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We have studied several mythological archetypes from around the
world, in different cultural contexts and time periods. We have spent a
significant amount of time in the course analyzing the archetypes of
hero and trickster, in particular. You have the opportunity to create a
character that fits the mythological archetype of either hero or
trickster in this assignment and write that character’s explanatory
myth. What archetype will you choose, either hero or trickster?
Use at least three examples from our assigned readings throughout the
course to support and explain your choices. Include a Works
Cited/References in either APA format.
First, create your archetypal character with a specific social identity by answering these questions. You can write out each question and put the answer below it.
What will be the physical elements of your character?
Is your archetypal character deity, demi-god, or human?
Is your character anthropomorphic (think of Loki, the shape-shifter)?
What are your character’s motivations?
What is the family dynamic for your character?
Does your character follow the Hero’s Journey or does your character play a part in the Hero’s Journey for someone else?
What is the social identity of your character?
In what culture is your character living?
Second, write an explanatory myth for your character. The myth should be 250-300 words.
For the plot, you’ll need to identify an issue from our culture or
another culture, either past or present, which gives your story and
character some context.
Your character should be struggling with an
ethical dilemma, one that relates to a power struggle or societal
inequality (based in our culture or another culture, either of the
present or past.) For example, think of the tricksters from
African-American mythology. Remember what our Module Notes in M5 stated:
Trickster tales flourished as a response
to scarcity and hardship. Privation reflected the injustice of the slave
holding system. In Africa, shortages were due to natural disasters and
war. In North America,
shortages came from slavery and those in power
keeping the abundance for themselves. Looking at the
between the trickster and the dupe shows us a reflection of the power
struggles and power inequality in the cultures that produced these
tales. The stories do not favor either trickery or trust. Instead, the
tales capture the most important ethical dilemmas of both the individual
and society—for instance, slavery. These stories give the reader and
listener moral distance to analyze situations with more objectivity and
offer them space to evaluate challenging issues.
Once you have identified your ethical and cultural issue, put your
character in a situation along the Hero’s Journey (some examples:
passing the threshold, meeting the goddess, separating from the father
figure). Write about his or her actions in that cultural situation and
ethical dilemma which will reveal the personality and social identity of
your character.
Third, answer the following question:
Why did you make the choices about your character that you did? Why
did you draw from certain sources? Lastly, please include and explicitly
state what cultural issue (from the past or the present) that you
created your myth around.
Your response to this question should be 100-150 words.