His Cup Runs Over

His Cup Runs Over

A treatise on religion. 

mojoald

           Archetypes are present in every form of media. Most literature, television shows, movies, and plays have an archetype at the heart of their story. These archetypes help us quickly identify with stories and help us put them into schemas. Most archetypes originate from basic classical literature, from works such as The Bible, Greek mythologies, and other assorted early religious texts and the like. One of the most prevalent archetypes in early literature is that of a widespread flood used to clean the immoral from the earth.

            The use of a massive cleansing flood is very prevalent throughout literature. It is not only present in both The Bible and Greek mythology, but also in almost every other culture on earth: from the Chinese to the Sumerians. In almost all of the stories it is presented the wrath of a god who is angry at the people of the earth. This god summons up the powers of the oceans and causes a destruction of all living things on earth. The majority of the stories have a chosen couple who are saved from the destruction on some sort of raft. In the end it is this couple who are responsible for the repopulation of mankind to the earth. There are almost unlimited variations on this theme, but these are the most common elements.

            In terms of The Bible and Greek mythology, the two stories that fit this archetype are the stories of Noah and the Ark (Genesis Chapters 6-9) and the Greek story of Deucalion and Pyrrha. Both of these two stories contain all of the major elements of the massive flood archetype, but present them in a different fashion with their own twists.

            The story of Noah fits the archetype very well. The Lord’s anger at humanity for their sins, his choice of Noah and Sarah, the destruction of all living things, and the replenishment of the earth by Noah and Sarah all fit right into the archetype of the great flood. The elements that are unique to the story of Noah are the large boat he rides in, that the flood lasts 40 days and 40 nights, it is Noah that saves all of the animals, and the promise of god to man.

            The story of Deucalion and Pyrrha also fits the elements of the Great Flood archetype very well. Zeus is angry with the people of earth, he decides to destroy every living thing with the help of Poseidon, he chooses Deucalion and Pyrrha to carry on mankind, and finally Deucalion and Pyrrha repopulate the earth. The elements of the story that are unique to this story is that rather then a large ark Deucalion rides on a large chest, the Earth its self is what gives rebirth to the animals, and that Deucalion and Pyrrha repopulate the earth with the bones of the dead.

            The fact that the archetype of the great flood is so universal shows a lot about human nature. First it shows that people all across the world have, for what ever reason, a belief in a high power. Second the fact that the world is destroyed because of sin shows the human need for encouragement to lead a good life. Third and finally, it shows that people like to feel unique, that they are the distant offspring of the chosen people of a higher power.

           In conclusion, the archetype of the great flood is very prevalent in world literature. The fact that is very prevalent shows two things. The first is that it must show some insight into human nature, as it has lasted for so long. The second is that there must be some factual truth to the origins of the story. Modern archeological data is coming in that does show that in the time period discussed here there was a massive flood in the Mediterranean Sea and the black sea. So maybe the biggest reason over all that the archetype is present is a memorial to those that perished in flood more then anything else. Who knows, in 9,000 years there may be an archetype of survival after two pillars of light are destroyed by evil birds from the east.

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