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This essay is about the myth and the visual art of it ( *the myth I choose is Pandora’s Box) (Objective) 1) Explain how classical myths endure as sites of cultural reflection through their exploration of the human condition. 2) Deploy typological thinking for classification of myths and perform functional analysis of mythic content. 3) Develop expository writing skills with reference to ethos, logos, and pathos.
(The think piece mental work): – I selected the “Pandora’s Box”, – Think back to the assigned reading by Kessler . Use the typology provided by Kessler to categorize the myth (i.e., figure out what kind of myth it is: cosmological, etiological, etc)., – Using Kessler again, brainstorm the functions of the myth. What sort of “work” does the myth perform? Does establish cosmic order? Assign gender roles?Explain how a certain aspect of the environment came to be? Make note of what you think the obvious and intended functions are: these are the MANIFEST functions that Kessler mentions. Then make note of what you think might be the unintended or hidden functions of the myth (sometimes these are functions only visible to those of us studying the myth centuries later): these are the LATENT functions that Kessler mentions., – Select ONE or TWO visual artworks that draw inspiration from a classical myth. If only selection ONE, be prepared for an in-depth analysis of the selected work; if selecting TWO, your mode writing will be comparative. Take note of the following: artist, medium (i.e., what is it and what is it made of: marble sculpture, oil painting, collage, mixed-media, graphic art, etc.?), and year made, dimensions (size)., – Think about the relationship of the selected artwork(s) to the myth. Is the artist trying to directly illustrating the myty? If so, what aspect is being illustrated or emphasized? Why that aspect? Does something we know about the artist or the time s/he lived in help us understand why that myth or that aspect of the myth might be fruitful terrain? If the artwork offers only passing reference to the classical myth, how does the myth provide a lens into the meaning the artist wishes to convey?
(Writing the essay directions): 1) This Think Piece is a formal, academic piece. Write in third person., 2) Your first paragraph should introduce the audience to the selected artwork(s). Assume your reader hasn’t seen it, so be descriptive. And, as your reader will likely be not 100% familiar with the myth it invokes, assume your reader will be puzzled by the artwork’s subject and meaning. This will create the driving purpose of your essay., 3) Your thesis statement should indicate that the subject of the artwork is related to a classical myth (specify the myth, obviously) and that understanding the myth is the key to unlocking the artworks meaning., 4) The next several body paragraphs should 1) provide us with a VERY brief summation of the myth with mention of the original source of the myth if know (i.e., where does the myth come from within the historical record); 2) classification of the myth (what type of myth is it per Kessler’s typology); and a functionally analysis of the myth (again, per Kessler)., 5) In your final paragraphs, bring the reader back to the selected artwork. Offer an interpretation of the artwork. Revist the final bullet point in the previous section for suggestions on how to think about the relationship between the artwork, the myth, and the historical, cultural, and social contexts the artwork might be addressing.


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