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The Erlking Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Erlking.
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Fairy Tales

The genre of stories known as fairy tales is very diverse but shares certain important qualities. Fairy tales derive from oral culture. That is, they were told and retold by generations of people around the world before they were ever committed to print. They are not set at a specific time in history, but they are set in places that are (or at least were) familiar to the stories' listeners and tellers. Despite their everyday settings, in fairy tales normal rules of reality do not apply. Fairy tales contain an element of the supernatural—typically, objects and characters that change form, animals that speak, and figures both good and evil who have magical powers.

"The Erlking" is one of Carter's modern interpretations of the ancient fairy tale form. Carter sees classic fairy tales—often discounted as lowly or juvenile—as an important, even...

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This section contains 760 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Erlking from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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