Essay about Biblical Imagery in the Story of Rapunzel

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Biblical Imagery in the Story of Rapunzel Ostensibly, the story of “Rapunzel” is the tale of a young girl, locked up in a tower by a wicked witch, the real concern of the story, however, being lust and the dangers it represents to girls as they enter the rites of passage of puberty. Symbolism pervades the story of “Rapunzel”, as in all fairy tales, giving rise to diverse interpretations. While a great deal of the symbolism is commonly found in fairy tales, the Grimm’s infuse the tale of “Rapunzel” with much from the biblical stories with which their audience would most likely be familiar. In the final version of “Rapunzel,” the Grimms add a moral message, based primarily on stories taken from the Bible, in order to demonstrate the…show more content…
Within the collection of stories as a whole, the brothers took “pains to delete every phrase unsuitable for children…hoping that their collection could serve as a manual of manners” (Tatar 19). Most significantly, the Grimms “eliminated erotic and sexual elements…added numerous Christian expressions and references, [and] emphasized specific role models for male and female protagonists according to the dominant patriarchal code of that time” (Zipes, Dreams 74). “Rapunzel” itself is the classic story of a mother’s attempt to protect her young daughter from the dangers she must face in order to successfully navigate the rites of passage of puberty. The Grimms’ version of “Rapunzel” also presents a strong moral message to young women in order to maintain the patriarchal nature and moral code of 19th century Germany. The question which most Grimms’ tales ask is: “how can one learn –what must one do to use one’s powers rightly in order to be accepted in society or recreate society in keeping with the norms of the status quo?” (Zipes, Fairy 57). The Grimms’ story of “Rapunzel” is no different, answering this question by looking to, among other sources, the Bible. Many biblical references pervade the story of “Rapunzel,” beginning with “a man and wife [who] long wished in vain for a child” (Hallett 67). Anyone familiar

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