A Comparative Study of Characterization in Persian Folktales and Hans Christian Andersen's Stories



The authors of this article aim to compare character types in Persian oral folktales and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales. For a better clarification of this topic, the authors address issues such as morality, character’s will, and the portrayal of women in these stories. This paper comes to the following conclusions: First, both the content and the characters in Hans Christian Andersen’s tales follow the moral codes of the middle class. Second, Andersen’s characters confront death more often than the character types in Persian Folktales. Third, there are by far more anti-heroines in Persian folktales. Fourth, in Andersen’s tales, in addition to humans, animals, and growing plants as character types, the reader is persuaded to sympathize with a wide range of objects. Unlike Persian tales for which no exact date of creation has been mentioned, Andersen has appropriated the oral folktales of his nation in the nineteenth century, contemporary to the rise of Romanticism in Denmark; a fact central to explaining these dissimilarities.