Myth and legend

Differences between Myth and Legend
Differences between Myth and Legend

The Differences between Myth and Legend is given here. When it comes to myths and legends it is very easy to confuse them. To understand what is a myth and what is a legend, it is convenient to handle and know the concepts.

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It comes from the Greek mythos, which means story. It is a traditional story that defines prodigious events whose protagonists are supernatural or extraordinary beings such as heroes, monsters, fantastic characters, gods, and demigods. They seek to give an explanation of a natural fact or phenomenon.

The myth is an explanatory, dynamic, and symbolic story. They usually narrate one or more extraordinary and transcendent events that do not have a historical testimony. It consists of:

  • Conflictive character.
  • Emotional
  • Ritual.
  • Functional.

Myths are part of a belief system of a culture or a community. The set of myths that make up culture is called mythology. The greater the complexity of the mythology, the greater the belief development of a community.

Philosophical and scientific explanations conflicted with mythical beliefs. The word myth then took on a pejorative meaning, representing the false.

The term myth is used to refer to contemporary or historical characters loaded with prestige or famous.

They tend to deal with existential questions like death, birth, creation, and the like. It also deals with opposing themes such as good and evil.

Its purpose is to explain, give meaning, and be pragmatic.

There are several types of myths:

  • Cosmogonic myths: They are the most widespread and numerous.
  • Anthropogenic myths: They are those that explain the origin of the human being.
  • Eschatological myths: They announce the end of the world.
  • Etiological myths: They explain the origin of things, beings, and techniques.
  • Foundational myths: They narrate how cities were founded by the order of the gods.
  • Moral myths: They explain the existence of good and evil.
  • Theogonic myths: They are those that relate to the origin of the gods.


They are a popular narrative that tells real, supernatural events or a mixture of both. They are transmitted from generation to generation orally or in writing. Generally, this type of story is located between the myth and the real events.

They are located in times and places familiar to the community, this gives realism to the story. They present supernatural elements and present these events as real since they are part of the worldview of the community or individual.

Legend is generally defined as a folk tale with historical roots. The legend deals with men representing archetypes such as heroes and wise elders.

Legends are linked to precise elements integrated into the everyday world. It is situated within a specific or imaginary time.

It aims to explain the origin of customs or place names as well as their history.

There are several types of legend:

By its theme:

  • Etiological legends: They explain the origin of elements of nature.
  • Eschatological legends: They explain beliefs and doctrines regarding the underworld.
  • Religious legends: It tells stories of the righteous and the sinners.

By its origin:

  • Urban legends: They belong to current beliefs.
  • Rural legends: They are valid legends in the field.
  • Local legends: They are valid for municipalities or defined geographical areas.

suggested video: Myth vs Legend

Differences between Myth and Legend

  • The myths narrate fantastic facts that explain phenomena, origins, or an apocalyptic future.
  • Legends have a historical basis mixed with supernatural events.

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