Myth, Legend, Fable and Folklore

Portrait

Myths, legends, fables and folklore are all forms of a broad genre known as traditional stories, distinguishable by some characteristics specific to each form (although boundaries are often blurred).

Myths tend to have a religious or ritual basis, featuring gods and super-human characters and unrealistic action, set in a time before recorded history.

Legends feature human heroes (often battling monsters and demons), with human flaws and extraordinary but credible abilities. The action will be placed in a vaguely historical context.

Fables are categorised by animals behaving in human ways, with human language, and tend to have a strongly moral theme.

Folklore -- fairy tales -- feature ordinary humans in unrealistic situations, and are generally entertainment rather than instructive. There is usually no historical framework for the action.

Works

Mythology

Fable

Legend

The Carolingian Cycle:

The Arthurian Cycle:

Folklore

Studies

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