Bluebeard Blues


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She uses the fortune to have her other siblings married, and eventually remarries herself, to a man she loves, and moves on from her horrible experience with Bluebeard. Although best known as a folktale, the character of Bluebeard appears to derive from legends related to historical individuals in Brittany.


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  • One source is believed to have been the 15th-century Breton and convicted serial killer Gilles de Rais , a nobleman who fought alongside Joan of Arc and became both Marshal of France and her official protector, then, was burned as a murderous witch. Another possible source stems from the story of the early Breton king Conomor the Accursed and his wife Tryphine.

    This is recorded in a biography of St. Gildas , written five centuries after his death in the sixth century. It describes how after Conomor married Tryphine, she was warned by the ghosts of his previous wives that he murders them when they become pregnant. Pregnant, she flees; he catches and beheads her, but St.

    Gildas miraculously restores her to life, and when he brings her to Conomor, the walls of his castle collapse and kill him. Conomor is a historical figure, known locally as a werewolf , and various local churches are dedicated to Saint Tryphine and her son, Saint Tremeur. The character's blue beard stands for the marvelous and the exotic, for aristocracy Bluebeard was a wealthy nobleman with blue blood , and for Bluebeard's status as an outsider, a libertine, and a ruffian "barbe," the French word for beard, relates to "barbarian". The fatal effects of female curiosity have long been the subject of story and legend.

    Eve , Lot's wife , Pandora , and Psyche are all examples of mythic stories where women's curiosity is punished by dire consequences. The Bluebeard story also echoes the story of The Fall. In giving his wife the keys to his castle, Bluebeard is acting the part of the serpent, and therefore of the devil, and his wife the part of the victim held by the serpent's gaze. In addition, hidden or forbidden chambers were not unknown in pre-Perrault literature.

    In Basile's Pentamerone , the tale The Three Crowns tells of a Princess Marchetta entering a room after being forbidden by an ogress, and in The Arabian Nights Prince Agib is given a hundred keys to a hundred doors but forbidden to enter the golden door, which he does with terrible consequences. While some scholars interpret the Bluebeard story as a fable preaching obedience to wives as Perrault 's moral suggests , folklorist Maria Tatar has suggested that the tale encourages women not to unquestioningly follow patriarchal rules. Women breaking men's rules in the fairy tale can be seen as a metaphor for women breaking society's rules and being punished for their transgression.

    She can choose to not open the door and live as a naive young woman. Instead, she has chosen to open the door of truth. For folklorist Bruno Bettelheim , Bluebeard can only be considered a fairy tale because of the magical bleeding key; otherwise, it would just be a monstrous horror story.

    Bettelheim sees the key as associated with the male sexual organ, "particularly the first intercourse when the hymen is broken and blood gets on it. For scholar Philip Lewis, the key offered to the wife by Bluebeard represents his superiority, since he knows something she does not. The blood on the key indicates that she now has knowledge.

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    She has erased the difference between them, and in order to return her to her previous state, he must kill her. According to the Aarne—Thompson system of classifying folktale plots, the tale of Bluebeard is type The tales where the youngest daughter rescues herself and the other sisters from the villain is in fact far more common in oral traditions than this type, where the heroine's brother rescues her.

    Other such tales do exist, however; the brother is sometimes aided in the rescue by marvelous dogs or wild animals. This is particularly noteworthy among some German variants, where the heroine calls for help much like Sister Anne calls for help to her brothers in Perrault's Bluebeard. It is not explained why Bluebeard murdered his first bride; she could not have entered the forbidden room and found a dead wife.

    But some scholars have theorized that he was testing his wife's obedience, and that she was killed not for what she discovered there, but because she disobeyed his orders. XLI of the annotations, makes the following handwritten comment: That is also why it is written that the blood is collected in basins. Maurice Maeterlinck wrote extensively on Bluebeard and in his plays names at least six former wives: In Edward Dmytryk 's film Bluebeard , Baron von Sepper Richard Burton is an Austrian aristocrat known as Bluebeard for his blue-toned beard and his appetite for beautiful wives, and his wife is an American named Anne.

    Other versions of Bluebeard include: In Charles Dickens ' short story Captain Murderer , the titular character is described as "an offshoot of the Bluebeard family", and is far more bloodthirsty than most Bluebeards: He meets his demise after his sister-in-law, in revenge for the death of her sister, marries him and consumes a deadly poison just before he devours her.

    Bluebeard is a generous, kind-hearted, wealthy nobleman called Bertrand de Montragoux who marries a succession of grotesque, adulterous, difficult, or simple-minded wives. His first six wives all die, flee, or are sent away under unfortunate circumstances, none of which are his fault. His seventh wife deceives him with another lover and murders him for his wealth. In Angela Carter 's The Bloody Chamber , Bluebeard is a s decadent with a collection of erotic drawings, and Bluebeard's's wife is rescued by her mother who rides in on a horse and shoots Bluebeard between the eyes, rather than by her brothers as in the original fairy tale.

    She remains with Bluebeard despite knowing he is a murderer, and gives birth to Bluebeard's children. The book has been interpreted as a feminist struggle for sexual power. In Helen Oyeyemi 's Mr. Fox is a writer of slasher novels, engaged to a woman named Mary. Mary's father scared her as a little girl by telling her of all the women that were killed by disobeying men.

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    Fox about why he writes about killing women who have transgressed patriarchal laws, making him aware of how his words normalize domestic violence. Take your friends were you want, open any door you like, but not this one! Is that quite clear? Nobody at all is allowed to enter that little room. The days went by. The young girl invited her friends to the castle and showed them round all the rooms except the one at the end of the corridor.

    Count Basie - Bluebeard Blues

    Why is it forbidden? Terror stricken, the girl ran out of the room, but the bunch of keys slipped from her grasp. She picked them up without a glance and hurried to her own room, her heart thumping wildly in her chest. She was living in a castle of the dead! The girl summoned up her courage and she noticed that one of the keys — the very key to the little room — was stained with blood. She washed, she scrubbed and she rinsed it; all in vain, for the key was still red. That very evening, Bluebeard came home. Just imagine the state his poor wife was in!

    Has anything nasty happened? Next day, Bluebeard said:. They promised they would come and see me today! Bluebeard was clutching a big knife and he grabbed his bride by the hair ….

    Bluebeard - Wikipedia

    Drawing their swords, they leapt towards Bluebeard, who tried to flee up some stairs, but was caught and killed. And that was the end of the sad story. And that young lady completely lost all her sense of curiosity. Used Book in Good Condition By author:


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