Class 14


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Class 14

  2. 2. CUPID AND PSYCHE AND BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MYTH AND FOLKTALE Cupid and Psyche  Greece, Mount Olympus  sacred  In a specific time in the past when there were gods and goddesses  Cupid (son of Venus)  Psyche (Transformed into an immortal  Venus (Goddess of Love Beauty and the Beast  In a land far away (no specific place)  Secular (no gods)  Once upon a time  Beast (enchanted)  Human girl  Fathers, sisters
  3. 3. SIMILARITIES Cupid and Psyche  Youngest and most beautiful of three daughters Beauty and the Beast  Youngest and most beautiful of three daughters Others? Others?
  4. 4. WAYS TO ANALYZE FOLKTALES Themes and motifs The recurring themes and elements of folktales  Historical Perspective: What do the folktales tells us about important events in history? (War, Famine, medical care, legal rights of peasants, women)   Sociological interpretations: What do these tales tell us about the class system? About gender roles? About marriage and courtship practices? What do they tell us about the values of the cultures they are from? What do they tell us about the way people behave?
  5. 5. WAYS OF ANALYZING CONTINUED  Psychological Interpretations: How do the folktales reflect the fears, desires and needs of children? Of adults? What are the symbolic representations of these drives?  Structural interpretations: What are the cross-cultural similarities of elements of folktales? What are the commonalities between Cinderellas across cultures? Which are the common elements according to Vladimir Propp?
  6. 6. THEMES AND MOTIF Beauty and the Beast, Urashima the Fisherman, The Frog Princess, Bluebeard, The Robber Bridegroom     Youngest and most beautiful daughter Monster bridegrooms Youth = innocence and purity Age = greed and weakness and hostility
  7. 7. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST    Six months: In the time before cars and airplanes, trips to other towns were often expected to last for months with time for traveling, visiting and conducting business at the destination. Give me one of your daughters: In the days when many marriages were arranged, the giving of a daughter in marriage was common. Women rarely had any influence over the choice of their husbands by their parents. Marriages were often made for political or social reasons, especially in higher society. Dead mothers: Childbirth was arduous and birth unavailable. Women often died in childbirth.   Promised: Promises, while important today, were more powerful in the past when honor was a great motivator. Also, before the time of literacy among the masses and written contracts, verbal promises were given greater weight. A promise was a contract and actionable by law if broken. Marina Warner interprets the tale as the historical storyteller's way of assuring young brides that arranged marriages in which they must go live with their husband's families can be survived and even happy. The bride must leave behind her old family and embrace her husband as a loving wife. Mutual affection and attachment between the husband and wife will lend itself to a happy marriage and life for the young bride (Warner 1994).
  8. 8. SOCIOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST    Merchant: The daughter of a merchant, Beauty is a member of the middle class, not a member of the nobility. Servants: In past centuries, the middle and upper class households had servants, even if only one. The lower class usually worked as servants. The family's inability to have even one servant illustrates their total poverty. In the past, mirrors were expensive and a luxury reserved for the wealthy.    In the past, mirrors were expensive and a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Women are expected to obey fathers. The youngest is the least experienced and perhaps most protected of the children in a family. The youngest is also the child least likely to receive a financial inheritance in the days when the eldest son received the bulk of a father's estate. The youngest would consequently find it necessary to know how to fend for themselves in the world by marrying well or choosing a career.
  9. 9. PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST    Forest: According to Jungian psychology, the forest is a representation of the feminine principle and is identified with the unconscious. The foliage blocks the sun's rays, the sun being associated with the male principle. The forest symbolizes the dangerous side of the unconscious, its ability to destroy reason. . Mirrors: A mirror has many symbolic meanings of truth and representation of a person's heart. Garden: The garden is an important element of the tale, appearing in most versions. It represents the magical field and boundaries around the Beast's castle, immune to the seasons and growing impossible and beautiful fruits and flowers.     A garden symbolizes the conscious, the soul, nature subdued, feminine fertility, happiness, Paradise, salvation, purity, the world, and the place of mystic ecstasy Rose: Roses symbolize love, completion, perfection, beauty, female sex organs, and the heart (Olderr 1986). The rose is a common element in the Beauty and the Beast tales. Beauty usually requests a rose from her father, hoping to ask for a gift he can afford whatever his success in reviving his business. Ironically, Beauty's request for the rose will be the most dangerous and costly gift the father tries to produce. Thomas Mintz views the rose as "representing both the Beast's masculinity and Beauty's femininity.
  10. 10. PSYCH INTERPRETATIONS CONT’D  A fairy represents the supranormal powers of the human soul; latent possibilities; the personification of stages in the development of the spirit; and the lesser spiritual moods of the universal spirit   The jealous sisters: Beauty is the youngest and best-beloved of the sisters and is thus a target of their enmity. They want to do away with her and make her lose anything they feel should be theirs  Weak fathers: fathers may be seen to be incapable of seeing their daughters as objects of sexual desire. In this case the father may be seen as avoiding the issue of marriage of his daughter. She takes the choice from him. He may see any suitor a a sort of beast. . Silence: One can imagine a deafening silence, filled with the suspense of searching for an inhabitant, be it human or animal. In a large castle that should be bustling with life and activity to keep it in good shape, the silence would be terrifying. The silence also foreshadows that the Beast does not have all of the traits of a beast, including noisiness.
  11. 11. GROUP WORK  Discuss themes and possible psychological, historical and sociological interpretations of Bluebeard and the Robber Bridegroom.
  12. 12. HOMEWORK From Classic Fairy Tales Read  Propp’s Method and Materials pp. 382 – 387  Little Red Riding Hood pp. 11 – 12  Little Red Cap pp. 13 – 15  Goldflower and the Bear pp. 19 – 20  Hansel and Gretel pp. 273 – 280  Hansel and Gretel pp. 184 – 190  Molly Whuppie pp. 209 - 211