Myth’s Theories

There are four basic theories of myth. Those theories are: the rational myth
theory, functional myth theory, structural myth theory, and the phsycological
myth theory. The rational myth theory states that myths were created to explain
natural events and forces. Functional myths are what you call the kinds of myths
that were created as a type of social control. The third myth theory is the
structural myth theory. This theory says that myths were patterned after human
mind and human nature. The phsycological myth theory is the fourth myth theory
which states that myths are based on human emotion. The rational myth theory
states that myths were made to better understand natural events and forces that
occurred in the everyday lives of people. This theory also explains that the
gods and goddesses controlled all of these happenings of nature. Examples of
this type of myth are creation myths from different cultures. Creation myths
explain how man was created and explain what the gods and goddesses used and
what actions they took to create humans. These myths also tell what substances
were used (if any) in order for man to exist. The existence of man is a natural
event but creation myths give other explanations. The functional myth theory
talks about how myths were used to teach morality and social behavior. It states
that myths told about what types of things should and shouldnt be done, and
the consequences for those wrong doings. The functional myth theory also states
that myths were created for social control and served the function of insuring
stability in a society. A story about a tribe who rebelled against the great
serpent, Degei, is a good example of a functional myth. This story is about a
tribe who learned many skills from their great serpent god, Degei, and then
became Degeis workers and servants. Two chiefs of this tribe were sick of
working for him and tried to defeat him; they were too weak for Degei. Instead
of winning their freedom, they were killed in a great flood caused by Degei.


This myth is trying to say that you should not be lazy because if you are, then
you will regret it. Structural myths are said to be myths based on human
emotion. These types of myths show the two sides of the human mind; the good
side and the bad side. They show the divided self and the duality of human
nature. Myths about Hercules show how the human mind can be both good and bad.


Hercules did both good and bad things. One of the bad things he did was (in
“Jason and the Argonauts”) he stole a broach pin from the treasure chamber
of the god Talos. This sin caused his friend to be killed. Hercules knew that
his friend was killed because of his sin, so to make up for it, he vowed to stay
on the island until his friend was found. The phsycological myth theory states
how myths are based on human emotion and that they come from the human
subconscious mind. Cultures all around the world had similar fears, questions,
and wishes which, to them, were unexplainable. That is the reason that
phsycological myths were made; and that is why there are archetypes shared
between cultures. Archetypes are general forms and characters used by all
cultures. Some archetypes found between cultures are having a sky god (Zeus and
Oleron),a sea god (Poseidon and Olokun), and an agricultural god (Orisha-Oko and
Demeter). These archetypes are examples of how people think alike when it comes
to things that are to them mysteries and fears. In conclusion, it appears that
man created myths for quite a few reasons. These reasons include explaining the
unknown, natural events and forces, to show the duality and pureness of human
nature and the human mind, and to help societies maintain order and remain
stable. There must be more reasons of exactly why myths should have arisen but
that is beyond the extent of this essay.