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Charles Perrault's Blue Beard Essay

1270 words - 6 pages

Analysis of Blue Beard by Charles Perrault
Bluebeard, a fairytale by Perrault, is about an affluent man who is known and revered on account of his despicable blue beard. Even though he has had several wives, their whereabouts are a source of mystery. As such, Bluebeard purposes to persuade one of his neighbor’s daughters to take his hand in marriage. Eventually, his efforts pay off and he ends up tying the knot with one of his neighbor`s daughters. After some time has passed in their marital union, Bluebeard announces to his wife that he must set off on an important journey. Before commencing on his journey, he gives the castle`s keys to his wife and the liberty of having access to all the rooms apart from a single room. However, his wife overwhelmed with curiosity goes against her husband`s instructions. As soon as she opens the door to the forbidden chamber, she stumbles upon the sight of the corpses of Bluebeard`s previous wives dangling on the wall. The horrific sight baffles her and she ends up dropping the key on the floor that is doused in blood. Her attempts to clean the stained key are futile. Circumstantially, Bluebeard makes a surprise return to his castle to find his shaken wife. He then discovers his wife`s unforgiveable mistake and purposes to kill her. Just as Bluebeard is about to strike down his wife, her brothers come to her rescue and kill Bluebeard. Being his closest heir, Bluebeard`s wife inherits his entire property and every one lives happily ever after (as is always the case in most fairytales).
Setting the Stage: a mystery
Even though Bluebeard is a wealthy individual with many properties, both in the country side and in town, he is dreaded by most women courtesy of his blue beard. In contrast, he has married on more than one occasion, but each of his wives eventually disappears. At the instant Perrault exhibits this fact, his audience gets into the realms of suspense and mystery; what could have possibly happened to his previous wives?
The Forbidden chamber
After tying the knot with his neighbor`s younger daughter, Bluebeard announce his intention of setting off on a journey. But before he leaves, he gives the castle`s keys to his wife. He permits her to access all the rooms apart from one. The forbidden chamber and the telltale key are themes which relate to the story of Eve and Adam. Just like Eve gave into the serpent`s temptation and ate the forbidden fruit, Bluebeard`s wife gives into her curiosity and opens the forbidden chamber.
Disobedience: the sullied key
Like the prototypic Eve, most women are considered as curious beings who in spite of their fears, they desire to venture into the forbidden areas. The fear in Bluebeard`s wife manifests itself in her trembling. Nonetheless, she unlocks the door to the hidden room. At this juncture, Perrault prods his audience is to start pondering on the possibility of other rooms being behind the deceptive closet. After opening the door and seeing the...

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