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AN OVERVIEW OF THE 4 NOTIONS

Myths and Heroes


Definition of a Myth : Firstly, a Myth can be defined as a legend telling a story that sometimes cannot be verified. This is a well-known tale that everybody knows about, like the American Land or the Myth of the Kraken. It usually hinges around great and brave heroes or monsters. A Myth can be based on real or unreal stories, which happened in the past. Definition of a Hero : Secondly, the notion of "Hero" can fall into two categories. On the one hand, there are imaginary heroes endowed with superpowers and who are in charge of saving the planet and the people in danger like Superman. On the other hand, there are real people who can have a role to play to change the world's history. There are three categories into which the notion of "Heroism" can fall : Originally, heroes are demigods, in Greek mythology who they are halfway between humanity and deity. Heroes can also be defined as warriors or soldiers who go to the battlefield to fight for their country. They are brave, courageous and displays self-sacrifice. It can also be someone who's admired for his great achievements for contributing to the advancement of human history.

A whole range of new myths, with new heroes imaginary characters

have been created over the ages. The rags-to-riches

who can either be real or

stories of famous American businessmen have thus given birth to a national myth : the American Dream. Pop culture and counter culture also keep producing their own heroes communities. who , in turn, give birth to other mythical

stories, which illustrate the aspirations (superheroes, superstars, icons) of our


Spaces and exchanges

All societies are somehow defined by the geographical and symbolic space(s) they occupy and how they open up these spaces to what lies farther away. influenced others beyond their borders and have always been influenced, never seemed smaller as transportation and telecommunication have accelerated the rhythm of exchanges between different Through trade, conquest, emigration and communication, nations have always culturally, economically, politically or scientifically. Geographically our world has areas. Peoples and

nations, thanks to this evolution, now keep on borrowing the languages, and transforming our world.

cultures of other peoples and nations at an ever-increasing rate, thus deeply


Places and forms of power

The notion of power generally implies a basic division between those who have and exercise power and those who have none or little of it. As a consequence, the exercise of power within a community requires that its members accept or even internalize a complex system of relations, laws, rules and regulations, and respect symbols such as specific places (court, parliament, prison, castle etc.), which helps to create social cohesion on the one hand, and which reveals quite clearly the conflicts and tensions existing within the group on the other hand. Indeed, even when authority seems

absolute, there are always counter powers which question it, aim at limiting its excesses and resist it. This notion can be addressed, for example, from the following angles:- emblematic institutions of power (the court, the castle, parliament, prison, the tribunal, capitals, etc)- the power of the media (the

press, public opinion etc)- the lust for power and resistance to power(historical personalities, great figures, civil disobedience, war and pacifism)- power and conquest (the fight for equality and liberty, conquests and retreats, questions of equality , the right to vote)- power and the arts (representations and mise satire, fable and caricature)- language and power
The idea of progress

en scne of power, submission, praise and patronage ,official art, denunciation,

The idea of progress basically consists in believing that the world can become better in terms of art, science, technology, liberty and shaped most of Western civilization s changes, some evolution from an old order highly respected conventions and beliefs. vision of history. Progress implies quality of life and has

which is not necessarily embraced by all, as it may shake up deep-rooted ,

with old traditions to a new order

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