The point of folk/fairy tales isn’t to be über-original, or show a balanced view of humans, in all their contradictions and shades of good and evil.
The point of these tales is to look at the good and the evil (as represented by the characters), and then to decide what to do with them.
Whether we will encounter evil in this life is not the question. The question is, What will we do with the evil we find? Will we fear it? Flee it? Fight it? Surrender to it?
This is what these tales explore.
Leave the fine distinctions of good in the heart of goblins or evil wizards to those writing for a more “modern” purpose, and let the folk tales do what they’ve done for millennia: personify good and evil, and let us watch how they interact.
People think these tales are supposed to be original?
Main criticisms of tales include complaints at how similar they are to one another, particularly in their treatment of women and relationships.
This doesn’t hold water for one actually studying them, of course, but people tend to see what they want to see.
That’s so funny, because while I see similarities, I also see huge differences.
I love fairy/folk tales for that reason.
The human predicament doesn’t change, only how we deal with it.
Amy–amen to that. I love your quote in the upper left corner. I am with you about fairy tales/folklore & fantasy. I find it disheartening when people get caught up in the idea of witches, villains & the like; rather, than seeing the obvious battle of good & evil.