Sunday, October 19, 2014

Archetypes in Myths: Pwyll and Arwan (The Mabinogion) Welsh

 Read this myth from "The Mabinogion" (new window)

This myth details the web of hospitality in Welsh society. In this myth, people hear what courteous behavior entails. Pwyll, the mortal, disrupts the hunting of Arawn, the God, and decides to make amends.

 Pwyll, the Lord of Dyfed, is the Everyman who encounters a God. After being chastised by Arawn, he makes his amends by killing the God’s rival and ruling in his stead. As a good guest, Pwyll does not sleep with Arawn’s wife. Pwyll, the Everyman, navigates the world of the Gods using his manners.

 Arawn, the Grey Lord, is the Shadow, because he demands retribution from Pwyll. This prompts Pwyll to go on his “Hero’s Journey” to seek amends. Meanwhile Arwan’s rival and his wife act as Threshold Guardians to test Pwyll. The first by tempting Pwyll into disregarding Arwan’s instructions, and the second by allowing Pwyll to sleep with her. Since he does neither, Pwyll earns Arawn’s friendship.

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