Vladimir Propp’s Functional Analysis of the Fairy Tale

  • Terence Patrick Murphy


In The Poetics, Aristotle suggests that a plot needs to have sufficient amplitude to allow a probable or necessary succession of particular actions to produce a significant change in the fortune of the main character.1 What this means for Aristotle is that in comedies, the main character moves from bad to good fortune, while in tragedies the main character moves from good to bad fortune. With these definitions, Aristotle commits himself to the view that all well-structured stories have something in common.


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  1. 6.
    Aleksandr I. Nikiforov, “On the Morphological Study of Folklore”, Linguistica Biblica: Interdisziplinäre Zeitschrift für Theologie, Semiotik und Linguist 27/28 (1973), p. 27.Google Scholar
  2. 12.
    Vladimir Propp, “The Structural and Historical Study of the Wondertale” in Theory and History of Folklore. Eds Anatoly Liberman. Trans. Ariadna Y. Martin and Richard P. Martin, 1984, p. 69.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Terence Murphy 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Patrick Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Yonsei UniversityKorea

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