Hello Fellow Make Believers!
Today I wanted to touch a little on the history and purpose of Faerie Tales. Where do they come from? Why were they created? What do they entail? Faerie Tales are one of the oldest forms of story telling, and most have been re-written so many times that we may never know their true origins or meanings.
What is a Faerie Tale?
Faerie tales (Märchen in German, meaning Wonder Tale) are stories that usually involve magic and/or magical beings such as witches, unicorns, faeries, trolls, dwarves, etc. Faerie tales often contain some sort of moral lesson, and often times have “happy endings.” A faerie tale can be differentiated from a “legend” because of the “make believe” or unreal aspects of the story.
Most classic faerie tales originated in Europe (though many originated in other countries thousands of years ago) and were told in oral form. Back then, faerie tales were not placed in their own genre. A faerie tale could be known by the qualities noted above, and by the notable use of the beginning phrase “once upon a time.” During the Renaissance period, writers such as Basile, and Straparola, began marking out the genre by writing and collecting tales. These tales were made more well known by collectors Charles Perrault, and the Grimm Brothers. It was Madame d’Aulnoy who invented the term Conte de fée, or fairy tale in the 17th century.
Faerie tales, despite popular belief, were actually intended as entertainment for adults. Original faerie tales, and most notably the Brother’s Grimm tales (which were re-written upon complain that they weren’t suitable for children), were actually quite gruesome and horrific. Most retellings, and the Disney versions, were adapted to be more child friendly. Though, it was widely known that servants, and women of lower class, often told these tales to their children, sometimes to scare them in to behaving.
Interesting Videos on Faerie Tales:
You can skip to about 1:30 if you don’t wish to see the credits.
Do you have anything to add to what makes a faerie tale? My opinion is that the magic elements, the moral lesson, and the happy ending definitely make a faerie tale.
Do you think faerie tales were meant for children? To me, it’s obvious that they weren’t initially. The only reason I could see for telling them to children was to scare them and teach them lessons.
Do you have any extra tidbits I missed? I am constantly finding out new facts about faerie tales and would love to continue to learn more!
Picture found on Pinterest.
Blogger/ Punk Rocker / Quirky