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?
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.
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.
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.
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.