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Difference Between Fable and Fairy Tale

Main Difference

The main difference between Fable and Fairy Tale is that Fable teaches a moral lesson to children, whereas Fairy Tale is the source of entertainment for kids.

Fable vs. Fairy Tale

Fable is short literary stories having some moral lessons. The fairy tale is fictional stories. Fairy tale creates after fables; it is the old kind of writing and telling stories. Fable created for teaching some moral values and culture to the reader. Fairy tale only provides entertainment. The writer of fable tells how to behave in society, whereas the writer of the fairy tale creates an imaginary world. The fable ends with a moral lesson, whereas fairy tale finds happy ends.

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The most obvious characters of a fable are speaking animals. The main characters of fairy tales are persons with superpowers. Fable is somehow related to a real story, but the fairy tale is imaginary, not real. Fable format can be lyrical or prose; on the flip side, the fairy tale always follows prose format. Some famous fables are Aesop’s fables. The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Ali Baba and Forty Thieves are some famous fairy tales.

Comparison Chart

FableFairy Tale
Fable are stories with ending with a moral lesson.Fairytales are magical stories having happy endings.
Characters
Animals, non-living objectsWith magic powers
Purpose
Entertainment and ethicsCreating a fictional world
Lesson
Moral lessonA conflict between evil and virtue
Relation
To realityNot related to reality
Written Form
Poetry or proseAlways prose
Invention
EarlierLater
Example
The fox and the grapesCinderella
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What is Fable?

The word fable originates from the Latin word meaning “story.” The fable is a short fictional story written in the form of a poem, prose, or story, which creates a moral lesson for the reader. It conveys the message of the culture in which it is written. In these stories, animals and non-living things are characters who can speak. In this way, somehow, it originated from a real story and linked to human lives. Fables teach kids moral behavior for society. These literary stories entertain the reader. Aesop’s fables are the most common and oldest.

Examples

  • The Lion and the Mouse: A mouse came and played at a sleeping lion. The lion waked up and got angry. The mouse requested to leave and promised to help him. After some days, the mouse helped him from trouble. The moral lesson is a virtue never goes waste.
  • The Hare and the Tortoise: The tortoise wins the race while hare loses it. The tortoise follows the rule that slow and steady wins the race. The hare was proud of his speed.
  • The Wolf and the Lamb: A stray wolf wanted to eat a lamb at a stream. The wolf said to lamb you insulted me last year. The lamb replied I am younger than you. Again the wolf said, you are making the water dirty. The lamb replied it is flowing from your side. The wolf got angry and wanted to eat him, but the little lamb ran away. The moral lesson is the tyrant always finds a pretext for their tyranny

What is a Fairy Tale?

The fairy tale is short fictional prose. The teller creates an imaginary world for the readers. This story includes supernatural powers, magic, and unbelievable things. Its characters are fairies, elves, witches, goblins, the hobbits, the dwarfs, the magician, and many more. These stories create no moral lesson. Storytellers tell these stories only for the sake of entertainment of kids. Fairy tale creates a fantasy world in which there is a war between two superpowers, the war between evil and virtue, the war between bad and good people, ends with the victory of truth and happiness. It teaches children to be brave and true in their dealings.

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Examples

  • Cinderella: After the unexpected death of her father, her stepmother treated him badly. For the invitation to the king’s house, she was not allowed to go. A fairy appeared provided her with nice clothes, shoes and jewelry, and a vehicle with magic powers. The magic can stay up to mid of night. When she came to the party, the king chooses her for dance. At 12 o clock, she rushed from the palace leaving her one magic shoe. The king found her with that shoe. They got married and found a happy life.
  • The Frog Prince: The prince turned into a frog. After meeting with the princess, eating from her plate, and sleeping in her room, the frog turned into a beautiful prince. Prince and princess married and lived happily.

Key Differences

  1. Fable is a story that ends with a moral lesson, while fairy tales do not end with a moral lesson.
  2. Fable characters include animals and inanimate objects, whereas fairy tales include fairies, goblins, and magical world.
  3. Fable is a source of entertainment for kids; besides, it develops ethical values in society; conversely, the purpose of the fairy tale is to create an imaginary world of entertainment.
  4. Fable always has some moral lesson; on the other side; fairy tale always projects a war between bad and good people.
  5. Fable has some relation to real human characters; on the flip side, fairy tales are not real.
  6. Fable is written in lyrics as well as prose, whereas fairy tales are always written in prose.
  7. Fable’s invention is in the 17th century; conversely, fairy tales created later.
  8. The hare and tortoise is a kid fable, whereas the red riding hood is a common fairy tale.

Conclusion

The Fable and Fairy Tale both are short stories created for kid’s entertainment, but Fable gives the lesson of ethics and moral values, whereas Fairy Tale teaches that virtue leads to victory.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson