Thematic Sheet

Tales of Magic

Telling tales in front of others promotes self-confidence.

Wonderful tales, (or tales of magic), transmitted from generation to generation, is a memory, a system of thought, a fertile saying, a way of suppressing fears and, above all, a way of building oneself.

Most wonderful tales are initiatory tales. They seek to make us experience an emotional journey, generated by the force of mental images and by the symbolic logics that structure them.

In order to organise the universe that each person has within him or herself, to leave everyone free to find what will be good for him or her, the tale does not specify either the places or the time where the story takes place: “Once upon a time…”. The characters are flat without psychology, which leaves everyone the possibility to make them their own. They are universal tales that have many variations. Coming from another time and sometimes from other cultural areas, they are of all times, as they explore the human experience in its permanence.

They have a precise structure:

– Exposure of the initial situation
– The hero braves a ban
– Initiation quest
– Often three events in which the hero is helped by donors, animals, objects, human beings…
– Successful tests
– Fight and victory against the aggressor
– Recognition as a hero
– Marriage and accession to the throne.

Who is the hero? Often the youngest, the weakest, the smallest, the most destitute, who helped by those to whom he has given service, will win in front of his brothers. This shows the children that one can do it even and especially if one is at a disadvantage.

This initiatory quest is characterised by the presence of trials that the hero will have to face in order to reach adulthood, get married and start a family. In his quest, he is helped by animals, to whom he has given his life (The Golden Fish), an old woman with whom he has shared his bread, etc.

Very often the story takes place in the forest, the place par excellence of initiation, situated outside the world.

In the tales of oral tradition, we often find the number 3: 3 brothers or sisters, 3 trials, 3 helpers, etc.

See in our tales database:

Tales database