Thursday, March 15, 2012

Grimm Challenge: Rapunzel

For those of you new to this blog, I am ever so slowly slogging my way through the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Occasionally I do a blog post on my progress, and in this case the most recent one I read was Rapunzel.

Currently, Rapunzel is probably one of the more popular tales due to Disney's reworking with Tangled. It was an adorable movie and I loved it. Because it was a reworking it only very, very loosely represented the original tale.

In general though the Rapunzel story is pretty well known. This is how I always thought it went (with optional rarely mentioned Prince blinding) Princess is stuck in a tower with incredibly long hair with a witch who keeps her there. Prince stumbles his way to the tower and proceeds to climb her hair into the tower to woo her. The witch finds out and gets mad, but they escape and live happily ever after.

Well, it's pretty much that except the end is a bit different. When the witch finds out she gets mad and blinds the prince after kicking him out of the tower. After that she turns on Rapunzel, who she banishes from the tower to a desert to roam around, pregnant (!) and alone. I think it is something like years before the prince finds her and his child, and she heals his blindness with her tears. The witch just goes on living in the tower I guess.

My favorite part of the original tale was that the Prince and Rapunzel must have been having sexy times in the tower. It makes me laugh. Also, I like that the original is pretty close to how I have always heard it, a rare thing for a Grimm tale.

As with most of these entries, the moral eludes me. Don't let a man climb up your hair? Be a good hostage? It all works out in the end and your desert home becomes bearable?

I Googled it and I like what Digital Bits Skeptic says the moral is:

"A child maturing into adulthood can’t be stopped. It is a parent’s emotional burden to want to delay this process, though they shouldn’t act on it. "

I guess that makes sense. I don't really have to worry about that though since I have no kids to hide away from roaming princes. :)


  1. It's amazing how dark and disturbing some of the original fairy tales can be, especially Grimm's. I know I have a book of fairy tales in my bookcase somewhere, I should dig it out. I remember I had a book of Hans Christian Anderson tales, original ones since the little mermaid dies at the end and becomes "a daughter of the air". I used to read it over and over.
    Are you watching "Once Upon A Time" and "Grimm"? I am loving the spins on fairy tales and fantasy creatures they are doing, especially "Once Upon a Time". I hope they both stick around for a while.

  2. I've been wanting to tackle the fairy tales as well. This one sounds so different from the cute little Disney movie! Haha. Great review. :)

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

  3. The best part about the sexytimes is that is how the witch finds out a man was visiting her. In an earlier version of Grimm's tales, the witch can't fasten Rapunzel's dress because it is too tight as a result of her pregnancy. After she discovers this, she kicks her out. The Grimms changed it in a later version because people complained about the allusion to the intimacy between Rapunzel and the prince.

  4. I told my sister that the Prince becomes blind at the end of tale but he is later healed. I think he wanders around for seven years, I'm not sure though. Anyways, she was pretty surprised that he became blind. Most people don't know the dark versions of the stories.


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