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Meaning of the Sea in Korean Mythology

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2012, (26), pp.311-334
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

Oh, Se-jeong 1

1충북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Space of myth as narrative determines the nature of characters and proceed with events in stories. The sea is outstanding mytheme and mythical space which stimulate man to make understand the world and human. The meaning of the sea in Korean mythology can be summarized as follow. First, the sea is the mythical world which can be distinguished from human world and there are mysterious treasure or useful thing and mysterious persons who have unusual abilities. <Sondang bonpuri> and <Simcheong muga> shows the ‘Yonggung’ that is the Dragon King's underwater palace. Second, the sea is a block perimeter space between the worlds and a mediative space which takes place cultural exchange. Female protagonists in <Myth of Garakguk> and <Myth of Samseog> who came across the sea leads to the cultural development. Finally, the symbolic meaning of sea is death and exile at the same time resurrection and rebirth. The protagonists of <Myth of Talhea>, <Sondang bonpuri>, <Chilseong bonpuri> and <Simcheong muga> die by moving into the sea while they are born again with the divine presence.

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