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Comparative Research on Two Distinct Mythological Traditions

Ovid's Account of Creation

Objective: research similarities and differences in two distinct mythological traditions. Outline HOW they are similar and different, and be sure to use (at least one) method of analysis (such as, psychological, sociological, anthropological, etc. –see page 20 in the textbook).
You are not required to do outside research. Use the textbook for your evidence. Present your research in a well-constructed 500-700 word comparative essay in APA format.  
Below are some themes you may explore in your research:

1.Ovid’s ironic distance from the stories he tells is worth noting. For example, he describes creation as follows: “When he–whichever god it was–arrayed that swarm, aligned, designed, allotted, made each part into a portion of a whole, then he, that earth might be symmetrical, first shaped its sides into a giant ball.” Ovid is not urging worship of the gods: that’s why he doesn’t even care which god performed the work of creation. His audience was too sophisticated to take literally the tales Ovid tells and is looking primarily for entertainment in them. We can use Ovid’s account as an indication of the beliefs and values that once underlay his tales, but we cannot expect Ovid to share these values. Compare another literary source with Ovid.

2.Explain the differences between Hesiod’s and Ovid’s accounts of creation. Be specific about different details to be found in the account of each.

3.What are the characteristics of oral myth? Of written myth? What does each of these types of myths tell us? Be sure to use specific examples.

4.Beauty and the Beast is a reutilization (Chapter 46) of a tale. (See remarks concerning Anne Sexton in Chapter 45). To analyze this, choose one of the Grimms’ tales or another story from world literature. (Note: Hans Christian Anderson’s stories do not work well here, since they are purely literary creations and do not necessarily illustrate the usual qualities of the folk tale.) Using Chapters 36 and 38 as guides, analyze your chosen tale and then compare it with Carter’s.

5.Choose your own comparative research project. Please speak to me before you begin.

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