The universal need for justice


“In facing the human struggle against the forces of evil, … [Wilhelm Grimm] said, folktale heroes everywhere affirmed a folk belief in the universal need for justice.

Like the world of myth and epic, the folktale world was governed by such universal laws of justice. If a protagonist was unable in this life to assert himself by good deeds and strong actions because perhaps he was treacherously slain, justice would follow after his death. Of course, there were some humorous tales to which this rule did not apply, but in most folktales sooner or later justice would reign. If humans did not carry out justice, some spirits might appear in the shape of animals, fish, or birds to set things right.” (82)

“In folktales, as in myths and epics, the old God or Eternal Justice most often would come to the aid of those who were innocent. … numerous examples show how the folktale world sided with the one who was at a natural disadvantage. This aspect was an integral part of the universal folk belief in justice.” (82)

Ref: Christa Kamenetsky The Brothers Grimm and Their Critics


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