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Incest in Fables & Folktale's - FREE Incest Stories, eBooks, Poetry
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Incest in Myth

It's Relatively Taboo...

Incest is sometimes presented in classical literature as a stereo-typically barbarian practice. When Seneca's Phaedra first reveals her passion for Hippolytus, the horrified nurse comments that not even barbarians would break the taboo (Hippolytus, 165–8). However, there is no doubt in the minds of classical writers that it is a form of desire which can be felt by anyone. After all, it affects the gods too!... and that like other kinds of overwhelming emotion, it can be very hard to resist.

The classical world was not overshadowed by the concept of sin like the Christian world, nor did it believe in evil spirits tempting weak mortals into transgression. Sometimes incestuous lust is inflicted on mortals by angry gods, as in the case of Phaedra and Myrrha; sometimes the lust is motivated by a divine prophecy that a child born of incest will revenge a wronged parent, as if this child were somehow stronger or more heroic because of his incestuous birth.

In these cases, the mortal sinners can hardly be held responsible for their actions, and the moral to be drawn might reflect more harshly on  the callous behavior of the gods. But it does seem to be the case that even in the classical period, the female protagonists of certain notorious incest stories had already become a byword for outrageous desire.

Folktale's & Fables

FREE Literary Classics - Incest in Fables & Folktale's


The Type 510B Folktale Incest Motif:


In their classical form, type 510B folktale's include the following elements of the central incestuous motif: "The Father Who Wanted to Marry His Daughter."

● A dying woman extracts from her husband the promise that he will remarry only if he can find a woman that fits a certain description.

● After a period of mourning, the widower discovers that only his daughter meets the requirements for remarriage set by his deceased wife, and he asks her to marry him.

● The daughter, in order to buy time, and in hope of dissuading her father, asks for a number of gifts, but he finds these with little difficulty.

● Seeing no other solution to her dilemma, the girl dresses herself in an unusual garb and runs away.

● She finds both refuge and abuse in another man's household, where she serves as a maid.

● She temporarily escapes from the kitchen where she works and makes a series of appearances at a dress ball.

● A prince falls in love with the heroine in her beautiful attire. He discovers that the beautiful woman is none other than his maid, and he marries her.

In some versions of various folktale's, the incest motif that sets the plot into motion is suppressed with a different conflict being given between father and daughter. The second half of such stories bear a strong resemblance to the Cinderella (type 510A) folktale's.

Please enjoy this selection of incestuous folktale's compliments of Lot's Cave.



Doralice  (Italy, Giovanni Francesco Straparola).

The She-Bear  (Italy, Giambattista Basile).

Donkey Skin (France, Charles Perrault).

All-Kinds-of-Fur, also known as Allerleirauh (Germany, Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, 1812 version).

All-Kinds-of-Fur (Germany, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, English translation of the 1857 version)

All-Kinds-of-Fur  (Greece, J. G. von Hahn).

Cinder Blower  (Germany, Karl Bartsch).

Kaiser Heinrich in Sudemer Mountain  (Germany, A. Kuhn and W. Schwartz).

Broomthrow, Brushthrow, Combthrow  (Austria, Theodor Vernaleken).

The Emperor's Daughter in the Pig Stall (Romania, Arthur and Albert Schott).

Fair Maria Wood  (Italy, Thomas Frederick Crane).

Gold Teeth  (Italy, Estella Canziani).

The Princess Who Would Not Marry Her Father  (Portugal, Consiglieri Pedroso).

The King Who Wished to Marry His Daughter  (Scotland, J. F. Campbell).

Morag a Chota Bhain -- Margery White Coats  (Scotland, J. F. Campbell).

The Princess and the Golden Cow  (England, Isabella Barclay).

The Story of Catskin  (England, James Orchard Halliwell).

The Princess in the Cat-Skins  (Ireland, Patrick Kennedy).

The Beautiful Princess  (Lithuania, August Schleicher).

Pigskin  (Russia, Alexander Afanasyev).

Kniaz Danila Govorila  (Russia, Alexander Afanasyev).