Jan 24

Myths, Legends and Story telling

Myths, Legends and Story Telling

Myths, legends and story telling


Way back in ancient times of myths, legends and story telling in the oral tradition, ballads were sung, epic stories of battles, and myths and legends were told through poetry and recitation. History was preserved and handed down this way. But some stories were embellished over time and became the ancient myths. Some say the origins of the gods are to be found in tales of heroes whose feats of strength and honour were exaggerated in the continual retelling.
The balladeers needed phenomenal skills of memory, presentation and performance, and great stamina to walk from town to town, village to village, bringing their myths, legends, entertainment and education.
Their listeners loved stories for the same reasons we all do. They provided escapism, drama, wit, example, a chance to day dream of journeys and adventures; finding treasure; new lands and knowledge.

What changed most with the invention of writing was, eventually, access to books and reading as an individual activity. People still enjoyed being read to, especially children, but universal education and the printing press meant that almost everyone could read, anywhere. There are, of course still places in the world where everyone does not have access to education, and places where they do, but have no appreciation of it and see it only as a chore. I cannot imagine being unable to read, and enjoy books!

Books have always had two important roles: information and entertainment. Even when their primary role is entertainment books provide general knowledge, new vocabulary, descriptions of other places and different life styles. They are constantly feeding our curiosity, stimulating our imagination and giving us ideas.

Acting out a story, fact or fiction, was also a popular activity from the ancient past but now, as well as plays, we have film and video. Whenever I see the film of a book that I have read I invariably find I have enjoyed the book more. Reading allows you to create the images in your head yourself, as you imagine them and want them to be. But many people who do not read for pleasure must only see the films, almost a reversal as originally the story tellers wrote their poems and songs, recited and acted out real events from eye witness accounts. Now many more stories are completely made up and then later can be seen, brought to life as a film.


Blog. 90 Category. Advice and Information. Tags:Power of words,description, Imagination, Writing Verse

1 comment

    • sandie johnson on January 25, 2014 at 11:08 am
    • Reply

    i totally agree with the comment about books v. films… i have never enjoyed a film based on a book more than the book itself….results do vary… some are better than others but always leave me feeling something is not quite right, the whole experience is somehow wrong….like eating a sweet with the wrapper on or, having a bath with your socks on!

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