Myth & Fairy Tale

When Tragedy Meets Comedy


The happy ending

of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read, not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man. The objective world remains what it was, but, because of a shift of emphasis within the subject, is beheld as though transformed. Tragedy is the shattering of the form and of our attachment to the form; comedy, the wild and careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible. Thus the two are the terms of a single mythological theme and experience which includes them both and which they both bound: the down-going and the up-coming. It is the business of mythology proper, and of fairy tale, to reveal the specific dangers and techniques of the dark interior way from tragedy to comedy.”

From Joseph Campbell’s “HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES”, essay on Tragedy and Comedy, pages 28- 29, Princeton University Press.




Many fairy tales

begin with the death of a family member. This subtraction from the family unit sets the nervous energy of the story in motion, not to stop until the balance has been restored by the creation of a new family, or the reuniting of the old.”

From “THE WRITER’S JOURNEY” by Christopher Vogler, Published by Michael Wiese Productions:




“All things

are changing; nothing dies. The spirit wanders, comes now here, now there, and occupies whatever frame it pleases.”

From OVID, “METAMORPHOSES”, XV, 165-167; 184-185 {translation by Frank Justus Miller, the Loeb Classical Library}.