The circulation of myths
First, I think it is important to contextualise myths before discussing them. So, why do myths exist? What is their purpose? It can be said that myths were created as a way for humans to explain phenomenons that they could not comprehend, without the scientific knowledge we have available now. Alternatively, the reason for their existence could be solely for storytelling, and teaching lessons and morals through these stories.
Myths are said to have been recorded on paper around the nineteenth century, due to the increasing interest of anthropologists, scholars and explorers. However, most of the myths we know today were passed on verbally, which is why there are variations for the same myth. For example, are you familiar with the tale of the half woman half fish, who lures men to their demise with her bewitching voice? In countries such as the US and UK this figure is known as the siren. While, in Brasil this mythological creature has a different name: “Iara”
With all that being said, have the purpose of the existence of myths changed? In my opinion, I think that myths legends and lore are still relevant for extracting lessons and morals from them, but with the access we have to information, they are no longer the most reliable and trustworthy way to seek explanations for curiosities about the world and life.
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