COMMON AND DISTINCTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE PROTAGONIST HERO IN FOLKTALE AND FANTASY (BASED ON PROTAGONIST HEROES IN THE WORKS OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN AND NATO DAVITASHVILI)

  • Tamar Katamadze PhD Candidate in Literature, Batumi State University Batumi, Georgia
Keywords: Protagonist, Hero, Function, Fantasy, Genre, Magic, Weapon, Folktale, J.R.R. Tolkien, Demigod, Abyss, Sword, Helper, Mentor, Nato Davitashvili

Abstract

The article deals with the main functions of the protagonist hero in the fantasy literature. Fantasy literature is similar to folktale not only due to the fact that it contains magic and supernatural elements. By comparing the functions of fantasy protagonist hero with the functions of folktale protagonist hero, described by V. Propp in “Morphology of the Folktale”, it can be noticed that they have many similarities. The article discusses two main fantasy heroes: Frodo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”) and Lile Iroeli (Nato Davitashvili’s “The story of Lile Iroeli”). By comparing them, can be concluded that the basic traits of functions of protagonist hero in both, English and Georgian literary works come out from folktale roots. Thus, the protagonist leaves home, he is given a task, he is tested, attacked, he acquires a magical weapon, he defeats and punishes the villain, the hero is married or ascends the throne.
In the model of functions in question, we can insert the heroes of both types and still the main idea of the stories will be presented. However, both protagonists being in the fantasy story have acquired some other functions we do not meet in the folktale. The task given to both heroes is to save the world from an evil villain, who wants to rule the whole world. Consequently, fantasy protagonist fights against the global enemy. Both heroes are not as courageous as the heroes of the folktale are. They have helpers, closest friends who support them in crucial moments. They have wise mentors, who give them tasks and the fellowship of other heroes, including invented creatures or speaking animals. Each hero of the fantasy genre is given his own name, as opposed to the folktale where the heroes have generalized names: the old man, stepmother, princess, king etc.
In conclusion, the article presents functions of fantasy protagonist character, who takes the roots from folktale, but in the development of new genre it has acquired other distinctive elements, which distinguish him from the folktale protagonist hero.

References

Tolkien J.R.R. “The Hobbit”,Ballantine books, New York, 1986

Tolkien J.R.R. “The Fellowship of the Ring”,Ballantine books, New York, 1986

TolkienJ.R.R “The Two Towers”, Ballantine books, New York, 1986

Tolkien J.R.R. “The Return of the King”,Ballantine books, New York, 1986

Dalfonzo Gina, Humble Heroism: Frodo Baggins as Christian Hero in “The Lord of the Rings”, In pursuit of truth. A Journal of Christian Scholarship/28.09.2007 http://www.cslewis.org/journal/humble-heroism-frodo-baggins-as-christian-hero-in-the-lord-of-the-rings/2/

Propp Vladimir “Morphology of a folktale”, University of Texas Press, Twentieth paperback pronting, 2009.

Clute John “The Encyclopedia of Fantasy”, St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 1999

დავითაშვილი ნატო, „ამბავი ლილე იროელისა“, ქარჩხაძის გამომცემლობა, თბილისი, 2010.

Published
2019-10-31
Citations
How to Cite
Tamar Katamadze. (2019). COMMON AND DISTINCTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE PROTAGONIST HERO IN FOLKTALE AND FANTASY (BASED ON PROTAGONIST HEROES IN THE WORKS OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN AND NATO DAVITASHVILI). International Academy Journal Web of Scholar, (10(40), 59-64. https://doi.org/10.31435/rsglobal_wos/31102019/6744
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