Critical Analysis Rapunzel

Critical Analysis of the fairytale ‘Rapunzel’
In today’s society it is naturally assumed that the appropriate audience for fairy tales are the children and infants of the generations, whom will age having remembered these tales. With clear applicable morals, these tales are expected to be passed down through generation to generation, as they have through the centuries from their assumed oral source. However, if an individual was to take only one of the many fairytales circulating in bedrooms of young children today and trace it back to its source - oral or literary, they would find that fairytales once had much darker, adult elements laced throughout.
Well known by young girls, the tale of ‘Rapunzel’ in the dominant form depicts an awfully different concept to that in which it was originally written. The first known literary source of Rapunzel was in a collection of fairy tales by Italian folklorist Giambattista Basile in 1634. Here the tale took the name of ‘Petrosinella’. Sixty years later, another reading appeared by Charlotte Rose de Caumont de la Force known as ‘Persinette’. In 1812 the tale was translated by the well known German scholars – Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and became ‘Rapunzel.’ Throughout the transformation of the tale it is evident that the context and culture in which it is received effects the content and themes of the tale, as well as the language. This in turn alters the values and attitudes reflected from the tale. Common features of fairytales can also be seen in all readings of Rapunzel, some more prominent than others as the tale progresses through time.
The first and second literary versions of ‘Rapunzel’, known as ‘Petrosinella’ and ‘Persinette’ had their roots bound deeply in the adult fairytale movement of the time. This can be seen in the less subtle hints of sexuality in the two readings. In ‘Petrosinella’, she welcomes the prince, and matters went so well that “there was soon a nodding of heads and a kissing of hands......