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Fables and Folklore

What are the elements of a folktale?

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September 07, 2011 11:05PM

A folk-tale can be divided into several categories, but the main two are the fairy tale (which relies heavily on fantastic elements) and the narrative tale (it can include extraordinary elements, but not magical or fantastic). The first type has very typical features that are extraordinarily similar throughout the world - a fact which has made possible its categorisation. I'll give some examples of standard features: a crisis at the beginning of the tale, a happy ending (in 99% of cases) plus (not necessarily) a morality, a fantastic helper (a fairy godmother, a bee, a dragon, a poor shepherd a.s.o.) who/which helps the hero/heroine, the magic companions (like the man who can run/drink/eat/blow air through his nose/sow/weave etc more rapidly and much stronger than any other human being) who decide to accompany the main character, the quest, the tasks that will decide his/her fate, the reward etc.