Robert Graves Writing Styles in The Greek Myths

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Perspective

The author Robert Graves functions more like an editor in the course of this work. The reason being that the compilation is an assemblage of traditional mythology. As historical artifact there is a pre-existing set of reliable source material that has been consistently used in modern representations and recreations of the Greek mythos. The author is an educated man. He was born in Wimbledon, England to mixed ethnic heritage. His father was an Irish writer. His mother was Amelia Von Ranke - of one of the Germanic tribes of Northwestern Europe. He was born prior to the first so-called World War. Most of the world was affected, even though not every country was compelled to participate.

The author accepted a teaching position in Cairo, Egypt where he was able to teach English. From 1926 onwards, Robert Graves lived in Egypt where he wrote extensively. The biography page at the front of the book describes him as predominantly as a poet and a novelist. He is the author of numerous historical novels. He also wrote a great deal of poetry, which came to be highly respected during his lifetime. Obviously, he picked up additional paying work by serving the field of classics as the author of this nonfiction work. The publisher used to disseminate this classical knowledge is Penguin; this publisher serves the niche market for classics.

The work has been generated by a nineteenth and twentieth century man. Born in 1895, he lived until 1985. The book is designed to be able to be used as a textbook, as a reliable source of accurate information. It can also provide entertainment and education for readers interested in history, the history of religion, and transformations in human culture and society. The work definitely stems from an individual greatly influenced by Christianity, including the change over from planet Earth prior to the re-establishment of a landed nation of Israel to the state of affairs, wherein the city of Jerusalem is under Jewish occupation, which is worth noting, as it has not been the easiest thing to achieve and continues to be a daily challenge.

Tone

The tone of the work is pleasant. It is evidently meant to be fun, and the author's natural enthusiasm for the work shines through. It is intended to be truthful in its presentation. This is quite clear. The main difficulty involves matters of truth. Religious and philosophical issues are quite relevant here. The author does his best to avoid confrontations regarding whether or not the gods really exist. He does show that it has become quite evident that stories proved to be an excellent way of making abstract conceptions more clear to the masses of people - however common or uncommon. As such, there have been many cases, particularly in the ancient where the gods were shown or believed to have been invented by mankind for the purposes of fostering social order and to in fact clarify some abstract concepts. There are other cases where it is surmised that God was not merely an invention of humanity. However, there is a further difficulty in that Great Goddess and God, Brahma and Indra, are in fact also code words that simply mean "blanket answer to natural questions about the origins and nature of the universe that have so far defied adequate explanation". When Junior asks, "Where did the universe come from?" the idea here is that it is acceptable to just answer, "from God," even though in some cases it feels too similar to the pat justification, "Because Mommy said so."

The tone of the work is scholarly. This is shown by the conscientious manner in which original source material has been quite accurately referenced. The bibliography is extensive. The translations used are those that have been approved by those who keep and enforce high standards. The mere idea of a compendium of this type of information means to engage with history and in the preservation of knowledge and traditions of mankind.

The work is also surprisingly broad ranging in its coverage. By this is meant that a number of social and cultural factors are included. There is at least some effort to explain the situation within the greater context given the limitations caused by the radical difference in time. Overall, the tone of the work is informative with an underlying upbeat quality.

Structure

The book is presented all of one piece. That is: it is one book with a large number of chapters. In fact there are 171 chapters in this work. There are also an author biography, Foreward, Introduction, two maps, and an index. Naturally, there are also the publisher's notification page and a Table of Contents. Within the chapters there is another order. However, these are not expressed as overt divisions.

There are groups of chapters which are dedicated to particular aspects of the ancient Greek mythology and religion. There a few chapters designated to "Nature and Deeds" of specific, individual deities. Much later on, there are a number of chapters devoted to "the Labours of" and a few to "Heracles", "the argonauts" and so forth. The types of entities the myths focus upon are multiple. Deities, Titans, Giants, Fates, Kings, mothers, wives and daughters and sons of Kings, lovers of deities be they also gods or not, are those that receive the most attention.

The book is generally chronological in its order, but there are some inconsistencies here. This is especially the case when there is a given story that runs through at least some of the same time as one or more of the other stories. The first stories reach back into the proverbial mists of time - to prehistory. The first myths presented in the book are from approximately two millennium before Jesus Christ, which takes one back to very near to the beginning of the Judaic and possibly also the Chinese calendars but is already very late in the Mayan calendar - this last will run out in 2012. There may be at least one type of calendar in India that reaches further in both directions. With the right mathematics, it is possible to predict and to describe the past events on the astronomical level. Given the nature of theory, it is not possible to determine whether or not the theory is correct, however without extensive efforts to corroborate the facts against the theory, or to readjust theories based upon the true nature of things. Calendars are discussed during the first section of the book because they are so relevant to daily life. The lunar calendar and the thirteen month year, still well known in China, was the norm for more than a thousand years among the Europeans.

The book also discusses both patriarchy and matriarchy. For those who had thought that feminism was born in 1960 America, the information herein serves as a rude awakening to just how false that notion is. The reality is that, at least in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, power has shifted to and from and to again - the male and female in politics, wealth and society in general. This has included traditions of naming lineages and the like.

This section contains 1,189 words
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