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2020 Abstracts

Context and Comparative Content in Aesop’s Fables

Davis, Kaily (Utah State University)

Sand, Alexa (Caine College of the Arts, Art and Design Department)

Stories are often used to illustrate moral principles, and fables in specific do so through depictions of animals. Aesop's fables are some of the best known of these moral teachings, and have been in circulation since the late fifth century A.D. My research surrounds a 1711 edition of Aesop’s fables, titled “Aesop Naturaliz’d: in a Collection of Fable and Stories from Aesop, Locman, Pilpay, and Others”. This book was printed for Daniel Midwinter, a prominent English bookseller. I seek to understand both the context in which Midwinter was printing and selling books and the audience he was selling to. In discovering the audience intended to receive “Aesop Naturaliz’d”, I hope to understand the moral expectations placed upon that audience. In addition, I will compare the audience and morals taught by “Aesop Naturaliz'd” with modern re-tellings of the same fables, exploring the differences in moral expectations taught therein.