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"what's So Charming About Prince Charming?" (an Examination of the Character of Prince Charming and the Power Play That Exists Between Him and His Damsel in Distress as Found in the Fairy Tales Written by the Brothers Grimm)

Autor:   •  July 29, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,999 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,539 Views

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Our hero stands over the evil stepmother’s (who was also, incidentally, a witch) body. She’s dead- the spear protruding directly upward from her gut is evidence of that. And so are the rest of the people in the dining hall, regardless of whether or not there is something protruding from their bodies. The magnificent dining hall is magnificent in its complete disarray. Plates are smashed, food is ruined, and, at the very center of the room like a very literal and very red (it wasn’t all blood; she was wearing a red dress) bull’s eye, the hostess is impaled. The hero’s helmet hits the floor with a crash that echoes defiantly throughout the empty hall. A laughter as much from uncertainty as joy rings through the air as our hero lets her golden hair fall freely beyond her shoulders. “That’ll teach you to mess with me,” she says to no one and everyone in particular. “My lady!” Quick and heavy footsteps announce the flustered arrival of the young man clad in armor who has just entered the room. “I’ve come to…” he begins, before the sight of the horrific destruction silences him. “Save it, handsome. I’ve no need for you whoever the hell you are and wherever you’re from,” our hero says with not a little sarcasm. She walks past the now-distressed young man before walking out the door into the sunset-illuminated world. And she lived happily ever after.

I could claim that what I have written is a fairy tale and most people would agree as long as I placed the word “modern” before the phrase “fairy tale”. It seems to me that most people are willing to accept that a story that features a decidedly medieval setting, an undeserved evil preying upon the protagonist who is a person of moral integrity and of not a little inaction, the presence of the supernatural (hence the fairy in “fairy tale), and an intervention through a character of equal moral integrity, inexplicably good luck, or hitherto undemonstrated cunning that resolves all of the protagonist’s problems is a fairy tale. However, if any of the factors or qualities I have just mentioned are drastically altered or, worse, omitted, then it seems that the tale’s status as a classical fairy tale is jeopardized. This paper will narrow its focus to the presence of one of these factors and the accompanying reasons as to why it is viewed as an integral component of classical fairy tales in the broad and popular of them. When violated, the word modern or any of its applicable synonyms is immediately used as an adjective or disclaimer. Doubtlessly, casual readers and devoted critics alike need a control variable and a more or less universal concept of a traditional or classical fairy tale serves that purpose. For the purposes of this paper, the definition of what a classical fairy tale is will be limited to its version as found in the writings of the Brother Grimm. Other versions of the fairy tales included in the works of the Brothers Grimm will be considered


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