ML 350: The Literary Fairy Tale
4 December 2017
Love Requires Persistence
The Raven quotes, “The man promised to do all that she wished, but the raven said, ‘Alas! I know even now that you will take something from the woman and be unable to save me.” In love, there are rights and wrongs that sometimes start with promises. The earliest documented version of The Raven is in Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhem Grimm is originally titled Die Rabe found in the source Kinder- und Hausmärchen in 1812. The country of origin of The Raven is Germany. The tale type of this story is a ATU 401A which falls under the description of “The Enchanted Princess in Her Castle” along with another variant titled, Voinicul cel cu cartea în mână născut by author Petre Ispirescu. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of fairy tale is a story (as for children) involving fantastic forces and beings (such as fairies, wizards, and goblins). In the story, we know that enchantments are involved due to the king’s daughter having turned into a raven by enchantment realized from the queen’s wish.
Once upon a time there was a king and queen’s daughter, in the story it was told that she was around a toddler’s age. The king’s daughter was a troublesome child whose actions may have been difficult to deal with. At times, the daughter quite easily made the queen very stressed and frantic. Amidst the queen’s frustrations with the princess, one day she was holding the child while looking out a window at ravens flying around in the sky. The queen, harsh in judgement, then makes a wish that the child would become one those flying ravens and fly away. This way, the queen might for once have some peace and quiet.
At that moment, the daughter turns into a raven and flew right out of the window and soared into the sky. The king and queen knew they might never see their enchanted daughter again. The queen was granted her wish of peace and quiet, but to what consequence?
After many years went by, a man comes across the enchanted raven princess when he heard a bird, who was calling out to him. The raven princess stopped the man and said, “I am by birth a king’s daughter, but for many years I have been under the spell of some enchantment; you can, however, set me free.”
The man asked what he should do to help the king’s daughter be set free from the enchantment of being a raven. The princess gave him a task that he would have to carry out for three whole days. The raven told him to travel to an old woman’s hut that was deeper into the forest; when the man arrived at the hut, the old woman would offer him drink and food, but he was to refuse it. If the man were to fail by taking food or drink, then he would fall asleep and not see the raven princess when she arrived at the end of each day by several types of carriages.
At the beginning of this paper I stated the quote, “The man promised to do all that she wished, but ...