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Giovanni Franesco Straparola‘s Fairy Tale, The Pig King, A Case in Consequentialism

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A Case in Consequentialism Fairy tales today are commonly viewed as fantastical stories - often with magical characters or elements - aimed to entertain children. Moreover, they frequently contain lessons or principles to be instilled in youths, promoting the morality of future generations. The values associated with a certain fairy tale can be identified quite easily these days, especially with the more prominent and well-known stories. For instance, the modern version of Beauty and the Beast schools readers to look past the exterior of others, for true beauty is measured by one's character. However, contemporary fairy tales have often been subject to censorship and revision from their origins in order to facilitate their…show more content…
At this, the prince's curse is broken, and he transforms into a handsome and gallant young man, much to the delight of his wife. At his request, Meldina initially withholds his secret; however, she eventually can no longer contain herself, and reveals the prince's true form to the king and queen. Afterwards, the elated king abdicates the throne to his son, who becomes known as King Pig and proceeds to rule happily for many years. (Straparola 42-47) The seemingly obvious takeaway of overlooking one's outward appearance is exhibited with Meldina and her sisters. The demise of the prince's first wife comes after she refuses to give him a chance, solely because of his beast-like exterior. She even plots to kill the prince in his sleep so that she can escape his unpleasantness, saying to herself, " 'What am I to do with this foul beast? This very night, while he lies asleep, I will kill him'"(Straparola 44). The prince's overhearing of this statement and subsequent murder of his wife appears rather fitting; after all, the prince was only acting in self defense, and the wicked woman got exactly what she deserved. Meldina, on the other hand, is unfazed by the prince's foul nature, and seems genuinely happy to have the prince as her husband. On the night of their wedding, "the bride went to bed and awaited her unseemly spouse, and, as soon as he came, she raised the coverlet
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