An ogre is a large and hideous humanoid monster, a mythical creature often found in fairy tales and folklore. While commonly depicted as an unintelligent and clumsy enemy, it is dangerous in that it feeds on its human victims. The idea of the ogre has been used as a method of instilling good behavior in children by suggesting that bad behavior attracted and excited ogres, who would then attack, kidnap, or even eat the perpetrator.
Some authors, however, choose to show ogres in a somewhat brighter light, saying they are both shy and reclusive. Today, variants of ogres can be found in modern fantasy popular culture, such as in video and role-playing games, as well as in popular fiction. A school of thought suggests that, like trolls, ogres originated in knowledge, if not memories, of Neanderthal humans.
Whatever their origin, ogres represent that which is somewhat peculiar and different, and thus potentially dangerous, yet there is no denying their similarity to humans. The appearance of ogres in literature, art, and other cultural forms may reflect the desire to embrace, yet at the same time the fear of, those who are different. In more recent times, the image of the ogre has become less threatening, indicating humanity's growing ability to accept and reconcile with those previously feared on account of their differences.