Mythical Ghouls as Supernatural Aids: An Analytical Discussion of the Ghoul in Libyan Folktale
Dr. Safa Elnaili

The belief in supernatural creatures, such as the Ghoul, has existed in Arabic culture many centuries back and even survived Islam. The mythical ghoul is widely spread in Arabic folktales up to our modern time today. It is particularly depicted as a defected female monster that resides in the wilderness and lurks in the dark to prey on male travelers. In general, a ghoul in Arabic culture is an evil being, a vengeful force, a deceiving woman, and a demon used in oral tales to instill fear in children`s hearts. This devilish image is, somewhat, contradicted in Libyan folktales; the ghoul takes the form of evil forces and supernatural aids as well. This paper is an analytical discussion of the mythical ghoul in Libyan oral tales. The discussion sheds light on the different, opposite roles the mythical creature plays in the tales. The paper analyzes the role of the ghoul as a supernatural aid and its function in a larger cultural scope. This paper argues that female narrators of Libyan folktales are contributing in the evolution of the ghoul. This is seen in the implementation of the ghoul as a female supernatural aid assisting the protagonist. Such reformation can be argued as a cultural revolution in Libyan society.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v7n1a6