"Once Upon a Mattress" is a modern version of the story "Princess and the Pea". In the story Prince Dauntless is a mama's boy whose mother, Queen Aggravain has ruled that no one else is allowed to marry until her son does. In spite of the Queens wishes for her son to be married, she seemingly manages to sabotage the town's hopes of ever marrying. By testing and failing every applicable princess who comes along, the mother destroys her son's desires of being with a woman. When another character, Sir Harry, sets off on a voyage to find a princess suitable to the Queens demands, he comes upon the klutzy Princess Winnifred. Following her arrival to the "magical kingdom", Princess Winnifred makes an enormous entrance, where she and Prince Dauntless quickly take a liking to each other. Queen Aggravain, clearly not pleased by the attraction between the two, comes up with an especially arduous test for Winnifred to pass. Winnifred must prove that she holds the sensitivity of a true princess, by lying on a bed of 20 mattresses with a single pea at the bottom, and must be so discomforted that it causes her to not get any sleep. Of all the different Human Relations concepts seen in this play, the most obvious seen within it is John Bowlby's Attachment Theory. The Attachment Theory is a theory that claims individuals orientations toward intimacy are shaped by very early relationships with caregivers and is constituted of 3 basic models: the secure attachment model, the anxious-avoidant attachment model, and the anxious-resistant attachment model. The secure-attachment model is seen within the way Prince Dauntless illustrates a positive self- conception, as well as the same mindset of others. Aside from the Queen's relentless efforts to keep Prince Dauntless form marrying, it is clearly obvious, that the over-protective Queen is constantly reassuring, complimenting, and nurturing the young prince.
Second, another Human Relations concept seen within this play...
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