Saturday, February 4, 2017

What are myths, legends, and folklore (fable)? Definitions (Quotes)

Myth making: my plan
What are myths, legends, and folklore? Definitions (Quotes)

I wanted to start with the dictionary definitions comparing myth, legend, and folklore. Also I look for other comments and a comparison of the terms.


by American Heritage - Myth
1. a. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society.

By PBS - Myth
Myths are stories that are based on tradition. Some may have factual origins, while others are completely fictional. But myths are more than mere stories and they serve a more profound purpose in ancient and modern cultures. Myths are sacred tales that explain the world and man's experience.

In search of Myths & Heroes

By wikipedia - Myth
The word "myth" is derived from the Greek word mythos (μῦθος), which simply means "story"

A myth is a story based on tradition or legend, which has a deep symbolic meaning. A myth 'conveys a truth' to those who tell it and hear it


by American Heritage - Legend
1.a. An unverified story handed down from earlier times, especially one popularly believed to be historical.

b. A body or collection of such stories.

A legend is a semi-true story, which has been passed on from person-to-person and has important meaning or symbolism for the culture in which it originates.


by American Heritage - Folklore
1. The traditional beliefs, myths, tales, and practices of a people, transmitted orally.
2. The comparative study of folk knowledge and culture. Also called folkloristics.

A folktale is a popular story that was passed on in spoken form, from one generation to the next. Usually the author is unknown and there are often many versions of the tale. Folktales comprise fables, fairy tales, old legends and even 'urban legends'.


by American Heritage - Fable
1. A usually short narrative making an edifying or cautionary point and often employing as characters animals that speak and act like humans.

A fable's emphasis is on a "moral." Examples include Aesop's fables, such as the stories of the tortoise and the hare, and the fox who complained about "sour grapes."


Fact to Meaning Continuum
Historical account      Legendary Occurrence      Mythical Event  Folktale based on cultural truth
Fact   <                            ----                                   >     Meaning

Myth vs Fable
Fable                                                                                   Myth
Morality  <                             ---                                   >  world issues and functions

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