Can you think of any folk tales or stories similar to the story of The Ramayana?I need to brainstorm some ideas about this for a class discussion but I honestly can't think of any possibilities!

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that you are probably going to find more connections to the Ramayana with the genre of epic poetry.  The scale of the Ramayana is so large and so expansive, with moral, theological, and historical implications that it might be best to examine its connection with the epic poem than a folk tale.  Works like The Epic of Gilgamesh or the Iliad and The Odyssey might be more appropriate points of comparison.  In these works, individuals have to balance out the fundamental definition of tragedy in which individuals are pitted between equally desirable, yet ultimately incompatible courses of action.  The agonizing position of choice is what sets the tales in motion.  At the same time, the roles of the divine are extremely essential to the development of the story and often bring about the moral truths in them.  Finally, there are lessons in each story about how individuals should live their lives and what needs to be done as human beings.  I think that reflecting this in the epic poem tradition would be more effective for spearheading a discussion than folk tales because of the cosmic and large scope of the work.