TABLE V: From the Entry of the Helper to the End of the First Move

Table V of Propp's Morphology of the Folktale is the guts and gore sequence of functions in the story or tale. The critical functions are struggle, victory, and liquidation. If you don't want a villain in the story, then liquidation becomes the key element; that's when the hero finds the treasure.

Central archetypes in this sequence are the hero, the magical agent/helper,  the villain,  and the princess.  If you want a pursuit and rescue, then the false hero and the donor might make appearances. To achieve suspense and breathless page turning,  you should consider trebling the struggle function. Allow your hero to lose the first two or the first five battles with the villain. You might also consider trebling pursuit and rescue.

To get a deeper description of each function, just click on the links above this screen. Since this is by far the longest table, I've divided it into two parts: the first  screen of links starts with the helper and ends with the second appearance of the princess.; the second screen begins with the struggle and ends with rescue. Click the arrow on the first screen to get to the second screen.

The helper (magical agent):

a. nomenclature

b. form of summons

c. manner of inclusion into the course of the action

d. peculiarities of appearance on the scene;

e. physical appearance

f. original location

g. training (taming) of the helper

h. wisdom of the helper

Delivery to the appointed place

Forms of arrival

Details of the setting of the object sought for:

a. dwelling of the princess;

b. dwelling of the villain;

c. description of the faraway kingdom.

Second appearance of the villain:

a. manner of inclusion into the course of the action (he is sought out, etc.)

b. physical appearance of the villain

c. retinue

d. peculiarities of external appearance on the scene

e. dialogue of the villain with the hero

Second appearance of the princess:

a. manner of inclusion into the course of action

b. physical appearance

c. peculiarities of external appearance at the scene (she sits on the seashore, etc.)

d. dialogue

Struggle with the villain:

a. place of the fight

b. actions preceding the fight (clearing the field)

c. forms of the fight or struggle

d. after the fight (cremation)


a. personage

b. manner

Victory over the villain:

a. role of the hero

b. role of the helper; trebling

The false hero, (of second type-water-carrier, general):

a. nomenclature

b. forms of appearance on the scene

c. behavior during battle

d. dialogue with the princess, deceptions, etc.

Liquidation of misfortune or lack:

a. interdiction of the helper

b. violation of the interdiction

c. role of the hero

d. role of the helper

e. means

f. auxiliary elements trebled



a. forms of notifying the villain about the escape

b. forms of pursuit

c. notification of hero about the pursuit

d. auxiliary elements trebled

Rescue from pursuit:

a. the rescuer

b. forms

c. downfall of the villain