Some scholars think Aesop never existed. Others believe he was a slave and a storyteller. He lived around 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece. His home was Samos, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea. There is no evidence that Aesop ever wrote anything down. He probably just told them orally by remembering the stories he told. About 2,000 years later, a monk wrote down Aesop’s wonderful tales and they have been known as “Aesop’s Fables” ever since.
Aesop is considered by many to be the father of fables with more than six hundred stories. A fable is a very short story with a lesson to teach to children, called a moral. Fables are fun to tell, and help teach good behavior as well. Most of the characters in Aesop’ fables are animals. Some of them take on human characteristic with speeches and emotions. Aesop uses the qualities and natural tendencies of animals to focus on human traits and wisdom.
In Aesop’s time, the fable was used in arguments of persuasion. Telling a fable allowed a speaker to avoid being offensive while arguing a controversial point in an indirect manner. Aesop’s work was often quoted by Socrates, Aristophanes, and other influential thinkers.
Today, Aesop’s fables are used as a tool for teaching children. The fables could delight and entertain a child while teaching good behaviors and personalities. Many different versions of Aesop’s fables were published with children as the target market. Aesop’s fables have also inspired movies, television shows, and modern books. One of the most interesting adaptations of Aesop’s work, however, was a TV series named “Aesop’s Fables” play by Bill Cosby.
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