Aesop fables are a collection of short fables that are thought to have been written and created by a former Greek slave between the late to mid 6th century BC. Aesop fables are some of the worlds best known morality tales teaching children and adults alike about outcomes and consequences of actions and different social situations through the use of mainly animals with some humans.
The animals would mainly appear in human like situations and behave accordingly, this is known as a form of Animism as well as making the animals have human characteristics similar to Anthropomorphism.
Some of the animals used in Aesop Fables are Foxes, Lions, Mice, Monkeys, Wolves, Foxes, Donkeys etc.
The Origin of fables go back before the Greeks. Some Sumerian proverbs written some 1,500 years before Christ share some characteristics as the later Greek fables. The proverbs included animal characters and usually had a piece of advice for everyday living whether it be a moral of how to treat others or how not to act.
The fables which were written in Greek between the 10th-16th centuries CE were probably not took down the exact same as when they were first told. Over time and mainly due to how many times they would of been re-told words would of been replaced or got rid of for the storytellers purpose. One thing that has never seemed to change has been the use of animals. Fables are designed to mimic human life and highlight the bad or good human decisions and behaviours. The Animals in fables have never been restricted to behaving in a manner associated with that particular animal e.g The stubborn ass or the ferocious Lion, this was due to the fact it would allow for the animals to appear in different settings and to act in different manners.
Usually the focus of Greek learning as well as being instructions to children in reading and writing, Aesop’s fables had a variety of purposes. They could be used as a way for the people to speak criticisms against people more powerful like governments at a time when free and open speech was dangerous to the people speaking it. This gave them a way to express themselves without getting in trouble for doing so. Almost like a code.
They also served a role in reminding the weak that being clever could provide a way in which by they could succeed against the more powerful.