Archives for: May 2007, 12

05/12/07

Permalink 07:20:34 pm, by sue Email , 206 words   English (CA)
Categories: Folklore And Superstitions, European History

The Story Of William Tell.....


Statue of William Tell, and his son, Switzerland

The story of William Tell is just that....a story. This hero of the late 13th century simply did not exist. He did not shoot an apple off of his son's head. He did not aid the Swiss in gaining their independence from Austria. Nor did he insult an Austrian official named Gessler. No Austrian official by that name existed either.

The story is simply made up. Probably by a Swiss patriot in the late 15th century.

So why then is the story of William Tell told as if it actually happened? Why did the Swiss build a chapel where this fictitious character supposedly once lived? And why for centuries did the Swiss citizenry making annual pilgrimages to the location where Tell it was told evaded his Austrian captors?

I'm guessing because they could?

Kind of like the United States with Plymouth Rock ...the pilgrims didn't land there, but it makes for a good story.

The Swiss do take the William Tell story very seriously. And believe it or not there have been folklorists threatened with death for questioning or doubting the historicity of it.

Source: Legends, Lies, & Cherished Myths of World History, by Richard Shenkman (c) 1993

Enditall

Pastime with Good Company

Pastyme With Good Companye

Welcome to the blog of amateur historians Matthew James Didier and Sue Darroch. Partners in life and in crime, we endeavor to entertain you with snippets from our combined historical research. Past time with good company indeed, as we shall introduce you to Kings and Knaves, Queens and Mistresses, Cons and Heroes, from our collective past......from events well known to those perhaps all but forgotten, we will do our best to bring you interesting historical factoids from around the globe. It is our belief that through understanding our past we will all gain a better perspective on our future.

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