Literary Analysis: The Fairy Tale "Rapunzel" Essay

Literary Analysis: The Fairy Tale "Rapunzel" Essay

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Over centuries, fairy tales were passed down by word of mouth to portray a story with a hidden meaning. As these fairy tales were passed on they traveled to different destinations and were modified to conform to other cultures. One example of this is the story of Grapnel. Most people are familiar with the Brothers Grimm version of Rapunzel; however, an earlier variant that comes from Italy was the forerunner to the Grimm version. The Italian version, Petrosinella, written by Giambattista Basile, is an example of how culture has an influence on literature. Although this is the case, both fairy tale versions portray jungian archetypes that are often misinterpreted by mainstream portrayals of these fairy tales.
Rapunzel is an old fairytale that shares some differences with the Italian version. In the German version the father of Rapunzel is present and is the one in the garden caught taking the rampion plant. This is different from the Italian version which only mentions the mother. This difference shows the differences between both countries at the time these fairy tales were written. Germany during the 1800s, was well off and broken up into different kingdoms. It was more common that a couple stayed together during such economic stability. Italy however, suffered during the time that Petrosinella was written which was 1643. Italy faced foreign domination and economic crises during this time which explains why Rapunzel mother was alone during this time. She was symbolizing the dire times that the country itself was facing. The vegetable that was stolen in the fairy tale also varies between both versions. In the German version, the husband goes after rampion radishes. Radishes and dreams of radishes are thought to be ...


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...nges that are used to adapt to the culture they are being told in. The Brother's Grimm and Giambattista Basile each wrote a fairytale that was almost the same as the other, but as previously mentioned they are different in order to adapt to their surroundings. Nevertheless, psychologically speaking, the psyche of the characters besides the father are both the same. They portray different archetypes that contrast and cause tension in the fairy tale. Each character can easily represent a certain personality trait. Regardless, fairy tales appear to people and their is more to why they are passed down time and time again in different versions. This reason falls back to the human psyche. According to Jungian theory, subconsciously we enjoy telling fairy tales because they relate so much to us and are basically showing a closer view of our subconscious on a cultural level.

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