Indo European Folktales (Exam 1)

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Review Sheet
German 1502
Spring 2114

1. Popular Culture
a. Perpetuated by media and constantly changing
b. Authored- innovative and unique
c. Reciprocal Influence- folk culture can influence pop. culture
(ex: Happy Birthday song was originally authored and then converted by folk culture.)
d. Reflects cultural diversity and economic prosperity
2. Folk Culture
3. Folklore (Definition)
a. Information created by same people use it
b. More than entertainment
c. Part of cultural tradition
d. Not fixed in time
e. Transmitted orally
4. Folklore (Function)
a. Entertainment
b. Educational- explains natural occurrences
c. Celebrate rites of harvesting, hunting
d. Teleological- establishing a community by inscribing the fears, values, and prejudices of that community into an artifact.
1. Adults- urban legend (transmission, foaf, told as true, plausible, recreated in each retelling, feeds of fears prejudices and cultural tensions, didactic.
2. Children- quips, rhymes
e. Subversive potential, addresses taboos, fantasy escape, and maintain order 5. Indo-European- common linguistic background (sanskrit), geographic location
a. PIE
b. William Jones- multilingual, postulated a language predecessor 6. Function of Tales
Age of Tales

7. Vielleé
a. Old wives tale, evening gatherings for gossip
b. Order is incorporated with emphasis on matrilineal transmission
(ex: marriage, courtship, rites of passage, etc.)

8. Fable
a. Fictitious work
b. Brief
c. Animals are the protagonist
d. Didactic- morals attached to them (although not always)
1. Promythium- provide reader with suggestions on how to interpret the tale; illustrates point of the tale, usually at the beginning
2. Epimythium- moral at the end of the tale (more prevalent following the 18th and 19th centuries)
e. No attempt to situate in time or place
f. Simple allegories- be true to yourself
g. Aesop
1. More than likely never existed (was said to be dwarfish, humpbacked and from Africa)
2. Was a slave freed for his wit and oratory skills
3. Killed by the people of Delphi for theft
h. Panchatantra- oldest collection of fables from India, written in Sanskrit
1. Author unknown although occasionally attributed to Bidpai
2. Most tales are about animals with some having human and animal protagonists
3. Written as a manual for princes to rule; how to consort, choose friends
4. Frame story
5. Ethics
i. Niti- wise conduct of life
ii. Sastra- scientific or technical treatise
6. 87 stories in 5 works- Loss of Friends, Winning of Friends, Crows and Owls, Loss of Gains, Ill-considered Action

9. Fairy Tale
a. Structure
1. Separation- from worldly possessions
2. Initiation- a trial period, in sense; boys and girls
3. Return- back to the original place, but much changed
b. Themes
1. Common bloke
2. Relationship between sexes determines the content of fairy tales
3. Restoration of justice- cyclical ending of just means
c. Functions
1. Wish-fulfillment
2. Cautionary tale
3. Platform for taboos
4. Catharsis
5. Entertainment

8. Myth
a. Tied closely to belief
b. Accepted as true by teller and listener
(ex: Creationism belief)
c. Etiological- origin, contingency of the way we are supposed to behave
d. Supernatural Power (magic)- beyond the realm of human existence/experience
e. Narrative projection of a group’s sense of past and relationship with the cosmos

9. Legend
a. Urban Legend
1. Historical basis; time and place are given
2. Based on religious events
3. Built on a degree of belief
4. Constructed within the framework of a religion
5. Recount extraordinary events
b. Golem- blood libel; jews created a clay golem after being persecuted for decades for killing babies.
c. St. George
1. Dragon slayer and female virgins sacrifical story.
2. Roman legend
3. Similar to Spartacus, Perseus but is...
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