Essay On The Values And Techniques In "Rapunzel" And Three Other Appropriations

1623 words - 6 pages

The story of a girl with long, golden hair trapped in a magical tower is best known through its incarnation of 'Rapunzel' by the Grimm Brothers. This 'Rapunzel' though is actually just an appropriation of an even earlier story 'Petrosinella' or 'Parsley' written by an Italian courtier by the name of Giambattista Basile. From its earliest known conception in 1634 up until the present day, the story of the girl with long golden hair continues to spawn different versions of the same story such as James Finn Garners' more modern 'Politically Correct Rapunzel'. Although these stories 'Rapunzel' and 'Politically Correct Rapunzel' somewhat follow the story set by 'Petrosinella' they all have been altered to hold different values, and to better suit their target audience.Giambattista Basile's compilation of fairy tales was never published in his lifetime but in 1634, two years after his death, his sister published them as the Pentamerone. His catalogue of fairy tales included 'Petrosinella', the earliest known recorded version of 'Rapunzel'The story of 'Petrosinella' is about a girl named Parsley who is taken from her mother by an ogress and imprisoned in a tower with no doors or stairs, only a single window. The ogress would climb up Parsley's long hair to enter the tower. Parsley is rescued by a prince and together they defeat the ogress.Beauty is an important value encompassed within 'Petrosinella'. This value is presented to the audience through metaphor and descriptive language. The metaphor gives the reader an understanding of parsley's beauty through comparison. The descriptive language eloquently and graphically describes her flawlessness. "The son of a prince passing by saw those two golden banners which invited all souls to enlist under the standard of beauty, and, beholding with amazement, in the midst of those gleaming waves, a face that enchanted all hearts, he fell desperately in love with such wonderful beauty". In the context of 'Petrosinella', beauty plays an important role. Parsleys' beauty incites the ogress into imprisoning Parsley in a tower so that none can be with her and so only the ogress could see her beauty. Parsley's beauty also lures the prince to her, who then helps Parsley escape from the ogress.The value of morality is described in 'Petrosinella' by direct speech as the ogress complains "Ill luck to me, but I'll catch this long fingered rogue and make him repent it; I'll teach him to his cost that every one should eat off his own platter and not meddle with other folks' cups." In the story Parsley's mother steals some of the ogress' parsley and the ogress' complaint indicates to the audience the immorality of the theft which was justified in the mothers mind by greed. The punishment meted out to the mother by the ogress was also immoral because it wasn't appropriate for the crime committed and it wasn't right for the mother to hand over another persons' life in exchange for her own.The importance of morality is expressed...

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