World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Rapunzel

Rapunzel
Illustration for the Brothers Grimm fairy tale
Author Unknown but collected by The Grimm Brothers
Publication date
1812
Media type Print

"Rapunzel" (; German pronunciation: ) is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm, and first published in 1812 as part of Children's and Household Tales.[1] The Grimm Brothers' story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel by Friedrich Schulz published in 1790.[2] The Schulz version is based on Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force originally published in 1698[3] which in turn was influenced by an even earlier tale, Petrosinella by Giambattista Basile, published in 1634.[4] Its plot has been used and parodied in various media and its best known line ("Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair") is an idiom of popular culture. In volume I of the 1812 annotations (Anhang), it is listed as coming from Friedrich Schulz Kleine Romane, Book 5, pp. 269–288, published in Leipzig 1790.

In the Aarne–Thompson classification system for folktales it is type 310, "The Maiden in The Tower".[5]

Andrew Lang included it in The Red Fairy Book.[6] Other versions of the tale also appear in A Book of Witches by Ruth Manning-Sanders and in Paul O. Zelinsky's 1997 Caldecott Medal-winning picture book, Rapunzel and the Disney movie Tangled.

Rapunzel's story has striking similarities to the 10th-century AD Persian tale of Rudāba, included in the epic poem Shahnameh by Ferdowsi. Rudāba offers to let down her hair from her tower so that her lover Zāl can climb up to her.[7] Some elements of the fairy tale might also have originally been based upon the tale of Saint Barbara, who was said to have been locked in a tower by her father.[8]

Contents

  • Plot 1
  • Commentary 2
  • Literary adaptations 3
  • Film adaptations 4
  • Television adaptations 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Plot

Illustration by Johnny Gruelle

A lonely couple, who want a child, live next to a walled garden belonging to an evil witch named Dame Gothel. The wife, experiencing the cravings associated with the arrival of her long-awaited pregnancy, notices a rapunzel plant (or, in most translated-to-English versions[9] of the story, rampion), growing in the garden and longs for it, desperate to the point of death. One night, her husband breaks into the garden to get some for her. She makes a salad out of it and greedily eats it. It tastes so good that she longs for more. So her husband goes to get some for her a second time. As he scales the wall to return home, Dame Gothel catches him and accuses him of theft. He begs for mercy, and she agrees to be lenient, and allows him to take all he wants, on condition that the baby be given to her at birth. Desperate, he agrees. When the baby is born, Dame Gothel takes her to raise as her own and names her Rapunzel after the plant her mother craved. She grows up to be the most beautiful child in the world with long golden hair. When she reaches her twelfth year, Dame Gothel shuts her away in a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor a door, and only one room and one window. When she visits her, she stands beneath the tower and calls out:

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair.

Upon hearing these words, Rapunzel would wrap her long, fair hair around a hook beside the window, dropping it down to Dame Gothel, who would then climb up it to Rapunzel's tower room. (A variation on the story also has Dame Gothel imbued with the power of flight and/or levitation and Rapunzel unaware of her hair's length.)

One day, a prince rides through the forest and hears Rapunzel singing from the tower. Entranced by her ethereal voice, he searches for her and discovers the tower, but is naturally unable to enter it. He returns often, listening to her beautiful singing, and one day sees Dame Gothel visit, and thus learns how to gain access to Rapunzel. When Dame Gothel leaves, he bids Rapunzel let her hair down. When she does so, he climbs up, makes her acquaintance, and eventually asks her to marry him. She agrees.

Together they plan a means of escape, wherein he will come each night (thus avoiding the Dame Gothel who visits her by day), and bring Rapunzel a piece of

  • D.L. Ashliman's Grimm Brothers website. The classification is based on Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson, The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography, (Helsinki, 1961).
  • Translated comparison of 1812 and 1857 versions
  • The Annotated Rapunzel with variants, illustrations and annotations
  • The Original 1812 Grimm A web site for the Original 1812 Kinder und Hausmärchen featuring references and other useful information related to the 1812 book in English.

External links

  1. ^ a b Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1884) Household Tales (English translation by Margaretmm Hunt), "Rapunzel"
  2. ^ Oliver Loo (2015) Rapunzel 1790 A New Translation of the Tale by Friedrich Schulz, Amazon, ISBN 978-1507639566. ASIN: B00T27QFRO
  3. ^ Jack Zipes (1991) Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture, Viking, p. 794, ISBN 0670830534.
  4. ^ "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair". Terri Windling. 
  5. ^ D. L. Ashliman, "The Grimm Brothers' Children's and Household Tales"
  6. ^ Andrew Lang, The Red Fairy Book, "Rapunzel"
  7. ^ Rapunzal? iranian.com, 9 November 2009.
  8. ^ A Day to Honor Saint Barbara. Folkstory.com (30 November 1997). Retrieved on 6 April 2013.
  9. ^ Rapunzel. german.berkeley.edu, adapted from: Rinkes, Kathleen J. Translating Rapunzel; A very Long Process. 17 April 2001.
  10. ^ a b Maria Tatar (1987) The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales, Princeton University Press, p. 18, ISBN 0-691-06722-8
  11. ^ Maria Tatar (2004) The Annotated Brothers Grimm, W W Norton & Company Incorporated, p. 58 ISBN 0-393-05848-4.
  12. ^ Jack Zipes (2001) The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm, p. 474, ISBN 0-393-97636-X
  13. ^ Heiner, Heidi Anne. "Annotated Rapunzel". surlalunefairytales.com. 
  14. ^ by Anne Sexton"Transformations"
  15. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2180411/
  16. ^ Tangled (2010). IMDb.com

References

See also

In the U.S. TV animated anthology series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (1.8, Rapunzel), the classic story is retold with a full African-American cast and set in a New Orleans bayou. Whoopi Goldberg guest stars as the witch.

In the U.S. TV series Once Upon a Time (3.14, "The Tower"), Rapunzel is locked in the tower by her own choice. She is afraid to face the responsibility of taking over her kingdom from her parents, who are still alive.

Television adaptations

  • In Shrek the Third (2007), Rapunzel (voiced by Maya Rudolph) is a character who is later revealed as the secondary antagonist and was friends with Princess Fiona. She is shown to be the true love of the evil Prince Charming and helps to fool Princess Fiona and her group when they try to escape from Charming's wrath.
  • In "Barbie as Rapunzel" (2002), Rapunzel was raised by the evil witch Gothel and she acted as a servant for her. Rapunzel uses a magic paintbrush to get out of captivity, but Gothel locks her away in a tower.
  • Into the Woods is a musical combining elements from several classic fairy tales, in which Rapunzel is one of the main characters; it was also filmed for television in 1991 by American Playhouse. A film adaptation was released late in 2014.[15]
  • A 1988 German film adaption, Rapunzel oder der Zauber der Tränen (meaning "Rapunzel or the Magic of Tears"), combines the story with the lesser known Grimm fairy tale Maid Maleen. After escaping the witch's tower, Rapunzel finds work as a kitchen maid in the prince's court, where she must contend with an evil princess who aims to marry her prince.

Film adaptations

  • Anne Sexton wrote an adaptation as a poem called "Rapunzel" in her collection Transformations (1971), a book in which she re-envisions sixteen of the Grimm's Fairy tales.[14]

Literary adaptations

An influence on Grimm's Rapunzel was Petrosinella or Parsley, written by Giambattista Basile in his collection of fairy tales in 1634, Lo cunto de li cunti (The Story of Stories), or Pentamerone. This tells a similar tale of a pregnant woman desiring some parsley from the garden of an ogress, getting caught, and having to promise the ogress her baby. The encounters between the prince and the maiden in the tower are described in quite bawdy language. A similar story was published in France by Mademoiselle de la Force, called "Persinette". As Rapunzel did in the first edition of the Brothers Grimm, Persinette becomes pregnant during the course of the prince's visits.[10]

The seemingly uneven bargain with which "Rapunzel" opens is a common trope in fairy tales which is replicated in "Jack and the Beanstalk", Jack trades a cow for beans, and in "Beauty and the Beast", Belle comes to the Beast in return for a rose.[11] Folkloric beliefs often regarded it as quite dangerous to deny a pregnant woman any food she craved. Family members would often go to great lengths to secure such cravings.[12] Such desires for lettuce and like vegetables may indicate a need on her part for vitamins.[13] From a scientific interpretation the enchantress Dame Gothel is rather obviously a witch or medicine woman, who had mastered the use and production of a plant or drug capable of saving Rapunzel's mother from complications of pregnancy. Ergotics, opioids, or cannabis can be considered candidates in the original Persian or subsequent versions of the tale, by analogy to the problem of Delphos' Oracle.

Rapunzel – Dresden in Saxony, Germany.

Commentary

Another version of the story ends with the revelation that Dame Gothel had untied Rapunzel's hair after the prince leapt from the tower, and it slipped from her hands and landed far below, leaving her trapped in the tower.[1]

In some versions of the story, Rapunzel's hair magically grows back after the prince touches it.

For months, he wanders through the wastelands of the country and eventually comes to the wilderness where Rapunzel now lives with the twins she has given birth to, a boy and a girl. One day, as she sings, he hears her voice again, and they are reunited. When they fall into each other's arms, her tears immediately restore his sight. He leads her and their children to his kingdom, where they live happily ever after.

When the prince calls that night, Dame Gothel lets the severed hair down to haul him up. To his horror, he finds himself staring at her instead of Rapunzel, who is nowhere to be found. When she tells him in anger that he will never see Rapunzel again, he leaps from the tower in despair and is blinded by the thorns below. In another version, she pushes him and he falls on the thorns, thus becoming blind.

In anger, she cuts off Rapunzel's hair and casts her out into the wilderness to fend for herself. [10]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.