Riddle Definition

A riddle expressed in the form of a rhyme is called a riddle, generally aimed at children.. Like all riddles, the riddle presents an enigma to be solved, putting the intelligence of the person questioned at stake. In general, they lack a well-known author to whom they can be attributed. They have a varied form, although those with an octosyllable meter tend to abound in Spanish,

There are riddles that have been recorded in Western culture in a distinctive way. A clear example of this are the riddles that the sphinx throws Oedipus and he manages to solve. According to the myth, Thebes was devastated by the work of the sphinx, who proposed the resolution of riddles to cease its work; many showed up accepting the challenge, being devoured by the monster when they failed. However, Oedipus finally appeared to answer that the answer to the riddle about “the living being that walks on four legs at dawn, two at noon and three at dusk” was “man”; as a consequence of this trait of lucidity, the sphinx decides to commit suicide.

Another conspicuous example of riddles recorded in Western culture can be offered by the opera “Turandot”, by Giacomo Puccini.. In this, we are presented with three enigmas that must be solved to marry a princess; all suitors fail and this failure is punishable by death; finally, a prince solves the riddles and acquires the right to marry the princess. Despite the prince’s victory, the princess refuses to marry, so the young man postulates her an enigma to rid her of the obligation to marry.

The riddle is also present in mass culture sometimes. An example can be offered by the fictional character “the Riddler”, an enemy of Batman. This presents his misdeeds with riddles whose resolution means the possibility of predicting and avoiding them.