Marriage and Rumpelstiltskin

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I. Rumpelstiltskin

II. Brothers Grimm

III. Characters

Rumpelstiltskin - a dwarf who saves the life of a king's bride by spinning flax into gold in exchange for her first child: he agrees to free her from the bargain if she can guess his name

Esmeralda - daughter of the miller who promised something without realizing the implications of her promised, just to save herself.

King - greedy ruler, who only wants Esmeralda to bring him riches and to bear his children.

father of Esmeralda ( miller ) - the one who lies that his daughter could spin straw to gold to make him feel special and important for the king

IV. Setting of the Story

V. Summary of Rumpelstiltskin:

A young woman wants to marry the King, but is told that first she must spin straw into gold or die. A funny trickster (Rumpelstiltskin) agrees to do it, only if she promises her first born child. He does, and she marries the King. When she gives birth to a child, R comes back and demands the child for payment. Since he loves to play games, he says that the Queen may keep the child, if she can guess his name in three days. He comes back three times to ask her what his name is. In the meantime the King inadvertently discovers the man in the woods who is saying his name. The Kings rushes home to tell the Queen. When R returns the third time, she says his name and he disappears forever.

VI. Moral or lesson of the story

Rumpelstiltskin is most commonly interpreted as a cautionary tale against bragging (compare with the concept of hubris in Greek mythology), but it's interesting to note that in this case not the miller himself but rather his daughter is punished for his lies. An alternate explanation says that the tale could have been meant to teach women on the importance of a supporting function in their later marriage. The gift of spinning straw into gold is seen here as a metaphor for the value of household...
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