Variations in content can and do exist.
One can use the same story presented in Beowulf and just change the content of the character variations to suit the present. Even a story from the Bible can be repeated in this way. The content and structure remains the same, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
How many movies have you seen that use the same type of archetypal story?
In poetry all the above archetypes are considered to be ‘themes’.
MacGuffins (The use of a MacGuffin as a plot device predates the name MacGuffin. The Holy Grail of Arthurian Legend has been cited as an early example of a MacGuffin. The Holy Grail is the desired object that is essential to initiate and advance the plot. The final disposition of the Grail is never revealed, suggesting that the object is not of significance in itself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffin )
A chorus is a repeated scene within the overall theme.
A ‘word’ in poetry is a line or phrase.
A simple formula is the foundation of all oral history. The patterns and interchangeable weaves are endless. And then one day long ago, mankind figured out how to write it down. Shakespeare knew the value of this when he wrote his sonnets.
Ahhh, but the skins.
Are they so divine?
The old and new have mingled
and brought forth extravagant whine….
Socrates: The only thing I know is that I know nothing.
Me: Aw, hey, don’t say that. You know things.
Socrates: No, I meant –
Me: If you want I can teach you some stuff.
Socrates: ” ”
Me: ” ”
Socrates: ” ”
Me: *point’s* That’s a tree!
Socrates: Does the tree know that?
More Variations in Content? Call me Ishmael? 😳 😉
The terms metonymy and synecdoche refer to two similar figures of speech used as rhetorical devices. … ‘Synecdoche’ is when a part of something is used to refer to the whole. ‘Metonymy’ is when something is used to represent something related to it.
Noun epithet formula – the epithet explains the noun
Variations in Content include Traditional referents
Pars pro toto – the part stands for the whole – meta data – example: ‘doh’ references Homer Simpson – that simple reference somes up everything known about the character. Using that simple formula is a trigger action in our minds referencing the greater whole.
Or this use of synecdoche in politics…
President Trump’s tweets calling on four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to the “corrupt” countries they came from sparked the controversy he undoubtedly wanted, as did his subsequent attack on one, Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota.
The chant “Send her back,” a variation on the 2016 Trump supporters’ chant about Hillary Clinton, “Lock her up,” resounded through a recent political rally.
These slights reveal Trump’s fondness for a rhetorical device called synecdoche.
And here’s a pop culture referent we all know when it’s uttered :
“I’ll be back….”
Did I get the accent right, Arnold? 😉
Oral traditions usually focus on the epic.
Long Loaded Lighting or
Short Sharp Shocks
How about both?
Oral Anglo-Saxon poetic traditions used stress points and alliteration techniques extensively as their formula to memorize content. Rhymes were not as prolific. Believe it or not Anglo-Saxons would sit around in their drinking establishments and do karaoke. They would pass around musical instruments and the player would do a rendition of a known song of the day. Or even make them up on the spot!
The Mead of Odin is just the wine of gods… 😛
How about we mix it with a bit of earthy alien cheese? 😉
And then just call it banned talk and be done with it! 😎
Oh, and the battle beyond the fringes?
It’s just beginning. 😀
Come one, come all, enjoy the free for all…
They would use an Appositive style to describe subject matter in more than one way. Appositives are descriptors giving bonus information. It gives out names for the same thing. Strike a single chord in rhythm to stresses, beats, and pauses to a tuned harp and you get something…
The First English Poet
Now we must praise the protector of the heavenly kingdom
the might of the measurer and his mind’s purpose,
the work of the father of glory, as he for each of his wonders,
the eternal Lord, established a beginning.
He shaped first for the sons of the earth
heaven as a roof, the holy maker;
then the middle-world, mankind’s guardian,
the eternal Lord, made afterwards,
solid ground for men, the almighty Lord.
All those unknown poets. They are like nutrients in fertile soil for future generations to eat the fruits of knowledge planted long ago. Modern day rappers work along these lines in the same way. Only, the content of the message isn’t quite the same.