Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair...or not.

In the both the original story of Rapunzel and in the Disney version "Tangled," Rapunzel does not cut her own hair. Instead, Mother Gothel cuts it for her in the Grimm version as punishment, while Eugene whacks it off in one surprisingly neat chop with a mirror shard as a way to free her from the abusive Gothel. 

Therefore, Rapunzel is alternately punished through the haircut in the original fairy tale, and rescued by the haircut in the Disney movie.

However, what if Rapunzel had taken the initiative to cut her own hair?

Created by Patrick Hardin

In this cartoon, Rapunzel explains to her prince that she has cut off her hair. She apologizes, but gives him a practical reason for cutting off all of her hair, as it was too expensive to maintain. While this in itself is humorous for modern readers, the cartoon brings out an aspect of Rapunzel's character that was not present in the original fairy tale. Rapunzel would never have cut off her long, golden hair in the Grimm story, as it was a symbol of her femininity, as well as the means for her prince to visit her. But with this more modern princess, all of that is rejected in favor of practicality, and forces the prince to come up with a different means of pursuing her, as her long hair no longer provides a way for him to scale the tower. In this way, the Rapunzel of the cartoon is a much more independent individual than the Grimm's princess.

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