Fairies have always been an important part of children’s stories and films for one main reason, kids love them. Derived from the Old French word faerie, fairies are mythical beings mentioned in various European folklores, especially English, Celtic, German, French and Slavic. As spirits, fairies have preternatural, supernatural, or metaphysical connotation. In ancient paganism in Europe, fairies were highly revered creatures. There’s no single cultural origin of fairies. However, with the increasing influence of Christian Church, fairies gradually became part of myths and folklores.
What Are Fairies?
Fairies are human-shaped beings, believed to have magical powers. They can look like diminutive humans or have normal human size. In the British Isles and among Celtic people, fairies are believed to be diminutive humanoids. When Christianity first arrived in Europe, some believed that fairies were once angels, but fell from grace. With the growth of Puritanism, other mythological beings became evil. As an example, hobgoblins were originally considered a friendly household spirit, but later seen as a wicked goblin.
Fairies In Literature
As mythical beings, fairies eventually made their way into literature during the medieval era. In Le Morte d’Arthur, a character known as Morgan Le Fey is connected to the faerie realm. In A Midsummer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare and Nimphidia by Michael Drayton, faeries are seen as harmless and smaller beings. During the Victorian era, “flower fairies” appeared in literature that are smaller and prettier than before. Madame d’Aulnoy coined the term “fairy tale” or contes de fée. The Brothers Grimm also included fairies in their works, but then changed the word “Fee” (Fairy) to wise women or enchantress. With the emergence of Romanticism, fairies took on a new life in literature. Popular writers of the era, James Hogg and Sir Walter Scott obtained inspiration from folklores. In the Narnia book series by C.S. Lewis, fairy-like creatures are represented by dryads and fauns, who mingle with giants, hags, and other mythical creatures.
Fairies In Art
Other than in literature, fairies are also represented as sculptures and other works of art. Fairy paintings were quite notable during the Victorian era. Richard Dadd depicts fairy-folk with a malicious and sinister tone in his paintings. Daniel Maclise, John Anster Fitzgerald, Joseph Noel Paton, and John Atkinson Grimshaw were other Victorian painters with fairy-related works.
In modern culture, fairies are represented in films and books. Tinkerbell is probably the most popular fairy character in the modern era, who appears in various Walt Disney’s works. In various films and animation works, a fairy god mother is a powerful being in Cinderella and Pinocchio who can grant wishes. Fairies will continue to appear in future music, video games, novels, films, and, of course, as children’s toys such as Fairy Elle.
Fairy Elle is becoming her own new tradition in many homes. Helping children to use their vivid imaginations to overcome their worries.
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