====The mythological theory====
[[File:William Tell One.jpg|
200px|thumb|left|A mural showing William Tell’s arrest by Gessler]]
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, some heroes displayed great marksmanship, and they shot an apple off the head of a person, typically a relative.
Much of the alleged facts about the hero are probably later inventions. There was no historical figure called William Tell. It seems that the origin of the story was in a myth that was popular in Europe, and which was adopted by the people of the Alpine Valleys. It later was used as a foundation myth, by successive Swiss governments to explain the development of the Swiss Federation.
==Further Reading==Puhvel, Jaan. Comparative mythology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987).
Wilson, John. The
history of Switzerland (New York, Cosimo, Inc., 2007 ).
[[Category:Wikis]][[Category:European History]] [[Category:Historically Accurate]] [[Category:History of the Middle Ages]]