Mythology vs. Fantasy

Difference Between Mythology And Fantasy

Mythology

Myths are stories that narrate in an imaginative and symbolic manner the total and basic structures on which a culture rests. Given this emphasis on what is fundamental to cultural meaning and value, the myth may appear to be fantastic and bizarre, because the mythic story cannot be explained in the terms of the ordinary conventions of the culture. In fact the ordinary conventions of the culture are understood as having their origins in the myth.

The term mythology may describe a certain body of myths—for example, African, Greek, or Scandinavian—or it may refer to the study of myths. The study of myths may take several forms. Some studies aim at a careful understanding of the beings, personages, and actions in a particular cycle of myths. Others seek to understand the reason or necessity for these kinds of stories and their importance in the life of any culture. Studies of this kind might seek to locate in the origin of these stories expressions of the human psychic structure or consider them as a collective societal response to the mystery of life.

Myths often merge into legends, sagas, and tales. Although no absolute differentiation can be made, some lines of distinction can usefully be drawn

Fantasy

Fantasy, a form of imaginative thinking that is controlled more by the thinker’s wishes, motives, and feelings than by conditions in the objective world. In fantasy the individual is most often not seeking to communicate his thoughts to others, but is chiefly sending messages to himself. Fantasy is a form of dreaming. Most authorities regard daydreaming as the major form of fantasy, but dreaming during sleep is also classified as fantasy.

From a practical point of view, fantasy may appear to be without useful purpose, but research has shown that this type of thinking plays an important role as an outlet for the frustrations of everyday life. In fantasy, the frustrated man may depict himself as achieving desired goals, engaging in desired actions, and in general overcoming obstacles and problems encountered in real life. In fantasy, the thinker can rescind some of the laws of the physical and social world and thus make events appear as he wishes them to be.

 

 

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