Modern mythology

In modern society, myth is often regarded as historical or obsolete. Many scholars in the field of cultural studies are now beginning to research the idea that myth has worked itself into modern discourses. Modern formats of communication allow for wide spread communication across the globe, thus enabling mythological discourse and exchange among greater audiences than ever before. Various elements of myth can now be found in television, cinema and video games. Although myth was traditionally transmitted through the oral tradition on a small scale, the technology of the film industry has enabled filmmakers to transmit myths to large audiences via film dissemination (Singer, “Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film”, 3-6). In the psychology of Carl Jung, myths are the expression of a culture or society’s goals, fears, ambitions and dreams (Indick, “Classical Heroes in Modern Movies: Mythological Patterns of the Superhero", 93-95). Film is ultimately an expression of the society in which it was credited, and reflects the norms and ideals of the time and location in which it is created. In this sense, film is simply the evolution of myth. The technological aspect of film changes the way the myth is distributed, but the core idea of the myth is the same. The basis of modern storytelling in both cinema and television lies deeply rooted in the mythological tradition. Many contemporary and technologically advanced movies often rely on ancient myths to construct narratives. The Disney Corporation is notorious among cultural study scholars for “reinventing” traditional childhood myths (Koven, “Folklore Studies and Popular Film and Television: A Necessary Critical Survey”, 176-195). While many films are not as obvious

s Disney fairy tales in respect to the employment of myth, the plots of many films are largely based on the rough structure of the myth. Mythological archetypes such as the cautionary tale regarding the abuse of technology, battles between gods, and creation stories are often the subject of major film productions. These films are often created under the guise of cyberpunk action movies, fantasy dramas, and apocalyptic tales. Although the range of narratives, as well as the medium in which it is being told is constantly increasing, it is clear that myth continues to be a pervasive and essential component of the collective imagination (Cormer, "Narrative." Critical Ideas in Television Studies, 47-59.) Recent films such as Clash of the Titans, Immortals or Thor continue the trend of mining traditional mythology in order to directly create a plot for modern consumption. Although these are generally considered inaccurate to the original mythologies on which they are based, it can be argued that as film itself has become a way transmitting myths, these films are no more inaccurate than the variants told by storytellers of the oral tradition. In fact, it is argued that these new contributions to traditional myths add value and meaning to the stories for new generations (Matira, "Children's Oral Literature and Modern Mass Media", 55-57). With the invention of modern myths such as urban legends, the mythological traditional will carry on to the increasing variety of mediums available to the consumer in the 21st century and beyond. The crucial idea is that myth is not simply a collection of stories permanently fixed to a particular time and place in history, but an ongoing social practice within every society.