Try some of the links below to find out more about legends:
Lots of great legends here
Children interview Michael Morpurgo
Legends are usually based on real characters and events, even though these have been richly embellished and exaggerated over time. This gives the narrative an exciting quality because all the events seem to be within the realm of possibility even when the plot has become so widely adapted or updated that it is completely fictional.
The plot of a legend usually focuses on an individual character, a cultural hero or a person respected and remembered (Jason, King Arthur, Robin Hood, William Tell, Roland) but there are also legends about places (Atlantis, Shangri-La), objects (the Holy Grail, the Philosopher’s Stone) and legendary animals (the Yeti, Loch Ness monster, Sasquatch, Chupacabra).
Structure and style
Structure is usually episodic, as in the phases of a journey over several years or the stages of a great battle. Some legends tell the entire life story of their hero as a series of linked episodes, each one a story in its own right, as in the King Arthur stories and the sagas of German-speaking and Northern European countries.
Common structures include:
- chronological episodes;
- journey stories;
- sequential stories;
- life stories and community histories.
Like myths, legends sometimes use a more literary style than fairy tales or fables.
- rich, evocative vocabulary
- memorable language use
- use of rhythm and repetition techniques
- formulaic openings and endings
- imagery: simile, metaphor and symbolism.
Legends employ many of the typical themes of traditional stories:
- good and evil
- friend and foe
- the supernatural
- rich and poor/rags to riches/riches to rags
- wise and foolish
- strong and weak
- just and unjust
- a quest or search
- a journey
- trials and forfeits.
Legends, like myths, reveal information about the way people lived, what they believed, what was important to them, what they valued and what they were afraid of.
(source – teachfind.com 2015)