Fairy Tales: An Introduction

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Fairy Tales: An Introduction

  1. 1. Fairy Tales @ccareylit craigcarey.net
  2. 2. Why fairy tales?
  3. 3. Preview to Into the Woods
  4. 4. What are fairy tales?
  5. 5. What is folklore? • Folklore refers to the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed on by word of mouth • Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, jokes, proverbs, fairy tales, stories, tall tales, and customs
  6. 6. Three Principle Genres of Folklore • Legends - usually include an element of truth. Are often based on historical facts, filtered through mythical qualities • Myths: convey truth through symbolic meaning rather than recording a true event. Can be based on actual events, but are usually transformed by symbolic meaning • Folktales: popular stories such as fables and fairy tales. Narrative meaning emphasized over facts.
  7. 7. Historical Occurence Legendary Occurence Mythical Occurence Facts Paramount Meaning Paramount What’s the difference between legends, myths, and folktales? Folktales based on cultural truth
  8. 8. Fairy tales, or wonder tales, are a sub-genre of folktales involving magical, fantastic, or wonderful episodes, characters, events, or symbols German term Märchen, meaning “wonder tale”
  9. 9. Some Characteristics of Fairy Tales • Usually in timeless settings (once upon a time) in generic and unspecified places (the woods), with one-dimensional characters (good or bad) • Typically feature talking animals and European folkloric fantasy characters such as dwarves, fairies, giants, gnomes, goblins, trolls, witches • They function to entertain, inspire, and instruct. They are not always didactic.
  10. 10. The History of Fairy Tales • Found in oral and literary form, but only literary forms survive, making history difficult to trace • Adults, not children, were the original audience of fairy tales • Have their origin in a peasant culture - tales to shorten hours of repetitive work, chores, etc. • Originally filled with comedy, melodrama, humor, sex, and violence
  11. 11. Variations & Adaptations • Fairy tales circulate in multiple versions; cross- cultural transmissions • Remixed and reconfigured by each new telling • They take on the color of the time and place in which they are told • Variations can include location, motifs, style, character, ending, context, etc. • What are some variations in “Little Red Riding Hood”?
  12. 12. The Brothers Grimm German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, lexicographers, and authors who specialized in collecting and publishing folklore in 19th century
  13. 13. Frontispiece and title page from 1819 edition of Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales
  14. 14. This slideshow by Craig Carey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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