The literary use of proverbs

Roger D. Abrahams, Barbara A. Babcock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Literary scholars and folklorists have long been interested in studying the use and function of proverbs in literature. Earlier scholarship consisted primarily of annotated lists of the proverbs found in literary works, while more recent publications address the problems of identification and interpretation of proverbial language in poetry, dramas, and prose. For a bibliographical review of hundreds of literary proverb studies see Wolfgang Mieder, Proverbs in Literature: an International Bibliography (Bern: Peter Lang, 1978); and see also his general article on “The Essence of Literary Proverb Studies, " Proverbium, no. 23 (1974), 888-894.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWise Words (RLE Folklore)
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on the Proverb
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781317549246
ISBN (Print)9781138844254
StatePublished - Feb 11 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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