footsteps. This myth when it spread across Greece was probably promoted by priests, especially those of Apollo who demoted hubris, to show the punishments that await those who believe they are better than even the omniscient deities.  
 
         See? I got a paragraph out of discussing one small myth. First what you do, you should know a little of whatever society created the myth, and then look into the characteristics of figures. If you look in African Folklore, you see characters who you can relate with the slave trading Portugese. Also, not all morals will be spoken out loud, sometimes they are abstract, but you sometimes should think outside of the box, because what might seem as a good example of the problesm that await the opposite of what a moral proclaims, isn't a moral in the eyes of the society. So as I said, research the society and have some prior knowledge before you go reading a myth and analyzing it.