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Epics, Myths, Legends and Folktales
Transcript of Epics, Myths, Legends and Folktales
Why are epics, myths, legends and folktales(EMLF) important?
Storytelling is common to every culture.
Most people enjoy listening to stories. Storytellers have catered for the need for a 'good story' since the beginning of civilization.
EMLF are mostly ancient texts but the stories and lessons they consist of are often timeless.
Let's talk about Epics
What is an epic?
An epic is a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the history of a nation. An epic is made up of 6 elements.
6 Elements of an epic:
1) The plot centers around a
of Unbelievable Stature who is either partially divine or protected by a God or Gods.
6 Elements of Epic continued...
4) It involves Gods, demons, angels, time, cheating death or other supernatural forces.
5) The text is often overwritten formal, and highly stylized.
6) The narrator often sees and knows all and presents all perspectives.
Examples of Epics:
Some epic names include:
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Sundiata
Life of Pi
Remember the 4
Qualities of an epic hero:
1. The hero is born of a noble birth.
2. S/he has warrior virtues.
3. The hero acts honoraly.
4. S/he is chosen by the Gods or Fate.
It involves deeds of superhuman strength and valor.
Accomplish feats no real human could.
There is a vast setting. The action spans across land, sea, into the underworld, thru space or time, etc.
6 Elements of an epic:
What is a myth?
A traditional story, concerning the early history of a people that explains some natural or social phenomenon, and involves supernatural beings or events.
The 4 Characteristics
of a Myth:
1. Myths are stories that are told as if they
are a fact.
2. Myths usually have gods or goddesses
with supernatural powers.
3. Myths often deal with the creation of the
world and natural events.
4. Myths provide lessons about good and
What characteristics of this picture tell you that it is a myth?
What is a Legend?
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.
What is a Folktale?
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.
Not only is the text in a legend legendary, but so is the person it is about.
What "legend" does this legend come from?
In African folk tales, the stories reflect the culture where animals abound.
such as the monkey, elephant, giraffe, lion, zebra, crocodile, rhinoceros, etc.
appear frequently and usually take on human characteristics. Through their behavior, many valuable lessons are learned.
There is a rich, fertile legacy of folklore from Africa. On this vast continent, folk tales and myths serve as a means of handing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next.
The storytelling tradition in Africa has thrived for generations because of the absence of printed material.
Folk tales prepare young people for life, as there are many lessons to be learned from the tales.