The Influences Of The Brothers Grimm

1514 words - 6 pages

"The Brothers Grimm were academics best known for publishing collections of folk tales and fairy tales, which became massively popular." (Zipes p. 7) "Born in Hanau, Germany, a year apart, with Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm born the oldest, on January 4, 1985, and Wilhelm Karl Grimm on February 24, 1786. Their family consisted of nine other siblings, six of which survived infancy, and their parents." (Zipes p. 9) Their early childhood was described as "idyllic" with them living in a beautiful countryside home while their father, Philip Wilhelm, was employed by the Prince of Hessen. However, when Jacob was eleven years and Wilhelm only ten, their father died, and their fortune dramatically declined to nothing. Their family was forced to move to an overcrowded urban residence which left their mother to struggle in supporting a large family in difficult circumstances. Some scholars have argued that that this is the reasoning behind the Brothers' inclination to idealize and excuse fathers, leaving a predominance of female villains in their stories, such as the infamous wicked stepmothers. (Grimm New World Encyclopedia p.1)
Both brothers attended Friedrichs-Gymnasium in Cassel and later went on to study law at the University of Marburg. They began their literary and philological studies in their early twenties, unknowing that that would develop into both Grimm's Law and their collected editions of fairy and folk tales. Their collection consisted of a world‐renowned tale collection, the Children's and Household Tales, also known as the "Grimm's Fairy Tales". This collection laid the nitty-gritty for the historical study of German literature and culture. Though there were over hundreds of tales in the collection, some of the world's most popular famous stories, were included, including: Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and Cinderella. This entire collection helped establish the science of folklore. (Grimm New World Encyclopedia p.1)
Their established principles strongly affected the advancement of folklore studies. They incorporated fidelity into their literature, without the use of add-ons, and though it was obvious that they didn't " practice what they preached", the style of their literature, an idealized 'morality', was much closer to reality then older thought literary repetitions that were thought to be necessary. "They urged fidelity to the spoken text, without embellishments, and though it has been shown that they did not always practice what they preached, the idealized 'morality' of their style was much closer to reality than the literary retellings previously thought necessary." (Simpson & Roud p. 197) Their belief of folklore was that it expressed moral and spiritual values of a nation, preserved by the faithful uneducated population, and that it was made up of bits and pieces of myths and religious values. Reflecting back on their collection, though it became immensely popular, they were essentially a result...

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