In this assignment, you will write a critical analysis of a film or book or television series in which you identify the mythic symbolism, the use of myth, the imitation or adaptation of myth,

World Mythology: write a critical analysis of a film or book or television series in which you identify the mythic symbolism


Overview
In this assignment, you will write a critical analysis of a film or book or television series in which you
identify the mythic symbolism, the use of myth, the imitation or adaptation of myth, specific reference
to myths that we have read.
When the original myths were told to a rapt audience, their imaginations brought the gods, the
creatures, the events to life.  We have a similar experience when we see the symbols that arise out of
the myths come to life when we see them played out before our eyes on television, in the theater or on
film. 

We enjoy these stories just as our distant ancestors enjoyed them.  Although our ancestors
probably put far more belief in the reality of the stories than we do, we do not escape the impact of the
underlying truths of the myths even though we proclaim ourselves “too educated” or “too enlightened.”
Instructions
In this assignment, you will write a critical analysis of a film or book or television series in which you
identify the mythic symbolism, the use of myth, the imitation or adaptation of myth, specific reference
to myths that we have read. 

The emphasis in this assignment is on analysis.  Do not simply retell the
story line; rather show not only the mythic elements that are present in the film/book that you selected,
but also how those elements bring the mythic values from the original myth into the film/book.  
It is recommended that you stay in the area of concentration that you chose for your annotated
bibliography, but you are not required to do so. See exact paper details below.

Instructions for the Critical Analysis Essay


(In other words, exactly what I am looking for in this assignment)
 View the “Guide to Writing a Critical Analysis” below for precise instructions for writing the
essay.
 Select one film, one television series, one play, or one book in you identify the mythic
symbolism, the use of myth, the imitation or adaptation of myth, or specific reference to myths
that we have read.
 Consider to what extent mythology is involved, for instance what motifs from ancient myth are
used, what ideals and values from the myths are reflected in the modern work.
 If you analyze a film or television series, examine not only the plot, but also the music score, the
special effects, the choice of actors, and the expectations of the audience, making sure that you
stay focused on the myths present in the film, and not the film alone.
 While you are not limited to one myth, for clarity, it is important to make specific references to
our readings.  Direct comparisons can really help you identify how “mythic symbolism” is at play
in your film.  

 This essay will also allow you to compare and contrast different messages in our readings.  You
may also wish to consider how much of a “message” a film/production may carry and to what
extent you think the film-makers intended any message.  Or, is it just another attempt to make
money by striking the moral or ethical chords of the audience and capitalizing on popular
sentiment?
 Consider the characters, paying close attention to the actions and attitudes of the characters in
the myths and how they appear in the film or book. Be specific and support your statements by
referencing details. For example, what kind of hero is Achilles?  What kind of hero is Frodo from
Lord of the Ring series?
 This essay should convey what you have learned and the connections you have made.  Outside
references are not necessary but please adhere to either APA or MLA style if using them.
 Please double-space your submission, include your name at the top of the first page, and be sure to
use proper formatting for citations.
If you adhere to all guidelines, you can expect this essay to be at least 3 pages total.
 
Guide to Writing a Critical Analysis Essay:


These are the essential elements that I will be looking for in your essay. Be sure to also refer to
the “Instructions for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay.” You will be offering your own evaluation in
this essay, but you must include specific details from the myths and from the film/show/book that
you have chosen.
 Introduction with thesis statement – Here you will identify the book/play/film that
you will explore and then briefly explain one or more of the main concepts that you will
be exploring. You will include a single sentence (the thesis statement) that states what
conclusion you have drawn from your evaluation/comparison. Note that the thesis
statement is not the same as a topic. Do not write, “I am going to write about Ragnarok
and The Last Battle.” Rather, a thesis statement would be, “In The Last Battle, C. S.
Lewis employs many of the same elements as appear in the accounts of Ragnarok in
Norse mythology, but from a Christian perspective.”
 First body paragraph – Provide a synopsis of the plot of the book/play/film in no
more than 4 sentences.


 Subsequent 3-4 body paragraphs – Discuss the work’s organization and the
treatment of the mythic elements. Include an examination of the concepts from the
myths as shown in characterization, music score, special effects, set design, etc. Be sure
to give examples from the myths in our textbook to support your evaluation. Consider
the reader of your essay as someone who is also familiar with the myths in the
textbook, so that there is no need to repeat the entire myth, just a simple reference. The
body paragraphs should be 6-8 sentences long.
 Conclusion – Your conclusion will represent a brief (very brief!) summary of the key

points of your essay or an overarching justification for your assessment of the
connection between myth and modern work.
For more complete information about how to write a critical analysis, go to
http://www2.southeastern.edu/Academics/Faculty/elejeune/critique.htm

Formatting
MLA or APA
Length: no less than 3 complete pages

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