Date of Award


Document Type



Theatre Arts

First Reader

Professor Dennis Holt


From its inception, folktale research has had a two-pronged aim: it has been interested, on the one hand, in the nature and origins of oral narration not fixed in writing; and it has been interested in folk culture as expressed in the content and form of the folktale. These two points of view have resulted in two different kinds of research methods. One has sprung essentially from comparative literature and has been established as a new branch of that discipline; the other has developed from the French sociological and the British anthropological schools, which consider of folk tradition--to which the folktale belongs--merely as a means, a point of departure, for researching the folk community.

The key questions in folktale study are these: How was the tale shaped, and how does it originate? The search for answers focuses on the creative person, or, in a given case, the person at hand who passes on the tradition.



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