It should be apparent from the foregoing illustrations that myth criticism offers some unusual opportunities for the enhancement of our literary appreciation and understanding. No other critical approach possesses quite the same combination of breadth and depth. As we have sen, an application of myth criticism takes us far beyond the historical and aesthetic realms of literary study--back to the beginning of humankind's oldest rituals and beliefs and deep into our own individual hearts. Because of the vastness and the complexity of mythology, a field of study whose mysteries anthropologists and psychologists are still working to penetrate, our brief introduction can give the reader only a superficial and fragmentary overview. Bur we hope we have given interested students a glimpse of new vistas and that they will explore myth on their own.


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