Folklore

A:

According to ancient Greek historian Hesiod, Zeus' lighting bolts were made by Brontes, Steropes and Arges, the three Cyclopes sons of Uranus and Gaia. These one-eyed craftsmen also created Poseidon's trident and Hades' helm of darkness.

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  • What are some American folklore legends?

    Q: What are some American folklore legends?

    A: American folklore legends come from several media, including oral traditions, ballads, literature and historical mythology. The most-famous legends often center around mythic figures such as Paul Bunyan, Casey Jones or John Henry. They occasionally involve monstrous creatures as well, such as prehistoric entities like Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil or the cryptozoological mystery of Champ, the beast of Lake Champlain.
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  • How did Odysseus show his bravery?

    Q: How did Odysseus show his bravery?

    A: Odysseus showed his bravery by fighting valiantly in the war with Troy, facing great dangers on his decade-long voyage home and ridding his home of his wife's parasitical suitors upon his return. During his lengthy ordeal after incurring Poseidon's wrath, he had many opportunities to demonstrate his resourcefulness, cunning and courage.
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  • Do werewolves really exist?

    Q: Do werewolves really exist?

    A: There is no credible scientific information to date that supports the existence of werewolves. Many scholars who study the history of werewolves disagree among themselves about what exactly a werewolf is, making it harder still to prove or disprove their existence.
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  • How many Knights of the Round Table were there?

    Q: How many Knights of the Round Table were there?

    A: Depending on the tradition one reads, besides Arthur there were between 12 knights and over 1,600. The most commonly accepted number, however, is the 25 knights shown on the Winchester Round Table.
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  • What is a legendary hero?

    Q: What is a legendary hero?

    A: A legendary hero is a character immortalized in myths and folk tales, who is famous for acts of courage and bravery. Heracles, also known as Hercules, is an example of a legendary hero from Greek mythology, and Paul Bunyan is a legendary hero originating from American folk stories.
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  • Why do we say "silly goose"?

    Q: Why do we say "silly goose"?

    A: The expression “silly goose” refers to a person who acts in a childish, foolish but somewhat comical way. This term originates from several sources. The entry in the Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable states, “A foolish or ignorant person is called a goose because of the alleged stupidity of this bird." The Samuel Johnson dictionary describes geese as, “Large waterfowl proverbially noted, I know not why, for foolishness."
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  • What is the theme of "Cinderella?"

    Q: What is the theme of "Cinderella?"

    A: The story of "Cinderella" has a number of different themes that include nature, morality and grace. Versions of the story date back to ancient Greece but the themes have remained the same in time.
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  • What should a vampire look like?

    Q: What should a vampire look like?

    A: While there is some variation depending on tradition, vampires usually are described as looking like ordinary people but with very pale skin that becomes flushed with the consumption of blood. Sometimes the lips and mouth of a vampire are described as red or bloodstained. This appearance is explained by LiveScience as a normal effect of decomposition.
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  • What is the moral of "Cinderella"?

    Q: What is the moral of "Cinderella"?

    A: The moral of "Cinderella" is that people should always fight for what they want with a good heart and hard work. Cinderella is never negative or angry due to how poorly her stepsisters and stepmother treat her, and she keeps working hard despite things seeming hopeless.
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  • Who wrote the first Robin Hood story?

    Q: Who wrote the first Robin Hood story?

    A: Around 1377, the poem "Piers Plowman," by William Langland, made a passing reference to a character thought to be Robin Hood. A tale known as "Robin Hood and the Monk" was written about 1450, but the author is unknown.
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  • What is the name of the giant in "Jack and the Beanstalk"?

    Q: What is the name of the giant in "Jack and the Beanstalk"?

    A: In the original text of "Jack and the Beanstalk," the name of the giant is not given. However, most plays that are based on the story have the giant named Blunderbore. The giant goes by similar names in other versions of the story, including Blunderboar, Thunderbore, Blunderbus and Blunderbuss.
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  • What is the moral of "Rip Van Winkle"?

    Q: What is the moral of "Rip Van Winkle"?

    A: The moral of "Rip Van Winkle" is that life passes by with or without a person and that change is inevitable. The story also shows that a person will pay dearly when they try to avoid change; in many ways, Irving is asking his readers to be active participants in their own lives and enjoy each moment.
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  • What is the moral of "The Fisherman and His Wife"?

    Q: What is the moral of "The Fisherman and His Wife"?

    A: The moral of "The Fisherman and His Wife" is that a person must be thankful for what he has and not always want more, lest it become impossible for him ever to be satisfied. Those who do not appreciate the small things likely do not have the capacity to appreciate anything and are destined to live a life deprived of joy.
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  • What is the moral of "The Ugly Duckling"?

    Q: What is the moral of "The Ugly Duckling"?

    A: The moral of "The Ugly Duckling" is that people should never give up on following their passions and finding their place in society. "The Ugly Duckling," a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen that was published in 1943, focuses on the story of a young "duckling" who doesn't appear to fit in with or look like the rest of the group.
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  • What is the nationality of Santa Claus?

    Q: What is the nationality of Santa Claus?

    A: According to the St. Nicholas Center, the persona of Santa Claus is loosely based on St. Nicholas, a bishop in Myra, Turkey who became the patron saint of children. Primarily through Dutch settlers celebrating his feast day, St. Nicholas became known as "Santa Claus" over time.
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  • What is the story of "Swan Lake" about?

    Q: What is the story of "Swan Lake" about?

    A: The tragic love story of "Swan Lake" is about a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. During the day she must swim as a swan in a lake of tears. At night she may be human again, but her spell can only be broken by a virgin prince who swears his eternal fidelity to her.
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  • What does an elf look like?

    Q: What does an elf look like?

    A: Originally, elves were creatures of ancient Norse myth, and they looked like slender, small versions of fair-skinned blond Scandinavian people. As tales of elves spread throughout cultures and then literature, their appearances became increasingly varied.
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  • What color was Santa's suit originally?

    Q: What color was Santa's suit originally?

    A: Researchers at the BBC insist that the red and white of Santa's suit has been around for quite some time. Some people have stated that Santa's original suit was a more subdued hue similar to tan.
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  • What does "Wednesday's child is full of woe" mean?

    Q: What does "Wednesday's child is full of woe" mean?

    A: The line "Wednesday's child is full of woe" is a part of a nursery rhyme known as "Monday's Child," sometimes attributed to Mother Goose; it predicts that children born on Wednesday are sad.
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  • What is an example of a fable?

    Q: What is an example of a fable?

    A: An example of a fable would be "The Ant and the Grasshopper," by the Greek fabulist Aesop. A fable is a short fictional story, often containing elements such as anthropomorphic animals, written for the benefit of a concluding maxim or moral.
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  • How do eagles renew their youth?

    Q: How do eagles renew their youth?

    A: There is a claim that eagles can renew their lives by biting off their feathers, talons and beaks and then regrowing them, but this is not true. The myth states that when eagles reach the age of 30, their physical condition critically deteriorates. By plucking out their bad feathers and beak, they are supposedly able to live another 40 years. This myth stems partially from a metaphor in the Bible.
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