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Princess Trials

Page history last edited by Abigail Heiniger 7 years, 7 months ago

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Housekeeping:

  • I've commented on your final paper material! The material that was posted looked remarkably good! 

 

Agenda:



Princess Trials 

 

Disney has made the French and German princess tales into staples of the American narrative-diet. We grow up with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. 

 

This SNL skit is borrowed from another student in this class! 

 

Real Housewives of Disney Discussion Questions:

  • How does this SNL skit apply fairytale expectations to our culture today? 
    • Where do we see these expectations?
    • How do we support (literally "buy into") these expectations?
  • How does this SNL skit invert these expectations?
  • Where do these expectations end?
  • What commentary does this make on the cultural impact of Disney Princess Stories?
    • How does this commentary depend upon the prevalence of these narratives in our lives?

 


"Griselda" 

  • Who wrote this tale?
  • Where was it published?

 

Discussion Questions:

  • How does "Griselda" set the pattern for the princess trials with which we are already familiar?
  • How does "Griselda" differ from our expectations for princess trial tales?
  • How is the explicit abuse in "Patient Griselda" sublimated (and resurrected) in the princess trial tales?  

 

 


Taking It Further:

Compare Boccaccio's "Griselda" with Perrault's later version "Griselda." 

 


"Sleeping Beauty"

  • Who wrote this version of "Sleeping Beauty"?
  • Where was it published?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Arthur Rackham brings us to the moment when Sleeping Beauty awakens, most images emphasize her death-like sleep. Why is this the moment that captures the visual imagination?


How do these pictures of the sleeping Sleeping Beauty compare with the glorified "dead woman" of the nineteenth-century?

 

John Millais' famous "Ophilia"

 

This is Cabanel's "Ophelia" (a little more active that Millais'). 

 

This is Waterhouse's "The Lady of Shalott" (another doomed woman celebrated by the Pre-Raphelites).

"The Lady of Shalott" (1873) Notice the connection between the dead woman and the swan - beautiful, white, not-human! 

 


 

Discussion Questions:

  • How does "Sleeping Beauty" shape gender expectations?

    • Can we related this to what we know about Germany in the early-mid 1800s (see Bottigheimer)? 

  • How does Letitia Elizabeth Landon respond to this narrative?

    • How does this commentary critique fairy tale expectations for women?

  • How is sexuality figured in "Sleeping Beauty"? 

    • Female sexuality? 

      • Briar Rose's sexuality?

      • The queen's sexuality?

    • Male sexuality? 

      • The princes who cannot get past the briars? 

  • What does the spinning wheel symbolize (if anything)? 

  • How is power constructed in this narrative?

    • Who is allowed to have power?  

    • What kind of power is acceptable? 

 

 

 

 

 

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