Literary Term Fable

Literary Term Fable

A fable is a short story that uses animals, objects, or characters to teach a moral lesson or convey a message simply and entertainingly. Fables often share moral lessons or truths about human nature through allegory. Fable uses these characters in a simple and direct narrative. The most famous fables of English Literature are Aesop’s Fables, The Panchatantra, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables. 

Characteristics of Fables: Fables are a unique form of literature that typically involves short stories featuring animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are personified and exhibit human-like qualities. Here are some key characteristics of fables:

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  1. Animal Characters: Fables often use animals as the main characters to convey a moral lesson or a piece of wisdom. These animals typically represent specific human qualities or characteristics.
  2. Moral or Lesson: One of the defining features of fables is their emphasis on teaching a moral lesson or universal truth. The story usually concludes with a clear moral statement or a proverbial lesson that the reader can derive from the narrative.
  3. Simplicity and Conciseness: Fables are usually short, focusing on delivering a single moral message. They tend to be straightforward in their storytelling, making them easily accessible to readers of different ages.
  4. Allegorical Nature: Often, fables are allegorical, meaning they use symbolic characters or situations to represent broader concepts or moral principles. They use metaphorical elements to convey deeper meanings.
  5. Universal Appeal: Fables exceed cultural boundaries and periods, as they typically address fundamental aspects of human nature and morality relevant across different societies and eras.
  6. Repetition and Structure: Fables might employ repetition in their structure, with recurring patterns or phrases to emphasize the moral lesson. This repetition aids in reinforcing the central message.

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  1. Entertainment and Education: While fables aim to educate or impart moral lessons, they are also meant to entertain readers. The use of engaging storytelling techniques keeps the audience captivated.
  2. Traditional Origins: Many fables originated in oral storytelling traditions and were passed down through generations before being documented in written form.
Riya Akter
Riya Akter
Hey, This is Riya Akter Setu, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.


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