Sunday, March 31, 2013
The character of Bluebeard, though he is only called that in one of the tales, is fairly similar across all of them, in personality and actions. However, minute differences provide, in my opinion, a fairly vast gap between interpretations of him. In most of them, particularly the actual Bluebeard tale, the reasoning for his actions is a bit puzzling. The original tale makes him out to almost be "just a murderer", in many ways, stating that he had a heart harder than rock that the woman's pleas could not move, and similarly painting him as just a psychopath that kills his wives. This makes his actions in, firstly, giving the woman the key in the first place, and in giving her uncountable amounts of extra time for her brothers to arrive, seem utterly irrational. In Mr. Fox, and The Robber Bridegroom, the woman sees something she was not supposed to, and when the murderer tries to acquire a ring by cutting off another girl's finger or hand, the object flies into the air and lands with the betrothed. Why the murderer would not seek out the object they were just trying to get off of the dead girl's hand seems inexplicable. Further, both murderers kindly allow their associated women to complete full confessions of their deeds under the guise of a dream, even when it must be obvious that she somehow does indeed know for sure. For this reason, Fitcher's Bird is my favorite tale. The very act of making the psychopathic husband a sorcerer turns him into a magical creature, and easily allows us to accept that he is bound by some code of conduct: he conducts himself in a downright methodical way, repeatedly capturing girls and putting them up to the same trial, until he finds his bride, at which point "he no longer had any power over her and had to do her bidding." The act of making the murderer a sorcerer makes the story both more interesting, and more acceptable as a reader.