The Ancient Worldview Frequently authors use literary devices such as the plot, theme, characters, and imagery, in their work to express their personal worldview. Sometimes this is a conscious effort and other times they do it accidentally, since it is very natural to be influenced by social, cultural, or historical factors that occur throughout one’s life.
Worldview plays an even bigger part in literature that was created in Ancient history, because we must often rely on the translation of a story that has been passed orally from generation to generation for thousands of years.The Bhagavad Gita for example was written over two thousand years ago, and since the original language of the Gita was Sanskrit, which many people did not know how to translate, the first complete English version was not made until 1785 (Johnson, 1994). Consequently, before this time the Gita was simply passed orally in a very broad translation, and with no theological overview of the text. (Johnson, 1994) The Illiad which was created sometime between 800 and 400 BC, much before written history also relied on oral translation of the text.After a few centuries and many storytellers later accurate recall of historical events blended with Greek Mythology and made it very difficult to determine just how much of the story was based on fact or fiction.
During the time periods that these literary works were written mass production was not available, therefore the worldview of the storyteller had a great impact on how the literature was being passed along.For The Bhagavad Gita, this meant that the translation may vary depending on the readers spiritual views. This text represents Hinduism and Indian Spirituality and if the translator had different religious beliefs they omit or change the story to fit their own belief(Johnson, 1994). The Illiad, on the other hand, is based much on the mythology of Ancient Greece. (Manguel, 2007) However, since the myths underwent so many changes and variations throughout the centuries before and after Homer.
It is very important to pay attention to the details of the story so as not to confuse the characters with other stories in Greek mythology. For example, the story of Achilles' immortality, with the fatal exception of his heel, this myth has no place in the Iliad: Achilles is as mortal as everyone else, and Homer clearly tells us that this is the case (Manguel, 2007). If the reader is not careful it is easy to misinterpret the story accidentally based on prior knowledge of Greek mythology.In both of these works we can see how the author used literary devices to express their worldview. The reader is able to learn about the history of the time they were written through the characters and the plots in the stories. Both authors use similes and metaphors throughout their work to help create the setting and imagery used in the stories.
When reading any literature it is important to question how worldview has affected the story, because it could consequently change it in its entirety.It is very common for Authors to use literary devices such as the plot, theme, characters, and imagery, in their work to express their worldview, the reader can then use this as tool to understand others better especially those possessing a worldview different from their own. References Johnson, W. J.
(1994). The bhagavad gita. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press. Manguel, A. (2007). Homer's the iliad and the odyssey: A biography.
New York, NY: Grove/Atlantic Inc.