Fantasy up until the 19th century

The origin of fantasy 

The origin of the fantasy genre dates back to oral traditions, myths, and folklore: People have been telling stories of magical beasts and sorcery for thousands of years. Superstition has always been a way to explain upsetting events, such as losing a child or the harvest failing. By blaming such events on something supernatural, people were able to make sense of things and cope with hardships.

The belief in supernatural beings and events continued long after the invention of writing. For instance, William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth (1623) features three cunning witches which may be blamed for Macbeth’s downfall. The play was written in honor of King James I who believed firmly in witchcraft.

We do not know for sure when peo...

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