folk literature an introduction. types of folk literature myths and legends epics and fairy tales...

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Folk Literature

Folk LiteratureAn Introduction

Types of Folk LiteratureMyths and LegendsEpicsFolk Tales, Tall Tales, and Fairy TalesFablesFolk SongsProverbs

Myth

Traditional stories from particular cultures that deal with GODS, GODDESSES, and other SUPERNATURAL beingsHave a human (or human-like) heroEmbody religious beliefs and valuesExplain natural occurrences (human creation, creation of the heavens, etc.)Ex: Perseus

LegendStory passed down through generationsBased on real events of characters from long agoHave historical basisMay contain fantastic or unverifiable elementsEx: George Washington chopping down the cherry tree; King ArthurFolk TalesBrief stories passed by word of mouth from generation to generationContain ordinary peopleEx: Axe Murder Hollow

Tall TaleLighthearted and humorousHighly exaggerated, unrealistic Ex: the story of Paul Bunyan

Fairy TalesMischievous spirits and other supernatural elementsOften in a medieval settingEx: Name some!

FableBrief storiesAnimal charactersExpress moralsEx: Tortoise and the Hare, Grasshopper and the Ant

Proverbs Also known as adageTraditional short sayingsGive people advice about how to liveExpresses a belief generally thought to be trueEx: One bad apple spoils the bunch. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

ArchetypesStory, character, motif, or theme representing a familiar pattern repeated throughout literature and across cultures.One reason we can understand the universal meaning of traditional forms of literatureEx: The Hero, The Mentor, the quest, rebirth, initiation, Temptress, Damsel in Distress, the Trickster (think Bugs Bunny)Can you think of examples of these?

QuestionsWhy does folk literature often use repetition and archetypal elements?Why do authors of other works refer to (allude to) folk literature so often?