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Literature (from Latin litterae (plural); letter) is the art of written work and can, in some circumstances, refer exclusively to published sources. The word literature literally means "things made from letters" and the pars pro toto term "letters" is sometimes used to signify "literature," as in the figures of speech "arts and letters" and "man of letters." Literature is commonly classified as having two major formsfiction & nonfictionand two major techniquespoetry and prose.

Folk Literature
Folk literature, also called folklore or oral tradition, the lore (traditional knowledge and beliefs) of cultures having no written language. It is transmitted by word of mouth and consists, as does written literature, of both prose and verse narratives, poems and songs, myths, dramas, rituals, proverbs, riddles, and the like. Nearly all known peoples, now or in the past, have produced it.

Importance of Literature
Literature, besides being an art form used for expression, also preserves cultural ideals, customs, and morals. The written word gives us a deeper context into the lives and livelihood of people distinct from ourselves this can be true of historical literature but is equally true of modern literature, as well. We can learn as much from William Shakespeare's time through his plays as we can from authors from a different mindset or place. Besides this detailed and nuanced window into another person's or people's world, literature also challenges the reader to profoundly ponder the art form itself. Through metaphor, allusions, themes, foreshadowing and other literary devices, the reader has the opportunity to analyze a work beyond the written words.

Forms of Folk Literature

Fairy Tales Fairy tales are the most magical place for a child to go exploring. Fairy tale offers a sufficiently wide variety of theme and enchantment to whet the appetite of young readers. You look for the touch of magic, a sense of enchantment, of some mysterious force, which changes the ordinary into extraordinary. Examples: Jack and the Bean stalk, Beauty and the Beast, Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs, and Cinderella. Myths One characteristic of a myth is that it uses the supernatural. Myths are usually stories of Gods and supernatural beings. Myths are stories that are passed on from generation to generation and usually involve religion. It is an anonymous story designed to explain the mysteries of life, generally with larger than life aweinspiring characters.

A myth gives a religious explanation for something: how the world or a particular custom began. Example: How the Kangaroo got his Tail Folk Tales Folk tales are stories that grow out of the lives and imaginations of the people, or folk. It is believed that folktales were created at early stages of civilization. Children enjoy the humor in these stories. The tale starts off quickly with action throughout. These stories also appeal to a child's sense of justice as good is rewarded and evil is punished. Characters are usually stereotyped as good or bad. Stories are usually short with a definite conclusion. In short a folktale has all the ingredients that small children like. A folktale generally represents the world, as children perceive it. Example: The Jaguar and the Little Skunk

Legends A legend is a story from the past about a subject that was, or is believed to have been historical. A legend is usually a traditional tale with a historical basis. Legends are usually very old stories with little or no evidence to prove them. Legends are often passed on down the generation by word of mouth. Legends can also be about historically famous people, places, art etc. Example: Robin hood, Trojan War, Shakespeare's stories, King Arthur Fables Fables are instructive tables that teach morals about human social behavior. Fables are short stories, which take abstract concepts such as good or bad, wise or foolish, and try to make them concrete. Fables frequently feature animals. Example: Aesop's fables, and fables of lafontaine. Fables like some myths, feature personified animals or natural objects as characters. Fables almost end with an explicit moral message and this highlights the characteristic features of fables.