As Eliade discusses in the section titled "Archetypes and Repetition," one method people use to make meaning is to imitate a "celestial archetype," "primordial act," or "mythical example.”
As we discussed in class, this can take many forms (art, architecture, narrative); it occurs clearly in the process of naming: we give names based on the celestial, primordial, or mythical connotations the name suggests. Thus, we have New England modeled after England.
This process occurs on the individual level as well: my name, Matthew, is not original or unique. Rather, it dervies from the
"English form of Ματθαιος (Matthaios), which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu) meaning 'gift of YAHWEH'. Saint Matthew, also called Levi, was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first Gospel in the New Testament. As an English name, Matthew has been in use since the Middle Ages." (Behind the Name n. pag.)
My last name, Woodman, is compound: Wood + man. The name is a relic from when people took names from their professions; in this case, one of my ancestors was a man who worked in the woods (probably some sort of logger or rough carpenter).
The film Sunshine is filled with names:
Icarus I and II (the name of the ship)
Capa (or Kappa)
Cassie (or Cassandra)
Your assignment is two-fold:
1. Choose one of the names from Sunshine, and analyze its etymology (word origin). Where does the word come from? What does it mean? Does it refer to any specific religion or myth?
2. Analyze the etymology of your own name. Where does your name come from? What does it mean? Does it refer to any specific religion or myth? Were you named after a relative (i.e., are any of you "Junior")?
Here are a couple of sites to get you started:
Behind the Name
Oxford English Dictionary
Remember that Wednesday is a furlough day, so I'll see you all on Friday.