Essay about Behind the Story of the Swan Maiden

Essay about Behind the Story of the Swan Maiden

Length: 950 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Behind the Story of the Swan Maiden
The story of the Swan Maiden dates back centuries and is an expansively recognizable fairy tale in Europe, though it has spread worldwide. It has numerous surprising meanings and elements to it that some have deeply searched for. Turns out, this, “kid’s story”, is not as innocent as you may believe. The Swan Maiden has been interpreted through several objectives such as the variations of the tale, the meaning and history, and the beliefs behind the story, which sparks a much more intellectual understanding.
There are many versions of this tale, but its classic structure is as follows. The moral of the story begins with a mystical half woman half swan swimming or bathing in a body of water with several other swan maidens. They remove their magical robe of feathers and plunge into the water. The robe stands for their animal covering, being her feathers that transform this creature into a swan. Following the plunge, a man, usually a hunter, would take the robe or cloak of the Maiden he found to be the youngest and most pleasing to the eye. When the Swan Maiden would descend out of the water and look for her robe, she would not find it. Suddenly, the man would appear with the garment. The maiden would plead for the garment back, but he would not return it and would force her against her will to marry him, have children, and they would often end up very, “happy”, until one day, the wife would find the precious robe that was hidden from her and proceed to fly away and leave her family, often saying to one of her children, “Tell father that if he wishes to see me again, he must find me in the Land East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon” (Ashliman). Some other versions just show her flying away without ...

... middle of paper ...

... versions of this story, the couple retreat back together. Multiple assume that this was the original tale, but no one will ever know.
This classic tale has been told for ages and is said to be the most captivating of fairy tales. Editors rant, “it is hard to imagine a more visually beautiful image in folk tales than the one presented by the figures of the swan maiden and her sisters (Snyder).” It has been entertaining and raising questions for years such as, “why did the man take her? Why did the swan maiden fly away?” Turns out, many would not expect the outcome of the research. The story of the swan maiden will continue to be passed on and derived from one another and interpreted differently. Nevertheless, the main meaning of this tale involves the action of women setting themselves free from an abusive relationship and from the hardships of that time period.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Lais Of Milum : A Story Of A Great Knight

- The lais of Milum is the story of a great knight born in South Wales, and the love he shared with the beautiful daughter of a nobleman. Throughout the story we are told of the struggle and hardships, they endured due to the feelings they harbored for one another. Similarly to many of Marie’s lays Milun is told in a charming and simple nature, but upon closer inspection we can see its complexity. A tale of love is one told time and time again, a tale as old as time itself, yet the tale differs as well as the love....   [tags: Love, Marriage, Romance, Lust]

Better Essays
716 words (2 pages)

Essay on The Story Behind The Great Gatsby

- ... However, Gatsby aspires to enter a society that will never accept him as an equal even if he was wealthier. Individuals, who were born rich, are a closed group who refuses to accept people that were not born rich. In effect, Gatsby will never be accepted because he does not have an image. “Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head…”(Fitzgerald 86). Everything is said in this sentence, as if Fitzgerald wanted to inform to the readers that no one is able to repeat the past, not even with the power of money....   [tags: F.Scott Fitzgerald, story analysis]

Better Essays
1907 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on The Story Behind The Truth

- The Story Behind the “Truth” The genre fiction brings the audience into a new experience they have never experienced before in their lives. It introduces different types of people and places one can only imagine. A fiction uses fantasy as a way to reel us into a story as if we, the audience, are part of it. In which it can have an effect on our memory because the brain uses only bits of pieces of information from our memory to tell a story we want to believe. In his novel, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien uses fiction as a way to make Vietnam seem like a fantasy....   [tags: Fiction, Short story, Novel, Character]

Better Essays
893 words (2.6 pages)

William Butler Yeats poem, Leda and the Swan and Fred Chappel’s Narcissus and Echo

- William Butler Yeats poem, Leda and the Swan and Fred Chappel’s Narcissus and Echo Poets use many different stylistic devices to capture the attention of the reader. After all, who wants to read a boring poem. Many times, it is the opening line that acts as the "hook." What better way to capture someone's attention than to incite emotion with the first word. Some poets use form to their advantage. Perhaps by writing the words out in different shapes, they will create a broader readership. Some poets use symbolism, or structure to benefit their artistic license....   [tags: Yeats Leda and the Swan Essays]

Free Essays
771 words (2.2 pages)

Yeats’ Leda and the Swan and Van Duyn's Leda Essay

- Yeats’ Leda and the Swan and Van Duyn's Leda        In Greek mythology, Leda, a Spartan queen, was so beautiful that Zeus, ruler of the gods, decided he must have her. Since immortals usually did not present themselves to humankind in their divine forms, Zeus changed himself into a great swan and in that shape ravished the helpless girl (Carey 58-59). Both William Butler Yeats and Mona Van Duyn base their poems "Leda and the Swan" and "Leda," respectively, on this story of a "mystic marriage." Yeats' focus on the sexual act itself, along with his allusions to Leda's progeny, manifest a grave and terrifying tone....   [tags: Leda Swan Essays]

Better Essays
1761 words (5 pages)

Black Sw The Drama Behind A Ballet Company 's Production Of Swan Lake Essay

- Summary of Black Swan Black Swan portrays the drama behind a ballet company’s production of Swan Lake. Before staring the production, the company decides to retire their first ballerina, Beth. Because of this, the company starts a casting call to find a ballerina that will substitute Beth. The protagonist of the film, Nina, has the opportunity to play the main role, in which she portrays both the protagonist and antagonist of the play, the white and black swan. Nina has always dreamed of starring in a big role and as such, gives her all to make it to the auditions....   [tags: Psychology, Mind, Mental disorder, Ballet]

Better Essays
1620 words (4.6 pages)

Binary Oppositions in Leda and the Swan Essays

- Binary Oppositions in Leda and the Swan Yeats' "Leda and the Swan" uses the binary oppositions of the beauty and viciousness of Zeus as a swan and the helplessness and eventual strength of Leda, Yeats reveals that even the mightiest entities may suffer the consequences of their misuse of power. In "Leda and the Swan," the beauty of the swan is contrasted with the physical attributes of a swan who acts out his male animalistic power over his female prey, demonstrating the raw male and female relationships in nature....   [tags: Leda and the Swan Essays]

Better Essays
1801 words (5.1 pages)

Rhetorical Figures in Leda and the Swan Essay

- Rhetorical Figures in Leda and the Swan    "Leda and the Swan," a sonnet by William Butler Yeats, describes a rape.  According to Perrine, "the first quatrain describes the fierce assault and the foreplay; the second quatrain, the act of intercourse; the third part of the sestet, the sexual climax" (147).  The rape that Yeats describes is no ordinary rape: it is a rape by a god.  Temporarily embodied in the majestic form of a swan, Zeus, king of the gods, consummated his passion for Leda, a mortal princess (Perrine 147).  The union produced two offspring: Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife.  In recounting this "momentous rape" with "large consequences for the future," (Perri...   [tags: Leda and the Swan Essays]

Better Essays
1337 words (3.8 pages)

Falling Behind by Robert Frank Essay

- Robert H. Frank’s book Falling Behind is a short, lucid, and compelling account of what is going on with the middle class”(Alexander Kemestrios Ben). That is what one reviewer on commented about Frank’s book Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class. In order to engage readers and support their ideas, most argumentative nonfiction books use statistics, logical reasoning, personal anecdotes, and real-life examples. While all of these strategies such as should make an interesting and compelling argument, the question is not of how interesting the book is, but rather is it or is it not a quality argumentative nonfiction book....   [tags: Falling Behind, Robert Frank]

Better Essays
2328 words (6.7 pages)

Analysis of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' Essay

- Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular of all composers. The reasons are several and understandable. His music is extremely tuneful, opulently and colourfully scored, and filled with emotional passion. Undoubtedly the emotional temperature of the music reflected the composer's nature. He was afflicted by both repressed homosexuality and by the tendency to extreme fluctuations between ecstasy and depression. Tchaikovsky was neurotic and deeply sensitive, and his life was often painful, but through the agony shone a genius that created some of the most beautiful of all romantic melodies....   [tags: Music Ballet]

Better Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)