The Interpretation of Fairytales

A lecture given by Rudolf Steiner Berlin, December, 1908 

The subject of today’s lecture is a kind of principle or rule for the explanation of fairy tales and legends. In a wider sense this principle can be extended to the world of myths, and we propose in a few words to indicate how this can be done. Naturally it is impossible in one hour to specify exactly how one should satisfy a young child with the fairy story itself and then later, when the child is older, with the explanation of it; but perhaps this may be done as a continuation of today’s lecture. I would now rather try to make clear to you what should exist in the soul of one who wishes to explain such stories, and what he ought to know.