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Fontanelle and Lowth

  • Date Submitted: 04/08/2012 02:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.7 
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21 February 2012
Set F, Response 1

Fontanelle and Lowth

Bernard Fontanelle and Robert Lowth are two modern mythologists who have very different ideas on mythology.   Fontanelle views mythology as a childish way of thinking and Lowth views it as a brilliant way of life. There are many different ways of viewing mythology and learning about it, as these men have proved. There is the way of looking at it as infantile and a thought process of those who are less-experienced, or it can be looked at as a new journey to embark on in learning a new subject or lifestyle of those in our past.
The mythologist, Bernard Fontanelle, was writing before his time when he wrote about how mythology is nothing but a childish way of thinking.   He described it as something that came from the mind of a savage, and in his words it is a “weak, credulous, imaginative, given to self-magnification, and in love with marvels- in short, rather prone to invent and to embellish wonder in a gentle and harmless fashion,” (Feldman 8).   What Fontanelle means by this is that children are especially very prone to believing myths simply because they are so naive.   The way that myths get passed on in his point of view is that someone has a view of someone pouring water out of a pitcher, they would then begin to brainstorm and imagine, which would create a story on “how a god could pour out the water of   a river,” (Feldman 11).   Stories would get passed down through the generations, and through the time of passing down this story, certain parts of it would change simply because the teller may have forgotten it.   They myth-teller then begins to fill in the empty spaces with aspects to the story that can make it sound more interesting and desirable.
Fontanelle’s view on mythology can be related to the modern game of Telephone that is played today in schools or at sleepovers for younger children.   One person tells a short story and whispers it to the person next to them,...


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