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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 14 page paper that presents the complex roles of women in mythology and the three major categories in which most mythological women can be placed. This paper also demonstrates the way in which culture determines the roles of women, and utilizes a variety of mythologies, from the myths of medieval England to those of ancient Greece, to demonstrate the depiction of these roles. Bibliography lists 10 sources.
14 pages (~225 words per page)
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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:
who represent beauty, chastity and fidelity; women who act as healers; and women in roles of power. From Native America to Ancient England, mythologies of different cultures present differing
perspectives on the stature and role of women through individual stories. It is important to understand that mythology has always represented the cultures in which they
were created. The long tradition of oral mythology was developed as a means of presenting common concerns through stories. The function of the myth, especially within primitive cultures,
has always been to validate the cultural basis for their creation: the cultural institutions, the customs, and rites (Malinowski, 1944). It has long been recognized that myths not
only created common bonds through social solidarity, but that they demonstrated common concerns under common faiths, and created constructive means through which man could dispel natural fears and perplexities in
the environment (Malinowski, 1944). Because women play essential roles in most cultures, whether they are leaders or the bearers and providers for children, they are inherently present in
the mythology created by these cultures. Even in Greek mythology, which was written by men for men in a society led by men, there are significant female characters who
represent the important roles of women. The contrast between mythological women and mythological men represents the complexity of social roles for women, even in ancient Greece.
By considering comparisons of the myths of a number of cultures, including Native America, ancient Greece, medieval England and even the cultures determined by early Christianity, it is possible to
see the similarities between these cultures in terms of the role of women. Though there are female mythological characters who do not necessarily fit into one of the three