Elements of folklore in literature—motif and/or symbol—tend to be archetypal by nature. This is eminently true of Busch’s weird skull and mysterious mouse. A perceptive reader senses a symbolic level even in the humorous poem. Goethe’s remarks on motif, symbol, and folk-tale can serve here as an introduction to our examination of what appears to be a mere light verse tale.
"Horse’s Skull and Soul-Mouse: Folklore in a ‘Fairy-Tale’ by WiIhelm Busch,"
University of Dayton Review: Vol. 12:
2, Article 11.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udr/vol12/iss2/11