Keystone Terms in Mythology Sam Riker

Characterization: The method an author uses to reveal characters and their various traits and personalities (e.g, direct, indirect)

Example: Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. When he was born, his father Cronus intended to swallow him as he had all of Zeus's siblings: Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera. But Rhea hid the newborn in a cave on Mount Dicte in Crete. (To this day, the guides at the "cave of Zeus" use their flashlights to cast shadow puppets in the cave, creating images of baby Zeus from the myth.)

When he had grown up, Zeus caused Cronus to vomit up his sisters and brothers, and these gods joined him in fighting to wrest control of the universe from the Titans and Cronus, their king. Having vanquished his father and the other Titans, Zeus imprisoned most of them in the underworld of Tartarus.

Then he and his brothers Poseidon and Hades divided up creation. Poseidon received the sea as his domain, Hades got the Underworld and Zeus took the sky. Zeus also was accorded supreme authority on earth and on Mount Olympus

This indicates that Zeus was brave and powerful (as shown in the picture below)

Zeus defeating Cronus

Figurative Language: Language that cannot be taken literally since it was written to create a special effect or feeling

Example: Prometheus stole from the gods to help the humans, even though he knew his punishment would be severe. He was a selfless thief.

Prometheus Stealing from the Gods

First Person: The "first person" or "personal" point of view relates events as they are perceived by a single character. The narrating character may offer opinions about the action and characters that differs from those of the author

Example: The Odyssey, by Homer, is a collection of stories describing the Trojan War, Odysseus (the man whom sketched and designed the Trojan horse for the Greeks) starts telling it from his experiences in the war.

The Creation of the trojan horse

Literary Device: Tool used by the author to enliven and provide voice to the text (e.g., dialogue, alliteration, foreshadowing)

Example: The death of the Norse God Balder was an example of foreshadowing, because he had frightening nightmares of his death days before his actually passing

Balder impaled by mistletoe

Personification: An object or astract idea given human qualities or human form (e.g., Flower danced about the lawn)

Example: In an attempt to woo the heart of Semele, Zeus transforms into the wind, whispering things into the maiden's ear, giving the "wind" human qualities

Zeus kissing semele as the wind

Point of View: The position of the narrator in relation to the story, as indicated by the narrator's outlook from which the events are depicted (e.g., first person, third person limited, third person omniscient, ect.) The perspective from which a speaker or author recounts a narrative or presents information. The author's manner in revealing characters, events, and ideas; the vantage point from which a story is told

Example: Most mythologies are presented in third person point of view, an example is...

Thor’s particular enemy is Jormungand, the enormous sea serpent who encircles Midgard, the world of human civilization. At one point in the mythical cycle, he tries to pull Jormungand out of the ocean while on a fishing trip, and is stopped only when his giant companion cuts the fishing line out of fear. Thor and Jormungand finally face each other during Ragnarok, however, when the two put an end to each other

Thor and jormungand battling

Setting: The time and place in which a story unfolds

Example: Most mythological stories and myths are based in ancients times for example, it is said that the Greeks gods and goddesses lived in the times of 3000BC - AD313

Collection Of Greek Gods and Goddesses

Simile: A comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison (like or as) is used (e.g., The ant scurried as fast as a cheetah)

Example: Artemis was as chaste as Virgin Mary

Artemis, goddess of virginity and the hunt

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