“The Golden Bough” by Sir James George Frazer Essay
Sir James George Frazer is a British anthropologist, theologian, and ethnologist. He is the representative of classical social anthropology, who has made a great impact on the development of anthropological science. He is known as the author of The Golden Bough. In this book, Frazer has systematized factual evidence concerning original magic, mythology, totemism, folklore, religious beliefs, and traditions of different cultures.
George Frazer is famous for his researches on the culture, beliefs, and traditions of ancient nations. In spite of the fact that he has never left England, many of his anthropological researches have been used in understanding colonial and postcolonial studies.
In his investigation, he did no fieldwork relying mostly upon his correspondence with colonial authorities and eyewitness accounts. In his works Totemism and The Golden Bough, he paid much attention to the research of primitive beliefs of nations that populated different colonies.
According to Frazer, in the process of its development, humanity has passed several stages. They are magic, religion, and science. Frazer emphasizes the difference between magic and religion. He states that in the infancy of mankind, magic has preceded religion. Nevertheless, magic has disappeared when religion has emerged.
On the magical stage of the development of humanity, people believed in their abilities to change the surrounding reality by means of magic. Later on, people lost faith in it. In such a way, there emerged the idea that a world was subdued to gods and supernatural forces. In the last stage, humanity rejected this concept too. People began to believe that the world was ruled not by gods, but it was subjected to the laws of nature. The prevailing idea was that by understanding this law, it was possible to rule nature.
Among his most famous works are Totemism and Exogamy, Folklore in the Old Testament, Man, God, and Immorality. Though many of his ideas are criticized even now, Frazers works are used by many contemporary scientists.
Introduction Literature is one of the main sources of information that describe people the way their predecessors lived and a value system they had. Being one of the integral parts […]
The story chosen for the analysis is titled The Earth on Turtle’s Back, and it offers a different viewpoint on the creation of the world. According to the legend, which […]
The element of governance is traceable in the Mi’kmaq’s creation story. The story is a folklore passed down to generations and explains how the Mi’kmaq people lived in North America. […]
Introduction Inequality and adherence to outdated cultural traditions are two of the main sources behind the tragedies that were seen in the case of Oedipus Rex and Antigone. For instance, […]
Rama may have come on earth for a godly mission, but the impact he had on Sita brought about a different outcome (Mines and Lamb 182). Rama was the first […]
In “The Iliad”, Homer portrays Achilles as a superhero of the Achaean army during the Trojan War. Achilles enjoyed a close relationship with the gods and possessed extraordinary strength although […]
Abstract Reflections of ancient mythological heroes and quests are very common in modern literature, music, cinema, and art. The film called “Valhalla Rising” is a good example of such reflection. […]
Supreme Being Myth Myth: Alla Religion or culture of origin: Islam What are the characteristics of the Supreme Being? God in Islam can be described as an omnipotent and all-knowing […]
Creation Myths Myth 1: Purusha Sukta Religion or culture of origin: Hinduism Myth 2: Prometheus, Athena, and Epimetheus Religion or culture of origin: Ancient Greek mythology Who created the world? […]
Sir James George Frazer is a British anthropologist, theologian, and ethnologist. He is the representative of classical social anthropology, who has made a great impact on the development of anthropological […]