Myth and the Mabinogi Analytical Essay

Myth and the Mabinogi
An analysis of the Welsh medieval epic the Mabinogion.
# 128454 | 2,340 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Jul 23, 2010 in Literature (Mythology) , Literature (European (other)) , Literature (General)

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This paper discusses the four branches of the Mabinogion and the various mythical themes and characters that are the uniting factors between the four branches. The writer explains how the Mabinogion derives from mainly pre-Christian mythological traditions and folklore, layering myth and cultural history in its clear prose. The unity and cyclical nature of the four tales is expressed in the character Pryderi, whose origins, experiences, and connections to the other characters that appear throughout the Mabinogi serve as the trunk of the four flowering branches binding the tales together.

From the Paper:

"Pryderi does not have a single line in the branch of Branwen; in fact he is mentioned only once, wherein it is stated that he was one of the seven who escaped. Yet the fact that the tale shifts its focus elsewhere for the moment does not detract from the Mabinogi's unity. The Mabinogi, after all, is not a biography of Pryderi, but rather a focus on the legends and myths Pryderi engaged in directly. The tale of Branwen is related to the first as it occurs after Pryderi succeeded his father Pwyll as ruler of Dyfed; Pryderi was summoned to fight the Irish as one of the rulers of the Welsh cantrevs. Pryderi plays a silent role as onlooker and fighter in the war. That is the plotted, factual connection. Meanwhile, thematically, the interference of Otherworldly places in separating the mortals from their daily lives subtly is evidenced, along with the importance of blood-ties."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • The Mabinogi. Ed. Patrick K. Ford. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.
  • The Tain. Ed. Tr. Thomas Kinsella. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1969. Print

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