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Moreover, there is no support for the story that Tell, and others took an oath to free Switzerland. Some believe that a linguistic analysis of the legend to determine if there was a real-life character.<ref>Head, p. 555</ref> Some Swiss scholars have turned to etymology to provide proof of the historicity of the hero. At the time many people took their surname from their home village or territory. Some scholars hold that the name Tell could derive from a district or community. However, these academic exercises do not provide any real evidence for the existence of the Swiss national hero.
==The mythological theory==In the 19th century, many academics began the comparative study of myths. They found that many legends, fables, and folktales were similar, and this was because of cultural exchanges between societies. Many researchers who have studied the story of William Tell
, believe that it is only a myth. There are many similar myths throughout Europe. In these stories, there are heroes who display great marksmanship and they shot an apple off the head of a person, typically a relative. There are examples of these stories found in Wales, Denmark, Finland, among others. One theory suggests that the story of William Tell is just the Swiss version of a well-known folktale. It was probably transmitted via trade routes or by migrants and the story of the great bowman became part of local Swiss culture. This folktale became associated with the Swiss struggle to throw off the Austrian yoke and became so popular, that many assumed that it was based on a real man. This is something that has occurred in many societies throughout the world <ref> Dundes, A., 1991. The 1991 archer Taylor memorial lecture. The apple-shot: interpreting the legend of William Tell. Western folklore, 50(4), pp.327-360</ref> .
==The politics of myth==