Fairy Tales

Mel Gibson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Commonly defined as children’s STORIES about magical beings, fairy tales, related to FOLKLORE and MYTH, have travelled across cultures over time. Regarding ADAPTATIONS created for children, Chris Duffy’s (2013) anthology comic is representative. Fairy tales may also engage adult READERS with their consideration of issues of SEXUALITY and morality, as exemplified by Bill Willingham’s Fables (2002–2015), which incorporates characters from a number of fairy tales. Marina Warner (2014) is a key theorist in relation to how these tales reflect changing social concerns, behaviours, and contexts through retelling. Warner (1995) also analyses who tells the tales and how, considering FILM alongside traditional oral storytelling. This is not the only approach to these tales, however. Bruno Bettelheim (1976), for instance, analysed them in terms of Freudian PSYCHOANALYSIS and was concerned with how they might help children understand problems such as separation anxiety and sibling rivalries. This work is seen as problematic but still represents an important way of thinking about fairy tales and, in particular, children’s responses to them. Another key approach is to look at the origins of these tales, as exemplified by Jack Zipes (2013) who did so via engagement with cognitive science and evolutionary theory, amongst other fields.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKey Terms in Comics Studies
EditorsErin La Cour, Simon Grennan, Rik Spanjers
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9783030749743
ISBN (Print)9783030749736
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2634-6370
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6389


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