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Allegory, Fable, Parable & Myth

Allegory, Fable,
Parable & Myth
Learning Goal
• To recognise that many stories are not literal, rather they use
symbols to share their message.
• To identify some of the different types of symbolic storytelling.
• Throughout history, stories have been told as a way of
teaching lessons.
• Many stories use symbols and simple characters to make the
message more easily understood by the receivers.
• Story types include: allegory, fable, parable and myths. Even
many of the Indigenous dreaming stories share important
morals and messages.
• An allegory is a narrative (story) in which characters and action
represent concepts different to their literal meaning in the
• In an allegory, people, things and actions represent an idea or
generalisation about life.
• Allegories often have a strong moral lesson.
• Examples: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Giver, Dr Seuss’ The
• A fable is a short story, often featuring animals that speak and
act like human beings.
• Their purpose is to teach the reader a lesson about life.
• Features simple characters and plot.
• Examples: The Hare and the Tortoise, The Boy who Cried Wolf,
The Lion and the Mouse.
• Many fables are credited to Aesop: a slave and a story teller in
ancient Greece.
• A brief and succinct (to-the-point) story that illustrate a
moral or religious lesson.
• While fables use animals, parables generally feature human
• Examples: Biblical: The Parable of the Good Samaritan, The
Parable of the Lost Sheep. Buddhist: All is Vanity.
• Myths are narratives (stories) often associated with
religion, philosophy and various races and cultures.
• They embody the social and cultural values of the time they
were written.
• Examples: Thor and the Valkyrie, Cyclops, Hades, Anubis.
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