Exploring the common features of fairy tales and mythology: what has informed the creation and development of these genres?

Wright, Alice (2012) Exploring the common features of fairy tales and mythology: what has informed the creation and development of these genres? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation aims to investigate the development of fairy tales and mythology over time, how social conditions have informed their creation and how the similarities between them can examined. For the purposes of this study I am looking specifically at Graeco-Roman mythology and European fairy tales. My investigation is structured around three main chapters discussing similarities and differences in structure and plot, historical content, the portrayal of the female and changes in content over time.
    Using Jung’s theory of archetypes and a common discourse structure based on Propp’s Morphology of the Folk Tale this dissertation outlines the common structural elements found within the tales, and investigates several different theories for these similarities.
    I then discuss the change in focus of the fairy tale over time, from original folk tales passed on though oral tradition to the literary tales of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, eventually ending with a look at the crossover to feature length animation as pioneered by Walt Disney.
    The final chapter investigates how women are portrayed within mythology and fairy tales and the cultural significance of their roles in both genres. I will discuss female and male characters’ different roles within the tales and how this has been changed over time to reflect development in society.
    This dissertation concludes that societal values hugely influence fairy tales and mythology, leading to any changes in society being reflected by changes to narrative and themes within the tales. Although there are no conclusive theories which definitively explain the similarities of structure and motifs between fairy tales and mythology, this dissertation does show how these themes are informed by society from a historical point of view.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 14:36
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14045

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