Mythology & Folklore
Since the beginning of time, people have gathered around fires to tell stories of angry gods, harrowing journeys, cunning animals, horrible beasts, and the mighty heroes who vanquished them. Mythology and folklore have provided a way for these colorful stories to spring to life for thousands of years and helped humans make sense of the world. Explore how these compelling tales continue to shape society even today.
Since prehistoric times, people have passed important stories down from generation to generation. Although cultures differed significantly throughout history, many of these oral traditions are similar. In fact, did you know that for most of the gods in Greek mythology, there are corresponding gods in Roman mythology, along with striking similarities in the stories? As time moved from prehistory (before writing) into history (the written age), these stories were written down so that others could learn from them and enjoy them. All of these stories—myths, legends, folktales, and fairy tales—serve a distinct purpose in the literature of the world.
What will you learn in this unit?
- Examine the relationship between ancient mythology and modern storytelling
- Investigate the definition of myths and their role in human culture
- Distinguish the different types of myths
- Compare folklore, legends, and folktales
- Understand the defining characteristics of fairy tales