How Is Tatar Portrayed In The Robber Bridegroom

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In looking at the history of revision and editing throughout the Grimms’ various editions of the Nursery and Household Tales, Tatar came to find that the Grimms rarely took the chance to tone down or gloss over the violence and vivid depictions of brutal punishments met out against villains and as part of the trials suffered by the heroes of the tales (5). Though Wilhelm had a tendency to alter any reference to sexual relations or pregnancy, curiously, he let many of the instances of violence remain in the tales. At times, he even added to the descriptions of the punishment suffered by the villains of the tales, such as the way in which Snow White’s wedding occurs as a tableau for the punishment of the evil queen as she dances in red-hot iron…show more content…
However, the tale limits his punishment to the fact that they were turned over to the authorities and then “he and his band were executed for their dreadful deeds” (Tatar, Grimms 199). Zipes in his translation paints the fate of the bridegroom just as succinctly, stating merely that “all of them were executed for their villainy” (Grimms 137). In a variant similar to “Bluebeard” and “The Robber Bridegroom,” found in the Nursery and Household Tales is the “Fitcher’s Bird” in which at the end the wizard who has taken the female protagonist is punished by her brothers. The tale states, “They locked the doors to the house so that no one could get out. Then they set fire to it, and the wizard and his crew were burned alive” (Tatar, Grimms 213). In Zipes’ translation, the bridegroom and his quests are locked into the house and “since nobody could get out, they were all burned to death” (Grimms 148). Even the infamous Rumpelstiltskin is not punished in a manner similar to that of the female villains in The Nursery and Household Tales. In Tatar’s translation, he becomes so enraged at the queen knowing his name that he rips himself in two (Grimms. As such, it is he himself who meets out the punishment, and his fit of rage, wherein he literally stomps himself into the ground, is almost comedic. Conversely, Zipes lets Rumpelstiltskin entirely off the…show more content…
However, even if they belong more to the tradition of folk tales, it would suggest that the punishments would be more in the earthy and realistic realm of occurrences, but that does not suggest such punishment need be glossed over or elided altogether. As such, even the distinctions between the two types does not account for the ways in which female villains and male villains in The Nursery and Household Tales are treated so differently. When it comes to the female villains, they are roasted alive in ovens, have their eyes pecked out by doves, or are forced to dance in burning hot iron shoes until they fall down dead. These descriptions are entirely different from those provided for the male villains, whether of the folk tale persuasion or not. More so than simply being given different descriptions of their punishments, motivations surrounding their evil deeds differ from those of their male counterparts. Fairy tales construct coded images and ideas, including the construction of gender binaries. However, these surface constructions can begin to show stressors and cracks in such areas like those of the depictions of male and female villains. The evil of the female, which is demonized so thoroughly in the stepmother, is that of

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