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What purpose do myths serve in society? What purpose do myths serve in society?

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Myths encapsulate the values and knowledge of a society and its beliefs about the proper relationship of gods and humans in memorable narrative for so that they may be passed down by oral transmission and visual representation. Essential, the myth functions as a tool of cultural knowledge and normativity in oral-traditional culture.

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According to Oxford's Robin Lane Fox in Pagans and Christians, myths have their foundation in realities of the distant past--realities that are hinted at in antiquity's histories and inscriptions--realities that come to be called myths that come to be rationalized as gropings for ways to understand things that escape mortal, non-scientific comprehension. Interesting, isn't it?

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Myths entertain and educate.  They are there to explain traditions or values or beliefs in every culture.  They are there to illustrate, at least in part, the history of the people who tell them.  So, the tellers get laughs and nods of familiarity from the generations in their...

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mudohahsi | Student

My point of view on myths is that,they educate us by making us aware of the past,how people lived,how wars were fought with bows,arrows and horses whereas now we have guns and nuclei weapons.They push us to be more creative e.g creativity all starts when people see that things are not going well and this can be seen in our society today.We are well advanced in technology because people heard different kinds of myths and stories that prompted them to make amends by being creative.Some of us are well cultured in today's society because we heard different stories that pushed us to be who we are today.In all,myths have a major role in today's society because they connect us to the past and they make us live by the lessons we learn from them.

texasmilly | Student

Myths entertain and educate.  They are there to explain traditions or values or beliefs in every culture.  They are there to illustrate, at least in part, the history of the people who tell them.  So, the tellers get laughs and nods of familiarity from the generations in their audiences, but they also teach the young and perhaps the "new" to the tribe/culture the way things are done and (perhaps) why.

You're right. Like those ancient stories from the desert dwellers of the near-east. Their oral tradition was handed down exactly as you described.

headintheclouds1996 | Student

Myths are meant to introduce morals so that we can better understand the way we should live. Each story has a moral, whether it makes sense and should be applicable in life or not. Sometimes, it just a source of entertainment. I, myslef enjoy reading Greek myths just ofr the fun of it, but they usually do not help me much in soiety. Sometimes in assignments, I make references to Greek and Roman myths to add a bit of jazz to it, and make it sound less dull. Myths illustrate history too, and the way Greeks and Roman carried about their lives back then. It would be advisable to take a leaf out of their book, since they maintained such a successful empire for so long.

swimmy-megan | Student

myths are ruddy awsome !!!