A legend is a story based on real events, a person, or a place. Legends can be superhuman or otherwise extraordinary, and they may explain events that seem irrational or unexplainable. They may be based on an actual event or be made up entirely of fanciful details. A legend can be either true or false, but the latter is usually the case. Here are some examples of legends and their various types.
Legends are stories told about a particular person or place
A legend is a story from the past, usually about a person or place. The stories generally concern the exploits of a famous person or historical figure. The tales typically concern saints, kings, heroes, wars, and other notable individuals. They are always associated with a specific place and time. The most famous legend is the Pied Piper of Hamelin, which became famous because of literary treatment. Many towns across Europe have a similar tale about a piper.
While legends are generally fictional, they often have semi-historical elements. For example, the story of Hereward the Wake was based on a real person, a descendant of English nobility and Viking lords. The legend has been interpreted by many to include stories of heroic deeds by people of all backgrounds. Legends often relate to a particular place. A tale about Robin Hood, for instance, might be based in Sherwood Forest, while the story of King Arthur was based on events in the city of Tintagel. The skull of Sir Gawain is found at Dover Castle.
They may have superhuman or otherwise extraordinary qualities
While the characteristics of a superhuman may vary from culture to culture, there are some common traits that distinguish such individuals. For example, some legends involve historical figures with superhuman or otherwise extraordinary qualities. Some of these characters are based on real events, but others incorporate elements of fiction. For example, a sage or fortune teller may predict the future of a hero, foreshadowing events to come.
They may explain seemingly unexplainable phenomena
While legends are generally fictitious, there is some truth in them. Most myths are based on true events and people, though they can be exaggerated or contain elements of mythology. Historically, myths have often been used to explain difficult concepts and have a historical setting. These tales have been used for centuries to explain unexplained events, from meteor showers to the origin of man.
In many cases, mythologies have real historical figures with superhuman qualities. But real events are often infused with elements that are false. For example, a sage or fortune teller may give a hero a warning about things to come. Such elements are known as foreshadowing. Then, the hero of the story may avert certain disasters by consulting the sage or fortune teller, who knows the future.
They may be based on real events
While legends can be fiction, they are also an invaluable form of storytelling. Often times, legends are based on true events that were altered over time to make the story more entertaining or relatable to current audiences. For instance, the Philosopher’s Stone legend is widespread in literature, from the Middle Ages to the Harry Potter series. But legends do not claim to be factual retellings of real events, and they are not fully believed or disbelieved.
Legends are made up stories relating to real events, although they often contain elements of fiction. For example, the story of a cat crossing a road is a well-known contemporary legend, even if there is no solid evidence to support it. Legends often feature historical events and heroes, but are not based on hard facts. Some legends may even be based on real events, but their veracity is questionable.