The Original Rapunzel: The Horror

rapunzel

Not all fairy tales happen the way Disney likes to portray them, for example did you know that the story of Rapunzel was originally published as a short story by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. The original tale is a bit darker and more twisted than the current Disney version “Tangled.”

The story of Rapunzel begins with a man and woman who desperately want a child. When the woman finally became with child she longed to eat rampion from the garden behind their home, which belonged to an enchantress. When the man went to steal some rampion for his wife he was caught by the enchantress who threated his life.

In the end the man was spared, but he promised once the baby was born he would had it over to the enchantress. The day came and the baby entered the world, the enchantress returned to collect her payment. The enchantress named the baby Rapunzel which translates to rampion, how ironic. When Rapunzel was 12 she placed her high up in a tower with no doors and only one window.

We all know how the story goes, eventually a prince shows up and rescues Rapunzel and they all live happily ever after. At least that is the version Disney portrays. In the Brothers Grimm version Rapunzel lets it slip the prince has been visiting, this news angers the enchantress and she slaps Rapunzel and cuts her hair, then proceeds to take her to a desert place and leaves her there in woe and misery.

When the enchantress returns to the tower, she plays Rapunzel until the prince gets into the tower, then she tells the prince he will see Rapunzel no more. The prince was so struck with grief he sprang out of the tower and fell onto thorns which poked his eyes out leaving him blind and in agony. He roamed the land for years eating roots and berries and weeping for his loss.

Finally, the prince came across the place Rapunzel had been exiled to, the prince and Rapunzel were reunited and when her tears fell upon his eyes, he was healed. That is when the happily ever after moment comes in the original short story, I suppose not a very good way to end a children’s movie though, huh?

The story of Rapunzel is the most popular story ever told which focuses on hair. It is said that Rapunzel’s hair grew to be over 19 feet in length, which is longer than any record held today. According to the Guinness Book of world records the record for the longest hair belongs to a woman who has grown her hair to just over 18 feet in length.

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