Originally, elves were creatures of ancient Norse myth, and they looked like slender, small versions of fair-skinned blond Scandinavian people. As tales of elves spread throughout cultures and then literature, their appearances became increasingly varied.Know More
Elves are most commonly depicted as beautiful beings who can nearly pass as human, but with pointed ears, long slender features and bodies and long straight hair (generally light-colored but sometimes darker). Irish elves were quite different, with an enormous range of appearances from the small green-clad leprechaun or the hideous goblin to the Queen of Elfland, whose beauty is beyond that any mortal can withstand.
In modern literature, most elves are based on J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional elves. Tolkien, a scholar of ancient languages, based his elves on the supernatural beings described in the Norse Edda. These elves were described as luminous human-like beings more beautiful than the sun. Tolkien's elves, however, depart from the traditional view in that they are often dark haired and may not have had pointed ears. Literature, games and movies created after Tolkien's foundational fantasy works often ignored more ancient elvish origins in favor of a more human elf, cementing this template in literary tradition. When modern fictional elves depart from this pattern, they are often described as brownies, fairies and other related mythical creatures.Learn more about Folklore
According to Irish legend, at the end of the rainbow is a leprechaun who gives a pot of gold to the lucky person who finds him. In reality, the end of the rainbow is an unreachable illusion.Full Answer >
Many poems explore the African American experience, including W.E.B. Du Bois' "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and Langston Hughes' "I, Too." Many poems relating to African American heritage emerged from the Harlem Renaissance, with poets like Claude McKay and Countee Cullen.Full Answer >
Traditionally, zombies originated from the customs and rituals of Haitian Voodoo. The modern concept of zombies, particularly in American pop culture, was invented by renowned movie maker George Romero in his 1968 cult film, "Night of the Living Dead."Full Answer >
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which are generally thought to have been built in the sixth century BC, are known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. They were said to have been constructed by Nebuchadnezzar II to appease his wife Amytis, who complained about the lack of lush vegetation in Babylon compared to her homeland. Although many visitors from Greece wrote about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, there is no recorded mention of them by Nebuchadnezzar II himself, leading modern scholars to believe that they may never have existed at all.Full Answer >