Fairy Tales 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Of Feminine Subtlety

This story is a fairy tale because it starts out with a king on his death bed with three sons. Each son is going to be awarded some kind of posession. The youngest son is to gain three different magical items; a ring, a necklace, and a piece of cloth. Magical items being left to a son in the first place is a common element among fairy tales. Another common element that comes into play shortly after is the female figure. In many fairy tales, there is a female figure that is evil and deceitful, many times a witch. In this story, she is a concubine who is trying to beguile the son out of his posessions using her feminine sultry and charm. It works and each time she tricks him again gaining the objects in her control. Eventually, the woman is punished for her behavior, as in other fairy tales. She suffers an agonizing death which in many fairy tales is also the suitable punishment for witches. Lastly, everything works out and there is a peaceful ending. This is the traditional "happily ever after" element that is represented from fairy tales. There are many reasons from this story that can classify it as a fairy tale. On the other hand though, there are many examples in this story that stray from the traditional fairy tale elements.


  1. Good points. You hit on all of the 5 characteristics that we discussed in class. I enjoyed reading your analysis of them. I haven't read this tale, but I will have to check it out.

  2. Yes, this tale seems far more similar to a traditional tale than the one I read by Hans Christian Andersen that focused more on the wealthy. I will check out the author background notes, but I would guess that this story is older than the one I read and thus more traditional.