What is the difference between legends, myths and folktales?

Myths, legends and folktales are hard to classify and often overlap. Imagine a line (or continuum) , with an historical account based on facts at one end and myths or cultural folktales at the other; as you progress towards the mythical/folktale end of the line, what an event symbolises to people, or what they feel about it, becomes of greater historical significance than the facts, which become less important. By the time you reach the far end of the spectrum, the story has taken on a life of its own and the facts of the original event, if there ever were any, have become almost irrelevant. It is the message that is important.

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