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Dark tones of old folklore: An analysis of "La Vila"

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In the old folkloric stories there seems to be a tone of violence or bleak imagery that is depicted in these old tales. One folk tale in particular has an exceptionally dark tone as it illustrates through its descriptions a terrible fate for one of its characters.

In the the story "La Vila" , which is a Serbian folktale, it is written as a story of three brothers who want to build a tower in their home town Skadar of Bojan. They fail each time they try to build there wall and have become desperate to find a way to do so. A type of nymph being named the "Vila" (sacrd-texts.com) comes down to the king ,named Vukasin, and tells him to stop his suffering and to find twins to bury under his foundation for the building to last. He fails in finding the twins and decides to try building the building once more. The vila comes to him again and tells him one wife from his brothers and himself with be buried there, but only if they come to the men on midday. The king and one of his brother tells their wives but not the third brother which leads to the demise of his loving wife who thought it was a joke but came to despair in the end as she realized she was being buried alive (Building of Skadar, 79-86).

This story much like other ones have a dark tone to sacrifice and end others lives for an end game or another. a comparison can be seen in the folklore tale, The Werewolves daughters" where the father werewolf kills his daughters out of blood lust ( Ashliman, 10) much like how the people in "La Vila" bury one of the royal families wives for there own foundation to last .

Some interpretations sometimes come out a bit different but have the same ending. such as in a report by Berkeley.edu, where they state how it is a" fascinating story" but only in the context of how a story came to be and how important it is in the realm of folklore. It still does not take away the actual fact that the story holds a bleak end for someone who did nothing wrong to others and it somehow is a staple for old folktales to have such dark tones in their illustrations.

Course Sources:

Ashliman, D.L. Werewolfs daughter

Building of Skadar Folktale

Outside Sources:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/hbs/hbs06.htm

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/97legacy/ballad.html

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