Curious George

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Myth Vs. Legend

In short, myth gives a religious explanation for something.

A legend, on the other hand, is a story which is told as if it were a historical event, rather than as an explanation for something or a symbolic narrative.

Thus, examples of legends are the stories about Robin Hood, which are set in a definite period, the reign of Richard I of England (1189-99), or about King Arthur, which were perhaps originally based on the exploits of a Romano-Celtic prince who attempted to resist the expansion of the Anglo-Saxons in what was to become England.

While myths and legends may be transmitted orally or in writing, folk tales tend to be transmitted orally, and although they are transmitted from generation to generation and so their origin or author is unknown, they are more definitely felt to be stories, i.e., fiction. Many European folktales were written down in the 19th century, and some at least were transformed into fairy tales, which tend to be more consciously literary productions with a definite author, such as Hans Christian Andersen



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