Selected Myths and Their Influence

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<b>"Apollo and Daphne"</b>
1. Which of the following is the <b>best</b> statement of message or theme for this story?
2. What purpose(s) of mythology does this myth illustrate?

1. Even a god should not be overly proud of his accomplishments. 2. This myth illustrates an explanation of natural phenomena, religion, and literature. We are given the origin of the laurel tree; we are also shown the power of the god Cupid along with that of Daphne’s father, a river god who shows that the gods can be merciful as well as mischievous. It is also an example of myth as literature because it is an entertaining story.

"Cupid and Psyche," "Sleeping Beauty," and Shrek share which common archetype?

True Love’s Kiss

Discuss the archetypes found in the story of Echo and Narcissus.

The character Echo is an example of an Ingénue: young and beautiful, but without much depth. Her situation is one of Unrequited Love because she loves Narcissus but he rejects her.

How does Herbert’s use of Echo in his poem "Heaven" differ from that of the myth?

In his poem "Heaven," Herbert uses the fact that Echo can only repeat what she hears. But he uses that to change the original meaning and create a conversation. He is not really using the archetype as much as he is using it as a device to deliver his message about heaven.

How does this selection of medium (written version vs. visual image) affect your understanding of theme?

The painting is open for wider interpretation. A viewer who doesn’t know the story of Pandora may interpret the winged creatures flying out of the box as demons and construct their own version of the meaning of the image. A reader is given more specific details and pointed in the direction of the interpretation desired by the author. Both share the idea that something bad has been set free.

How has this sculptor used, yet transformed, the story of Cupid and Psyche in his work?

The sculptor has used the idea of the myth but has altered some details. For example, this focuses on the archetype of True Love’s Kiss, while in the myth Cupid merely wipes the sleep from Psyche’s eyes and sends her on to his mother to deliver the box of beauty.

Name and explain the archetypes illustrated in the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

The myth of Cupid and Psyche illustrates several archetypes. First, it uses the situational archetype of the Tasks or Tests that Psyche must perform. Psyche herself is an example of the Ingénue and/or Maiden character. She is young and beautiful and grows into a clever young woman. Venus is portrayed as the Wicked Witch or Stepmother with her unreasonable demands. The story calls to mind several situational archetypes: Beauty and the Beast, True Love’s Kiss, and the Power of Love are all seen in this story. Like the story of Beauty and the Beast, Psyche believes she is being sent to be the bride of a horrific serpent who hides himself from her by day. And like that story, she is also led to betray him by her sisters who convince her to spy on him. Cupid awakening her from her deep slumber is like the traditional True Love’s Kiss delivered by countless princes to awaken their princesses. And the Power of Love conquers all when Psyche is made immortal so the two lovers can be united forever.

Painters often take their inspiration from mythology. What aspect of the story of Narcissus does this painting represent?

Narcissus in love with with the image in the pond.

Which character archetype does this story illustrate?


Twilight is a novel about a young human who falls in love with a vampire, even though it is difficult for them to be together. Which work by William Shakespeare <b>most likely</b> influenced this book?

Romeo and Juliet

What is <b>not</b> one of the purposes of mythology?

athletic competition

Which archetype does the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe represent?

the Star-Crossed Lovers

Which theme does the story of Cupid and Psyche convey?

Have faith in those you love and don’t let others tempt you into betraying the one you love.

Which element is common in mythology but is not found in all fiction?

supernatural elements

Which of the following is the <b>best</b> statement of purpose for the story of Echo?

This myth explains the natural phenomenon of echoes and has elements of religion as well.

Which archetype suits Pandora <b>best</b>?


Which character archetype is defined as a strong, capable, intelligent woman who may disguise herself as a man?

Lady Warrior

Which aspect of the contemporary novel The Lightning Thief <b>best</b> illustrates the impact of mythic literature on modern literature?

A young man discovers that his father is actually a god.

What might this political cartoon mean by using the image of Pandora in its commentary?

Someone has opened up an issue that will bring hardship to many.

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