Difference between myth and legend.

All folklore and culture, regardless of the country where we are, is made up of so many things, by myths and legends. This is largely because these allow civilizations to support their culture. In this article we want to emphasize the main differences between myth and legend.


The word myth derives from the Greek -mythos- whose meaning is –story or history-. It can be considered that a myth is a story or a narration that contemplates real facts or phenomena of nature but explained in a fantastic or unreal way. Many times the characters of the myths are monsters, gods, heroes among other beings capable of achieving things that no one could do in real life.

Examples :

  • Cupid, the god of love – Cupid was considered as a god by the Romans and was seen as a playful and tremendous child. Cupid above all was considered a liar. He always touring the lands making people fall in love. Also, Cupid built a bow to survive since he was abandoned in a forest when he was little, until one day her mother gave him wings so that Cupid could return to her.


The word legend comes from the Latin -legenda- whose meaning is -what must be read-. It can be considered that a legend is a story or a narrative but of the written type. Therefore, the legend was embodied in a text so that later it was quoted or read in meetings or to a particular public.

The intention of a legend is to highlight behavior associated with morality and good habits, it is also used to highlight a spiritual component of something or someone, although the legend does not accurately describe real events. Therefore, it almost always includes elements that are typical of the imagination.

Example :

  • The headless horseman : it is the legend of a horseman who used to go horseback riding at night on a beautiful horse. Very surprised people wondered who could do that, since it was not very common for someone to go out at night to do horseback riding. On a dark night, after years, a horse was heard riding again, the curious people watched, when a lightning illuminated the rider and they saw that he had no head. These people could not explain what they had seen. Since then it is said that the headless horseman walked the dark streets of the towns at midnight.

Differences between myth and legend.

Myth Legend
Myths are stories that include fantastic explanations of real events or natural phenomena, usually fictitious. Legends are written stories that generally describe historical events, almost always including imaginative elements.
Myths have a place in an ancient time. Myths do not have real characters in their stories and they are generally superior beings. Legends have a real time and place. Often the characters are also real.
The myths are based on the description of deeds of gods or heroes. The legends are based on the description of feats of people who are an ideal model or an example to follow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Back to top button