In the 1920`s Vladimar Jakovlevic Propp, the chairperson of the Department of Folklore at Leningrad University, examined a whole series of Russian folk tales and came to the conclusion that every story contains similar themes and each theme follows a distinct pattern. From this analysis, Propp concluded that all Russian folktales contain thirty-one small narrative units, or narratemes, and even though not all units may be present in a story, the functions always tend to follow an unvarying sequence. During the duration of his analytical research on the folktales, Propp also noted that in each narrative there are only seven key characters that should be considered. These important characters or dramatis personae are the villain, donor, the magical helper, the princess, the dispatcher, seeker or victimized hero and the anti-hero
[...] The task is resolved in function 26, once Jason decides to marry Medea on the island of Corfu and have their marriage bed a sacred cave.' Once Jason and Medea were free to leave Corfu, they embarked on their journey home. The next few functions that remain, discuss the state of affairs around the heroes return to his kingdom and how the hero gains recognition for his accomplishments. Propp actually identifies the concluding five functions to deal with the theme of ‘recognition and prestige.' As the story continues and the narrative is near the end, the hero finally arrives back home and is ready to face the villain. [...]
[...] Apollonius' myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece displays how Propp`s structural method can effectively be used to analyze ancient Greek myths. Many of Propp's main functions tend to fit into the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, but a few generic units are not visible, which Propp stresses to be normal. The thirty-one functions that Propp composed can further be broken down into an abbreviated list of six categories; separation, complication, transference, struggle, return and recognition. The first eleven functions deal with separation and these elements are all detectable. [...]
[...] Other then this one exception, it is evident that the majority of the characters in the narrative can be categorized under one of the roles of the dramatis personae. As it is evident, Propp's method for examining Russian folktales can effectively be applied to the analysis of Apollonius of Rhodes Jason and the Golden Fleece. This myth possesses the majority of Propp's thirty-one functions, as well as displays the roles of the dramatis personae. If Propp's method worked successfully in the analysis of this heroic Greek myth, it can also be successfully applied in the analysis of other heroic tales such [...]
[...] Propp also stressed that this is a normal occurrence as “some functions are capable of changing places and don't by any means affect the story.” Propp also stressed that each ‘function is understood in the act of a character, defined from the point of view of its significance for the course of the action.' Propp identified that in each narrative there is a limited set of eight broad characters, or dramatis personae, that even though the names of the characters change in a given plot, their actions do not. [...]
[...] Phineus tells the heroes that the gods have punished him by ‘sending the Harpies to steal his food, but it is the decreed of the gods that some son of Boreas will chase them away and he will be free (12).' The Argonauts reply to Phineus` quest for mercy. They fight the Harpies and succeed in their mission (13). Phineus is grateful for what the Argonauts have done for him and in return he not only prophesizes that they will succeed in their journey but tells them what they should do on their way to Colchis to ensure that they are victorious in their voyage (14). [...]
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