Today we’re going to look at how old myths, folktales and legends became a few of the superheroes we know today. We’re going to study a few specific ones today: Superman, Wonder Woman, Thor, Shazam!/Captain Marvel and The Thing.
First, make sure your group reads the original myth, folktale or legend. Then read the comic version.
On a sheet of chart paper, compare/contrast the superhero to the original story.
1) First, explain whether or not this superhero comes from a myth, folktale or legend
2)Evaluate how much the modern day superhero resembles the myth/folktale/legendary character — talk about each one’s “super powers”
3) How has the superhero updated the myth/folktale/legendary character for a modern audience?
4) As other groups present, make sure you fill out your superhero/myth comparison chart.
The story of Moses
Sensation Comics #1
All Star Comics #8
Wonder Woman 101
Rabbi Loeb and the Golem of Prague
Nice work on the homework from over the weekend. If you haven’t yet posted a comment or handed me something then please still add comments to the post from Friday. I’ll start responding to them today.
Here’s a copy of the poem we worked on today, with the directions: The Wanderer.
For those of you in class, finish up the work from today and add your observations to the class writing we did at the beginning of the period today. You do not need to post anything online tonight. For those of you who are taking the course as an independent study (you know who you are) just do the three questions for homework and hand them to me tomorrow.
Any questions, just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a link to read the comic book that contained the first ever appearance of Superman. (Notice the name of the comic isn’t Detective Comics/DC.)
Action Comics 1
If anyone doesn’t have the poem I’ve attached it as a word doc here: The Seafarer
In the comments section of this post, answer the following question before midnight Sunday night. As always, use evidence from the text to support your ideas (to cite something just put the line number in parenthesis). As for length, this is a two part question that asks you to address the idea that there are actually two journeys going on here, so I’m guessing you’ll need between two to three solid paragraphs with evidence in them.
To help you answer the question, keep the context (the time and place it was written) of the poem in mind. Use the blog post/your notes from yesterday to help you with this if you’ve forgotten the specifics.
Don’t forget to leave your name on your comment.
We’ve discussed the ways in which the poem mixes elements of early (450 AD) Anglo-Saxon culture and later (post 597) Anglo-Saxon culture. Explain why the poet(s?) does this. Also, we know that the seafarer is on a literal journey, but what else might be going on figuratively speaking?
Yesterday we ended class understanding that humans tell/create stories in order to make sense of the world and pass on knowledge or information (or to just entertain ourselves). Jumping off of there, today we looked at a particular type of story: the creation myth.
In groups of three and four students read one or two creation myths (a creation myth is a story about how the world began) from around the world and from different time periods.
After reading the stories, students answered these questions to present to the class:
–Personification of nature/natural events
–Hyperbole (exaggerations) of true occurrences
–Where/when is the myth from/who was the group of people this myth belonged to?
–What does the myth explain?
–Describe the main characters
–Do you think this is the definitive (only) version of this myth? Why/why not?
–Is the myth religious?
–Who do you think this myth was passed down to, and how?
–As a group, determine what the purpose of this myth is? How does this connect to the definition of mythology you came up with in the beginning of class?
–Anything else you notice?
–Does this myth give us an idea as to this culture’s “worldview,” or how this culture interacts with the world and the people in it?
After each group presented I asked what each story had in common with each other. For the most part, all these myths included some kind of higher being (like a god of some kind), or said that the world was created from some kind of natural disaster. In fact, many aspects of these myths are similar.
We ended class on these questions: What is the purpose of mythology? Why have we told (very similar) myths for thousands of years? In asking this, we discovered that what separates myths from folktales and legends is that myths are usually religious, explain something we don’t understand and give us a glimpse into a certain culture’s “worldview” — in other words, we can understand something about what a culture was like through these stories they told.
Thanks for your hard work today. I’m posting that brief powerpoint we looked at today but I’ll also give some brief highlights below:
450 AD – Before this Britain is mostly pagan with a little bit of Christianity sprinkled around. Then the Anglo-Saxons invaded, bringing in more Norse/Viking culture and Old English . We’re not going to read anything from this time period in class.
597 AD: Christianity arrives and the English king converts. Christianity mixes with pagan rituals (Christmas trees! Bunnies!) and Latin gets mixed in with the language of the land. Stories still had many Norse/Viking themes though, like that idea of Jesus being more like a warrior hero than the passive martyr we know him as today.
1066 AD: The Normans — former Vikings/Norse who had moved down to France — invade, and make Britain even more Christian. Most importantly they brought the French language with them, which mixed with Old English to create Middle English. Most writing in this period was religious, but at least they got women involved as characters, unlike before.
1400s — 1600s AD — Christianity fractures, writing improves and the invention of the printing press means Middle English becomes more standardized, which created a simpler language known as Early Modern English (which is what Shakespeare wrote in).
I’ll end there because this is the time period we’ll be exploring for the first couple of months. If you want the rest of the notes from today, the powerpoint is attached below.
Brit Lit context clues