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Oral Tradition

Elements of Folktales, Myths, & Legends
by

Mr. Pavelek

on 20 September 2011

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Transcript of Oral Tradition

Oral Tradition
Folktales
Main characteristics and functions of the genre:
Fiction- action occurs in no particular place & time
Symbolically show how people deal with world (life's journey)
Show human behavior & attitudes of culture
Reveals strengths and weaknesses of humans
Focus on plot, presents a realistic view of the world
Contrast is the rule
Repetition (often highlights contrast)
Basic & Universal questions answered:
Where did death come from?
How do I gain control over my life?
How can I succeed without the help of my parents?
What is likely to be my greatest source of achievement & how can I achievement?
Significance it has on the culture:
Folktales give encouragement and hope
A form of entertainment
Teaches moral lessons
Provide national pride and identity
Respond to practical & social needs
Main characteristics and functions of the genre:
Significance it has on the culture:
Basic and universal questions answered:
Who am I?
Provide moral answers
Make a culture's spiritual beliefs
Often considered to be true and factual
Unify the culture:
provide a shared past
provide a meaningful present
provide a predictable future
Provide certainty in an uncertain world
Myths
Legends
Basic & Universal questions answered:
Significance it has on the culture:
Main characteristics and functions of the genre:
Provide moral answers
Contains cultural values
Shows attitudes, beliefs, & behaviors of society
Cause us to recognize our own complexity
Cause us to realize that we, too, can become victims of circumstance (like legendary heroes)
Expresses moral value of the culture
A form of religion
An early form of history
An early form of science
An early form of philosophy
Reminds us that excessive pride is a slippery slope
Explains the origin of life and the universe
What is the nature of the universe?
How do I relate to both the
known and unknown worlds?
How much control do I have over my life?
What must I do to survive?
How can I balance desire with responsibility?
How do I face death?
A story from the past about a subject believed to be historical
Always associated with a particular place and time in history
Heroes of legends face an overwhelming task that is imposed on them by the kings whom they serve
Unlike other heroes, legendary heroes usually do not emerge triumphant but die prematurely
Heroes are as much human as they are heroic;
they make mistakes
Legends usually answer the same questions as Myths
but with a more self-centered response...
Who am I?
What must I do to survive?
How can I balance desire with responsibility?
How must I face death?
How much control do I have over my own life?
Genre traits of Folktales, Myths, & Legends
While serving similar purposes, folktales, myths, and legends have distinct differences in their genre traits.
Which genre often serves as a culture's regilion?
Which genre is often told from a child's point of view and teaches a lesson?
Which genre has a hero who often makes mistakes and dies prematurely?
Full transcript