Category: Folklore and Fairytale

  • Rapunzel The ur-Story Of Young Female Sexuality

    Rapunzel The ur-Story Of Young Female Sexuality

    Whether it’s women locked in attics, teenage girls protected by their fathers, children living in gated communities, missing girls or dead mothers, Rapunzel is a significant ur-story. THE HISTORY OF RAPUNZEL The life of a fictional woman hasn’t diversified much over the years.  Rapunzel is not the only girl who was locked up — take the Irish myth of Ethlinn, for…

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  • The Three Little Pigs Illustrated by Leonard Leslie Brooke Fairy Tale Analysis

    The Three Little Pigs Illustrated by Leonard Leslie Brooke Fairy Tale Analysis

    The Three Little Pigs is one of the handful of classic tales audiences are expected to know. Pigs are handy characters: They can be adorable or they can be evil. You can strip them  butt naked and let the reader revel in their uncanny resemblance to humans. Or, you can dress them in jumpers and they’re as cute as kittens. Brooke’s version…

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  • The Frog Prince Fairytale Analysis

    The Frog Prince Fairytale Analysis

    This famous tale is also known as The Princess And The Frog, The Frog Prince, A Frog For A Husband and similar variants. In most of these stories the princess is depicted as a spoilt brat. Sometimes the story goes so far as being called The Kind Stepdaughter And The Frog, which is actually more like The Fairies (which stars a…

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  • Jack And The Beanstalk History and Symbolism

    Jack And The Beanstalk History and Symbolism

    Jack and the Beanstalk is also known as Jack The Giant Killer, which kind of ruins the ending, so no wonder they changed it. The story has been around for ages and ages as part of English folklore. An ancestor of Jack and the Beanstalk appeared in a printed pamphlet in 1734, and it’s clearly not intended for a child…

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  • The Foolish Wishes by Charles Perrault

    The Foolish Wishes passed me by as a kid, but there are no shortage of tales about characters granted 3 wishes by some sort of genie/supernatural being.

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  • Bluebeard Fairy Tale Analysis

    Bluebeard Fairy Tale Analysis

    “Bluebeard” is a classic fairytale — the O.G. tale of domestic violence. Any story in which a fearsome husband murders his young wife is probably a “Bluebeard” descendent. The husband in this tale is monstrous, and related to the archetype of the ogre. If you’d like to listen to the tale, I recommend the (free) podcast version offered by Parcast.…

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  • Puss In Boots by Charles Perrault Fairy Tale Analysis

    Puss In Boots by Charles Perrault Fairy Tale Analysis

    These days, modern children are probably most likely to have encountered Puss In Boots in the second Shrek movie. The most resonant scene for us all is probably the bit where Puss is revealed to be a manipulative little bastard, making his eyes big and cute in order to get what he wants. I admit, it’s a real triumph of animation.

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  • Sleeping Beauty And Cannibalism

    Sleeping Beauty And Cannibalism

    If you’ve already read Angela Carter’s short stories, in which she rewrites famous tales as feminist ones, you may well hear her scoffing silently in your head as you read these tales, mostly by Charles Perrault, who added his own paternalistic, misogynist morals as paragraphs at the ends. And if you’ve never read these tales by Perrault — and you…

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  • The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale Analysis

    The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale Analysis

    A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES Although this is an original tale published by Hans Christian Andersen rather than one based on the oral tradition, Andersen still borrows a lot from the oral tradition. So it feels almost like it might have been an older tale. Libro de los ejemplos (or El Conde Lucanor, 1335), a medieval Spanish collection of…

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  • Beauty And The Beast Fairy Tale Analysis

    Beauty And The Beast Fairy Tale Analysis

    Beauty and the Beast is a strongly mythic tale: A girl goes on a journey and ultimately finds her true self. PARATEXT “The Beauty and the Beast” is a tale featuring multiple levels of misogyny and much has already been said about that. For example, Was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Re-Tooled Because Belle Wasn’t Enough Of A Feminist? Angela Carter has rewritten the…

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  • The History And Influence Of Cinderella Fairy Tale Analysis

    The History And Influence Of Cinderella Fairy Tale Analysis

    “Cinderella” is a classic rags-to-riches tale and can be found, written straight or subverted, throughout the history of literature. It’s worth pointing out that Cinderella wasn’t truly from ‘rags’. She was related to middle class people, so was at least middle class herself. No one wants to hear about actual starvation, rickets and whatnot at bedtime. This is a middle-class-to-rags-to-aristocrat tale.

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  • The Difference Between Folklore and Fable

    The Difference Between Folklore and Fable

    Folklore refers to the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth. No one knows the origins of folklore. Fables are parables which star non-humans (animals). Contemporary speakers rarely make this distinction. Mostly nowadays ‘fable’ is sometimes used instead of ‘parable’. Commentators know the lines have blurred and will now sometimes use the word…

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  • The Magic Porridge Pot And Famine

    The Magic Porridge Pot And Famine

    The Magic Porridge Pot is also known as Sweet Porridge and goes by various similar titles. This is a fairytale borne of famine.

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  • The Trickster Archetype In Storytelling

    The Trickster Archetype In Storytelling

    Tricksters are characters who make secret plans to get away with stuff and to get what they want. Most characters in children’s literature have an element of trickster about them, but this archetype is found frequently across the history of storytelling. In any negotiation, the one who lays out their position first usually loses because it allows their opponent to…

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  • The Plot Points Of Every Single Fairytale

    The Plot Points Of Every Single Fairytale

    Not every fairytale includes every plot point as listed below, but when they do, they appear in order.

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