Final Paper

After completing the final paper, you will be able to:

  • evaluate the representation of the four mythological archetypes in the visual arts
  • discuss the value of these representations
  • articulate the manner in which these representations communicate
  • analyze the connection to Barthes and semiology.


Select two of the three following essay prompts and provide a 1,000-word response to each in one Word document, citing all relevant material as needed. If source materials are quoted directly or indirectly, the essay must include a Works Cited page and adhere to all MLA (8th edition) formatting requirements.

An overview of MLA requirements can be found at The MLA Style Center. This link also contains two sample essays that exhibit correct formatting.

  1. Select one cosmic myth, one myth of the gods (figures), one hero myth (figures), one place myth, or one object myth, and discuss one example of its representation in the visual arts. Beyond this initial connection, discuss Art Brenner’s analysis of the language of art in “The Structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss and the Visual Arts” and how it applies to the selected myth and imagery. If the myth individually and its visual counterpart communicate via specific languages, how, if at all, do these languages complement one another? How does Brenner’s understanding of Roland Barthes and semiology clarify this point? Explain.
  2. Discuss any two myths from Leeming’s text The World of Myth that overturn traditional notions of patriarchal hegemony and authority. What is the cultural origin of these myths? Why might this element matter? Why are these challenges important? Do these myths move toward a greater position of acceptance and equality? If not, what values do the myths communicate? Explain.
  3. Select any myth from the required text The World of Myth that was discussed over the course of the quarter, and rewrite elements of it to reflect a contemporary perspective relative to an issue of individual importance or significance. While this option appears to be a more creative exercise, to complete it effectively depends upon an understanding of the cultural values housed in myth, the structures associated with the myths, and their abilities to translate these values across time and culture. As such, in choosing this option, make certain to avoid issues too dependent on narrow topicality or ones too exclusive in their application.
  1. Save your file in DOCX format, named as follows:
    1. lastnamefirstinitial_finalexam.docx
    1. for example, John Doe would name the file “doej_finalexam.docx”.

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