Friday, 25 February 2011

Friday is for Fairy-Tales: Rapunzel

This is a meme hosted by me every Friday.

My post today is about: Rapunzel (The Brothers Grimm)

As a lovely adaptation of Rapunzel came out last year (Tangled), I decided to dedicate today's post to Rapunzel.

The story goes as follows:

There was a lonely couple that wanted a child. They lived next to a walled garden which belonged to an enchantress. The wife was finally pregnant and it was then that she noticed a rapunzel plant planted in the garden and longed for it to the point of death. For two nights, the husband went into the garden and stole some of the plant for her. On the third night, the enchantress, whose name is said to be "Dame Gothel," caught him and accused him of theft. He begged for mercy and the old woman agreed to show him mercy if the unborn child is given to her at birth. Desperate, the man agreed. When the baby girl was born, the enchantress took her and raised the child as her own, naming her Rapunzel. When Rapunzel reached her twelfth year, the enchantress shut her away into a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor door, and only one room and one window. When the witch went to visit Rapunzel, she stood beneath the tower and called 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 that sat beside the window and drop it down to the enchantress, who would then climb up the hair to Rapunzel's tower room.

One day, a prince rode through the forest and heard Rapunzel singing from the tower. He was captivated by her ethereal voice, so he went to look for the girl and found the tower, but he was unable to enter it. He would return often to listen to her beautiful singing and one day, he saw Dame Gothel visit the tower. He learned how to enter the tower and come to the girl. When Dame Gothel was gone, he asked Rapunzel to let her hair down. When she did this, he climbed up, introduced himself and finally asked her to marry him, to which Rapunzel agreed.

Together they planned her escape. He would come to her each night and bring her silk, which Rapunzel would gradually weave into a ladder. Before the plan came to fruition, however, Rapunzel foolishly gave the prince away. She asks the witch in a moment of forgetfulness why it was easier for her to draw him up than her. In anger, Dame Gothel cut short Rapunzel's braided hair and cast her out into the wilderness. When the prince came that night, the enchantress let the severed braids down to pull him up. To his horror, he found himself staring at the witch instead of Rapunzel, who was nowhere to be found. When she told him in anger that he would never see Rapunzel again, he leapt from the tower in despair and was blinded by the thorns below.

For months he wandered through the wastelands of the country. One day, while Rapunzel sang as she fetched water, the prince heard Rapunzel's voice again and they were reunited. When they fell into each others' arms, her tears immediately restored his sight. The prince took her to his kingdom, where they lived happily ever after.

You can also watch two trailers of the adaptations I am aware of:

Tangled (the embedded video didn't work)

Barbie as Rapunzel


Misha said...

I love Rapunzel. It was one of the first stories I read. Great meme!

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I don't know why but I love the ending: how her tears heal his blindness. I guess it just seems to speak to the healing power of love.

Blodeuedd said...

Wait, what is that other ending, where he makes her preggers and she gives birth to twins all alone..or am I thinking of another story

Jan von Harz said...

This was never a favored story of mine, but I am very interested in the Disney retelling. It looks hilarious.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

@Blodeuedd: In the first version the Grimms wrote, the prince did get her pregnant. Nasty boy.:) But I was mostly read the second version, so I went with it.

Robert Stephen Parry said...

That is very lovely. Maidens and ladies locked in towers are a familiar theme in myth and fairy tale the world over, and often there is an element of light and dark, good and bad, to the characters. The 'animal' and the spiritual aspects transform one into the other, the lower and the high, united by a tall physical structure in which the consciousness presides. This is an attractive story because the characters change and eventually overcome their misfortunes.