What is a legend?

Irina Kosheleva
Irina Kosheleva
July 19, 2012
What is a legend?

We all often hear: "This event will become a legend! Yes, it is simply legendary! There are legends about it!" And what is the legend really?

The word "legend" came to us from the Latin language and translates as "readable" or "list of passages from the liturgy for reading every day." It is believed that this is one of the varieties of oral folk art, but unlike a fairy tale, there is no magical beginning. Legend, as a rule, describes the events that were in fact. But since most of the legends began to form even when there was no written language, and therefore were passed from mouth to mouth, each of the narrators added some new elements, new colorful details, and the legend gradually transformed. Legends are also found in religious literature - descriptions of the lives of the saints, the deeds of the apostles, parts in the sacred Scripture.

It is best to understand what the legend means by a specific example. Everyone has heard the legend of Atlantis - a mysterious city of civilization, which was developed to incredibly high level,than angered the gods and went under the water. Part of this story - the existence of the city of Atlantis - is true. The rest is the wrath of the gods, the level of development of civilization, the strength of the inhabitants of Atlanta themselves - may be true, and maybe even the conjecture of the storytellers.

What is different from the myth of the legend

Myth is a definite literary genre that conveys a person’s understanding of the origin of the world, and natural phenomena, and the place of man himself in this world. The essence of myth and legend, in principle, is the same, but has a significant difference in the time frame.

In the earliest period of human development (Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece), when the chronology order was only in its infancy, the main thing in the human worldview was the myth. It is through myths that people explained the most important human questions for themselves.

Gradually, with the development of mankind and the emergence of monotheistic religions (where only one creator God, not just a few), legends appeared - more realistic legends that help to describe not all of the universe as a whole, but some of its individual elements.

The concept of a legend has been reinterpreted, and now we also call people and events that have gained world fame as a "legend."For example, the legends of rock are The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, and the legends of the domestic show business - Alla Pugacheva, the group "VIA Gra" and others.

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