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↑-Fairy Tales-↓

A fairy tale is a story featuring folkloric characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and talking animals, and usually enchantments. In cultures where demons and witches are perceived as real, fairy tales may merge into legendary narratives, where the context is perceived by teller and hearers as having historical actuality. However, unlike legends and epics they usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and actual places, persons, and events; they take place once upon a time rather than in actual times.

Fairy tales are found in oral folktales and in literary form. The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace, because only the literary forms can survive. Still, the evidence of literary works at least indicates that fairy tales have existed for thousands of years, although not perhaps recognized as a genre; the name "fairy tale" was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy. Literary fairy tales are found over the centuries all over the world, and when they collected them, folklorists found fairy tales in every culture. Fairy tales, and works derived from fairy tales, are still written today

The older fairy tales were intended for an audience of adults as well as children, but they were associated with children as early as the writings of the précieuses, the Brothers Grimm titled their collection Children's and Household Tale, and the link with children has only grown stronger with time.

Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways. Among the most notable are the Aarne-Thompson classification, and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp. Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales.


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