What is a legend? The meaning of the word "legend"

How often do we hear clichés and expressions today?such as "the birth of a legend," without thinking what a legend is, actually. If you turn to the original sources, the word legenda comes from the Latin language. Thus, there is reason to believe that legends are the know-how of Romans, but this claim is controversial. Translation of it sounds like "reading", "readable". About this form of the traditional genre there are monographs of the n scientist of the XIX century, the classic of linguistics R.O. Shor.

And where is reading, when it comes to oralfolklore? This question is quite natural. Indeed, the legends were once intended for illiterate citizens in Rome, they contained historical, religious information comprehensible to them. Of these, people drew knowledge, moral principles.

Legends and legends. What is the difference?

what is a legend
The meaning of the word "legend", which is borrowed,close to the meaning of the Old Russian word "tradition". The latter came from the words "to convey", meaning from mouth to mouth. Tradition, as a rule, is tied to a certain locality, people. The legend initially differed in the evaluation of events and people according to religious norms.

The Christian legend traditionally includesassessment of events according to the Christian norms of life. It is more general than tradition. Common to both the narrative and the legend is their common basis - certain historical events. The latter, as a rule, are dramatic.

A thorough understanding of the legend

Let us try to answer in more detail the question of whatis a legend. Religious legend, as already noted, can take the form of a dramatic miracle (a medieval story of miracles performed by saints). However, there are legends in other religions: Buddhism, Judaism, Islam. Genre has acquired a broader, extra-ritual significance. His subject became the narrative of a hero, a historical figure or an event. Examples of such works will be considered below.

Famous legends

the meaning of the word legend
Let's remember what a legend is. For this we give a few of the most famous examples of this genre. This is the story of the journey of the hero Jason with his comrades on the ship Argo in search of a golden rune to Colchis. This history has survived centuries and has reached our days. Through the thickness of time also passed a legend about the Trojan War, its heroes and the drama of confrontation. Even today, Achilles and Hector inspire creative people to numerous remakes of this legend in various forms of art.

Allegory and instructive story about the victory of the heroTheseus above the monster Minotaur, inhabiting the palace labyrinth of King Crete. "Aeneid" tells us about the brave founder of Rome - the hero of Aeneas, the Trojan, who fled after the destruction of the hometown of the kingdom by the Greeks.

Three hundred Spartans, who gave a heroic fight to the Persians in the gorge of Thermopylae, also became a legend.

legend of literature class 5

Widely mentioned in the literature is the legend of"The Flying Dutchman." The captain brought a curse on his ship, swearing his mother's bones that no one would go ashore, and condemned his soul to eternal wandering. Meeting with this ship, appearing in the Indian Ocean, promised seamen death, and other ships - a wreck.

The Middle Ages are decorated with knightly and heroic legends. There are also Russian legends about the miraculous victory of George the Victorious over the serpent, about the heroes.

The French are proud of their national hero - Knight Roland.

In British folklore, the legend of King Arthur is known, which unites around himself the knights of the Round Table.

School program

legend genre literature
In general educational institutions as a genrea legend is studied in literature. The 5th grade in the program includes both the most famous works and local legends. This kind of folklore is adapted to children's perception. Legend is a genre of literature that refers to small forms of folklore. It is capacious, rather laconic, which is important for children's perception. In addition, this genre traditionally uses expressive artistic means, affecting the concepts of love and hate, good and evil, justice. It is somewhat like a fairy tale.

The genre of the legend was developed in the XIX century by the TitansLiterature: L. N. Tolstoy, F. M. Dostoevsky, I. S. Turgenev. For example, Leo Nikolayevich's pen belongs to the composition "Destruction of Hell and Restoration of It", "Christmas Legend". Fyodor Mikhailovich wrote a monumental work - "The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor". Ivan Sergeevich - "Eastern legend", "The legend of St.. Julian the Most Gracious. "


This genre is very dynamic. Therefore, when talking about what a legend is, it should be noted that today this genre is experiencing a second birth. The society, faced with unknown, unknown, begins to create new legends. For example, about extraterrestrials abducting people, about the monster of Loch Ness, about the system of pyramids and other objects that prevent the destruction of civilization, about heroic people-our contemporaries. In addition, legends are born also from literary works, if, of course, they were written by a real master. For example, Tolkien's novel "The Lord of the Rings" was perceived by the English as an epic. The stories outlined in this trilogy have become legends.