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Доклад опуликован в рамках III Областной научно – практической конференции учащихся на английском и немецком языках «Культурное наследие стран изучаемого языка», посвященной 350-летию Дж. Свифта, 25 февраля 2017.

Давыдова Амина, Лащёнов Сергей, Трифонова Надежда,
МОУ СОШ пос.МИС,г.о.Подольск

Руководитель: Маврина Светлана Ивановна,
учитель английского языка

 Have you ever heard such names as banshee, fomorians, selkies, leprechauns, elves and merrows? Most likely, your answer is «no», like most of our classmates. Perhaps you know a little about Banshees, leprechauns and elves. But ...Do you know how they look like, what they do and where they are mentioned? So, sit back conveniently and we go to Ireland, a country rich in myths and legends.

Myths, legends and stories of all peoples of the world are an important source of literary and artistic creativity.
The fear of ancient people before the mighty forces of nature was embodied in the mythological images or terrible monsters.
Many myths and legends of Ireland form the basis of early Irish history. Unlike much Celtic mythology, the mythology of Ireland, its legends, its folklore and mythical figures, have stood the test of time informing elements of Irish culture throughout its history.
There are many different creatures, both negative and positive there. We won't tell you only about negative ones. We 'll try to balance good and evil in our speech.
So, let's start:
A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member.
Descriptions of her appearance vary from an ugly old hag to a beautiful young woman, but all agree that the creature's blood curdling wail will be heard three times before someone dies.
When several banshees appear at once, it indicates the death of someone great or holy.
Selkies (also spelled silkies, sylkies, selchies;Irish: chéile séala, ) are mythological creatures found in Irish folklore. The word derives from earlier Scots selich, meaning «seal».
Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. Male selkies are described as being very handsome in their human form, and having great seductive powers over human women. A selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him. In these stories, it is one of her children who discovers her sealskin and she soon returns to the sea. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies.
Selkies have appeared in numerous novels, songs and films, though the extent to which these reflect traditional stories varies greatly.
The Fomorians (Old Irish: Fomoire, Modern Irish: Fomhóraigh) are a supernatural race in Irish mythology. They are often portrayed as hostile and monstrous beings who come from the sea or underground. Later, they were portrayed as giants and sea raiders. The Fomorians seem to have been gods who represent the harmful or destructive powers of nature; personifications of chaos, darkness and death.
They are sometimes said to have had the body of a man and the head of a goat, according to an 11th-century text in the Book of the Dun Cow, or to have had one eye, one arm and one leg.
The etymology of the name is debated. The first part is agreed to be the Old Irish fo, meaning under or below etc. The meaning of the second part is unclear.
One suggestion is that it comes from the Old Irish mur (sea), and that the name thus means something like «the undersea ones».
Another suggestion is that it comes from mór (great/big) and means something like «the under(world) giants».
A third suggestionis that it comes from a hypothetical Old Irish term for a demon or phantom, cognate with the English word «mare». The name would thus mean something like «under(world) demons» or «nether demons».
The Fomorians have left their mark not only on Irish mythology but on the Irish landscape. The Giant's Causeway, located on the northern coast of Ireland, is said to have been constructed by the Fomorian Fionn mac Cumhaill.
A leprechaun (Irish: leipreachán) is a type of fairy in Irish folklore. They are usually depicted as little bearded men, wearing a coat and hat, who partake in mischief. They are solitary creatures who spend their time making and mending shoes and have a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If captured by a human, they often grant three wishes in exchange for their freedom. Like other Irish fairies, leprechauns may be derived from the Tuatha Dé Danann. Leprechaun-like creatures rarely appear in Irish mythology and only became prominent in later folklore.
The name leprechaun is derived from the Irish word leipreachán, defined by Patrick Dinneen as «a pigmy, a sprite, or leprechaun».
The earliest known reference to the leprechaun appears in the medieval tale known as the Echtra Fergus mac Léti (Adventure of Fergus son of Léti). The text contains an episode in which Fergus mac Léti, King of Ulster, falls asleep on the beach and wakes to find himself being dragged into the sea by three lúchorpáin. He captures his abductors, who grant him three wishes in exchange for release.
An elf is a type of supernatural being in mythology and folklore with magical powers and supernatural beauty, capable of either helping or hindering them.
The English word elf is from the Old English word most often attested as ælf .
It comes from an Indo-European base *albh, and seems to be connected by whiteness, 'white person'. A completely different etymology, semi-divine craftsmen in Indian mythology, was suggested in 1855. In this case, ɑlβi-z connotes the meaning, 'skillful, inventive, clever'.
The elves could be seen dancing over meadows, particularly at night and on misty mornings. They left a circle where they had danced, which were called elf dances or elf circles. Typically, elf circles were fairy rings consisting of a ring of small mushrooms, but there was also another kind of elf circle.
It could be dangerous and one could become ill if one had trodden over such a place or if one destroyed anything there.
If a human watched the dance of the elves, he would discover that even though only a few hours seemed to have passed, many years had passed in the real world.
Merrow (from Irish murúch, Middle Irish murdúchann or murdúchu) is a mermaid or merman in Irish folklore. The term derived from Irish murúch (Middle Irish murdhúchu or murdúchann) meaning «sea singer». Merrow-maiden is like the commonly stereotypical mermaid: half-human, a gorgeous woman from waist up, and fish-like waist down. She has green hair which she fondly grooms with her comb. Researcher noted that the Irish merrow's device was her hat called a cohuleen druith, «little magic hood" which enables them to dive beneath the waves. If they lose this cap, it is said that they will lose their power to return beneath the water. Merrow-maidens have also been known to lure young men beneath the waves, where afterwards the men live in an enchanted state.
Merrow music is known to be heard coming from the farthest depths of the ocean. Merrows dance to the music, whether ashore on the strand or upon the wave.
While most stories about merrow are about female creatures, a tale about an Irish merman does exist in the form of The Soul Cages. In it, a merman captured the souls of drowned sailors and locked them in cages under the sea. The male merrow in the story, called Coomara has green hair and teeth, pig-like eyes, a red nose, grows a tail between his scaly legs, and has stubby fin-like arms and entertains a fisherman at his home under the sea if that asks him politely.
In Europe Irish Culture has a unique and extensive record of the wisdom tradition. It is very special. It is a miracle. Many Irish legends and folktales have influenced the writings of some prominent literary figures such as W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney and even today the folktales and legends of old are taught in Ireland's schools.

Список использованной литературы и источников:

1.Category:Legendary creatures [Электронный ресурс] .-Режим доступа: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Legendary_creatures.
2. Wikipedia. [Электронный ресурс] .-Режим доступа: http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/51924.
3. Selkie. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [Электронный ресурс] .-Режим доступа: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selkie.
4. Merrow. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [Электронный ресурс].-Режим доступа: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrow.
5. Leprechaun Wiki. [Электронный ресурс] .-Режим доступа: http://leperchaun.wikia.com/wiki/Leprechaun. 

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