Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

What is the definition of myth and a legend?

Last updated date: 17th Jul 2024
Total views: 347.7k
Views today: 6.47k
347.7k+ views
Hint: We know that there are numerous literary devices we use in order to write stories or novels. Sometimes stories can be based on real life and other times it might be one that is ‘cooked-up’ or fictional. Both of the terms generally describe a way in which things are narrated.

Complete answer:
Myth is a genre in folklore that includes themes that play a crucial role in community, such as the tales told to establish foundational values. Myths typically feature demigods, gods, or supernatural humans as the central protagonists. The central characters are often claimed to be ‘Heroes’ to provide inspiration to the coming generation of listeners of the stories.

So in general, a myth is a folkloric tale that describes a people's assumptions about the natural or human worlds. Myths usually feature gods or supernatural heroes as the main characters. The tales take place in the far past. These tales were told by people who claimed they were real.

A legend is a form of storytelling that consists of a narrative about human acts which are perceived or assumed to have occurred in the history of mankind, this was believed by both the storyteller and the listeners. Narratives in this genre can represent ethical principles and have certain characteristics that lend an appearance of being valid to the story. Miracles can occur in legend for both active and passive characters. Legends can be changed over time to keep them new and vital.

To generalize, a legend is a typical historical tale. Traditionally, the main characters are rulers or heroes. Famous legends include the stories of Odysseus from Ancient Greece, King Arthur from Old England. Legends, including myths, were believed to be real.

Basic definition of each:
Myth: It is defined as a traditional tale, particularly one about a people's ancient past or illustrating a social or natural occurrence, which usually involves supernatural individuals in supernatural circumstances. Also a belief transferred across generations is called a myth.
Legend: It is defined as the elaborate description in the form of a story of how an occurrence initially took place. Legends are not quite true but they were popularly believed to be in ancient cultures.

Note: The terms myth and legend often confuses us, so let us see the major difference between these two terms. A legend is a story that includes certain details that have been twisted to an extent where the persons and events of real life have been exaggerated into having qualities that are impossible to have in real life. A myth, on the other hand, is fictional storytelling so it is not factual but made up or fabricated.