Fairy Tales Before Disney

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In the Brothers Grimm version, one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters cuts off her toes, and the other her heel so they can both fit into the tiny glass slipper. The prince is notified by little doves that there is blood on the shoe, and finally discovers that the true owner is Cinderella.

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And then, there is the queen of fairy tale rehabilitations – Sleeping Beauty.

In Giambattista Basile’s tale, a king happens to walk by Sleeping Beauty’s castle and knock on the door.

When no one answers, he climbs up a ladder through a window. He finds the princess, and calls to her, but as she is unconscious, she does not wake up. Well, dear reader, he carries her to the bed and rapes her. Then he just leaves.

She awakens after she gives birth because one of her twins sucks the flax (from the spindle) out of her finger.

Oh, right, did I mention that the king returns later, they fall in love, but since the king is married his wife decides to try to have the twins killed, cooked and fed to the king and burn the princess at the stake.

Like, uh, you do?

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Next up, let’s look at Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (which, oddly enough, doesn’t involve an original tale of the dubious wisdom of young women bunking with seven grumpy old men in the woods…)

In the Brothers Grimm version, the evil queen stepmother asks a hunter to take Snow White into the forest and kill her. However, in the story, she asks him to also bring her back Snow White’s heart and liver.

He can’t kill Snow White, and so brings back a boar’s heart and liver as well. The queen eats the heart and liver, believing them to be Snow White’s.

[At the end of the tale,] [t]he evil queen is invited. As a punishment, she is forced to wear burning-hot iron shoes and dance until she drops dead.

Via Huffington Post for the dirt on other tales.

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About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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