Roland Barthes 1915-1980

Important Facts

  • Born: November 12, 1915, Cherbourg Octeville France
  • Died: March 26, 1980, Paris France
  • Influenced by Ferdinand De Sassure (noteworthy semiotician)
  • Alma Mater: University of Paris
  • Main interests: Semiotics, literary theory, linguistics
  • His father dies when he was very young in World War 1, he was raised by his mother, grandmother, and aunts in a small village in France
  • He spent the early 1960's studying semiology and structuralism

Semiotics and Mythology

Barthes constantly looked at things we see in society as a "norm" trying to find why we see these things that way. For example, in french culture, drinking wine is considered to be a sign of "robust health", he argued that wine can be unhealthy and hindering. Throughout his time he constantly showed how semiotics play a big part in modern day myths and beliefs.

His theory of how he interprets semiotics

Sign: The total of the signifier and the signified. ex... how we as humans interpret the signifier and the signified

Semiology: The relationship between the signifier and the signified. ex... A person studying the signs on a dollar bill

Signifier: The object, Signified: The meaning


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