What are fairy tales?

Fairy tales, like any other works of literary genre, also have their own classification, and not even one. Fairy tales can be divided into several groups, first, by content, and second, by authorship. In addition, there is also a classification of fairy tales on a national basis, which is transparent and understandable to all. For example, “Russian folk tales”, “German tales”, etc. To say what fairy tales by authorship are also not so difficult. Everyone knows that there are folk tales, and there are copyright written by a specific person. To this we will return, but first we will talk about a more complex classification of fairy tales - according to the content.

Kinds of fairy tales by content

According to the content, literary critics usually distinguish 3 types of fairy tales:

  • household
  • magical
  • animal tales

Each of these types is divided into several, which we will discuss in the respective chapters. And we begin with household tales.

Fairy tales

As the name implies, domestic fairy tales include those that describe the life and life of a particular people. However, it should be noted that in such fairy tales the usual description is rare, and most often it is complemented by various humorous and satirical descriptions.For example, they mock any qualities of a particular class of society or class. Among domestic fairy tales, the following types of fairy tales are distinguished (we list them with examples):

  • social and household ("Shemyakin court", "Deljus goose", "The talkative old woman")
  • Satirical and household (“A Man and a Pop”, “A Barin and a Carpenter”, “A Barin and a Man”, “How Hired a Pop Worker”)
  • magical household (with elements of fairy tales, vivid examples of this: "Frost", "Cinderella")

In general, it should be noted that this classification is derived quite literally by literary critics, since it is not always possible to say unequivocally which category this or that fairy tale belongs to. Many can be attributed to the social and everyday, and to the satirical and everyday, and, for example, in the well-known fairy tale “Frost”, these two features add a certain amount of magic, which is why it is both domestic, satirical, and magic at the same time. And this is the case with many fairy tales - be sure to consider this moment when classifying.

Fairy tales

A fairy tale can be recognized, first of all, by the environment, which, as a rule, does not correspond to the reality that has been revealed to us in life.Heroes exist in their fantasy world. Often such tales begin with the words "In a certain kingdom ...". Fairy tales can also be divided into several types:

  • heroic tales (with a victory over various mythical creatures or with adventures, in which the hero goes to find some magical object). From examples: "Rejuvenating apples", "Vasilisa the Beautiful";
  • archaic tales (they tell about deprived and lonely people and those who were expelled or left the family for some reason and their adventures). From the examples: “Twelve months”, “Children at the ogre”;
  • fairy tales about people endowed with magical powers. For example: "Marya the Wizard", "Helen the Wise."

Tales of Animals

Let's see what kind of animal tales there are:

  • fairy tales about ordinary animals (wild and domestic). For example: “The Fox and the Hare”, “The Fox and the Crane”, “The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids”;
  • tales of magical animals. For example: “Goldfish”, “Humpbacked Horse”, “Emelya” (“By the Pike”).

In addition, fairy tales are such:

  • cumulative (in which there is a recurring plot). For example: "Mitten", "Kolobok", "Turnip";
  • fablesAs an example, let us give the well-known fables “Crow and Fox”, “Monkey and Glasses”. A small note: not all literary critics attribute the fable to the fairy-tale genre, highlighting a separate place for it among literary genres, but to complete the picture I decided to include fables here too.

As you probably know, these fables are not folk art, they have authors. Thus, fairy tales can be divided into folk and author. “The Fox and the Hare” is a Russian folk tale, and “The Humpbacked Horse” is the author’s one, since it was written by P.P.Ershov. Well, we have considered, perhaps, all the main types of tales, both in content, and in terms of author and nationality.

Some links

Finally, I want to share with you links to meetings of interesting Russian folk tales. Quite a lot of household (social) fairy tales you will find.

On are presented wonderful fairy tales.

And you will find dozens of famous animal tales.

I will note that the fairy tales presented on the pages of this site are, perhaps, the most famous of the Russian folk section.