We all know the basics of Rapunzel: girl with long hair imprisoned by an evil witch , prince comes along, climbs up hair, rescues said trapped princess.
Rapunzel: Based on the Original Story by the Brothers Grimm by Sarah Gibb
Why Rapunzel didn't just cut off her hair, knot it to something and climb down it herself is testimony to the power of Stockholm Syndrome. But, while the original story seems to draw inspiration from several tales of women trapped in isolated places in various cultures, the Grimm Brothers' version of Rapunzel is the definitive tale — and it's one hell of a bizarre ride.
One of the reasons Disney may have taken so long to translate it into film — in the film Tangled , which gives the heroine's hair magical powers, presumably to give the villain of the piece a more tangible reason for locking her up than just "I'm an earlier version of Mr. Grey " — is that the source text is actually pretty adult. You'd think that wouldn't stop Disney, considering they took the originals of Cinderella which involves foot mutilation and The Little Mermaid which is horrible from start to finish and made them into child-friendly classics; but there are aspects of Rapunzel that have made it hard to sanitize for child viewers.
Predominantly, a lot of Rapunzel's story actually centers on sex and pregnancy.
Think less princess, more Juno. In fact, the story was so hardcore that the Grimms released a second version, in , that was more toned down — but the original survives, and it's got some serious problems.
Enjoy the seven most shocking aspects of it. The original story is driven by the frantic cravings of Rapunzel's mother, who sees a herb in the beautiful garden next to her own while pregnant, and starts craving it so madly that she demands that she must either eat it or die.
Women's bodies and pregnancy, for the Grimms, were such powerful, dangerous things that you had to do all kinds of worrying stuff to keep them happy — like, in Rapunzel's dad's case, climbing over a witch's garden wall and stealing herbs. Cravings weren't the body trying to get more nutrients; they were mothers being irrational and causing mega magical trouble. The Grimms are pretty clear that it's Rapunzel's mother's irrational body we should blame for Rapunzel's fate, and not, say, a clearly manipulative gardener or some very strange legal shenanigans.
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When the witch who owns the garden next door discovers Rapunzel's dad rooting in her hedgerows, she doesn't a call the night watch or b throw a flower pot at his head. She lets him take as much herb as he likes, on the condition that he gives her his child when it's born. Let's just sit with that one for a second: The witch gets a kid because her parents stole some of her veggie garden.
And that's meant to be her being nice ; it's only after the father pleads and she feels merciful that she strikes that deal. Rapunzel being imprisoned as a child and raised by the witch in a doorless tower is pretty well-known: the famous long hair, incidentally, is described as "twenty ells long," which equates to thirty feet.
The prince, however, doesn't do what anybody else would do, which is try to at least talk to the girl several stories up in the air; instead, he pretends to be the witch and climbs up to her unannounced. The Grimm Brothers do at least note that Rapunzel was rightly terrified, because she'd never seen a man before in her life — at least until he sweet-talks her a bit. In any case, the question remains: How good does a salad need to be to trade your firstborn child for it?
In late , Disney released a film adaptation of Rapunzel , called Tangled. Menu Dictionary.
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