Monday, February 1, 2010

Charles Perrault's Stories

Puss in Boots, The Ridiculous Wishes and Griselda
By Charles Perrault

This is about the Tale of Griselda. A young prince is in charge of a kindgom and his subjects urge him to get married. He tells them a list of qualities and then tells them when they find this lady, he will marry her straight away. He then proceeds to go hunting with his friends and hounds. He becomes separated from them and finds the most beautiful, sweet and sincere maiden he has ever met. After meeting her and drinking from her cup, he goes on his way again. When separated from her, he becomes deeply melancholy. When he goes hunting again, he devises a way to lose his companions so he can find Griselda again. In the coming days, the more he saw of Griselda, the more his love burned for her, the young shepherdess. He told his counselers and subjects that he was soon planning to wed and that he hoped they would approve of his choice. A great wedding is soon planned and the prince travels to Griselda's cottage with the wedding party and she is in shock, but pleasantly surprised to find out that she is to be the bride of the wedding. She vows never to have any wishes but those of her husband's. They were married and a year later were blessed with a child. The princes grows angry and rude and mean and soon Griselda's goodness annoys and offends him. He soon locks her up in her rooms and takes away all of her jewelry and fine things in a show of dominance.
He then takes away the child so that she may be raised properly. Griselda is beside herself. The princess grows, falls in love and then marries. They are cruelly torn apart by the princess's father and her husband leaves. I will not tell the rest of the story, for it has a good couple of unique twists that are hard to summarize/describe.

Who would benefit from reading this tale?
It's a weird mixture of snow white and sleeping beauty with a few defining characteristics of their own thrown in. Anyone would enjoy it.
What problems could this solve?
Griselda's husband, the prince or the king or whatever, is particularly cruel and manipulative. He gets very jealous, very easily and these might not be qualities that parents want their children exposed to.
What was your reaction?
I liked it better than some of the other fairytales I've recently read, but it still wasn't my favorite. It dragged on WAY too much, again like the Sea Maiden, there was a lot of fluff that didn't really have anything to do with the plot.

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