stories different from myths

  • Odysseus, 567
  • Heracles, 569
  • King Arthur and His Sword, 591
  • Sigurd’s Youth, 620
  • Fafnir, the Dragon, 625

“Odysseus” and “Heracles” are not myths.  In what ways are these stories different from myths?  If these characters are heroes, in what way are they heroic?  How does their heroism differ from that of Odin or Thor?

Concerning “Odysseus”:  Who is telling the story?  What effect does that have in terms of how you experience the story?

Concerning “Heracles”:  What about characterization here?  What about the relationship between Heracles and Iolaus?  Think about language and description.

Concerning “King Arthur”:  Yes, I know the language is difficult.  But how is this story similar to other stories we have read—including fairy tales?

Concerning “Sigurd’s Youth”:  How does this seem similar to other epics/romances?  (And who is the stranger?)

Concerning “Fafnir, the Dragon”:  Note that this is a continuation of “Sigurd’s Youth,” the main difference being that the Scandinavian Sigurd is now named Siegfried in this story from the German tradition.  Both are the same character.  Consider Siegfried/Sigurd’s quest here!