The Most Popular Classic Fairytales
These fairy tales are not only fantastical but are also comforting because we all know them by heart. Stories of maidens with epically long hair, evil queens, the fairest maiden in the land and seven little men, the prick of a spindle that may put a princess to sleep for one hundred years, a man turned into a beast, love’s first kiss and a magical rose are all aspects of these fairy tales and have enchanted all who read them. Whether one is reading alone or to their children before bed, these stories are sure to entertain and captivate for countless years to come.
“O Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down thine hair.”
- Rapunzel is a fairy tale, German in origin, first published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. We all know about the maiden locked in the tower with her immensely long locks of hair. People have been so enchanted by this tale that it’s been retold many times and, most famously, was the inspiration for the outrageously popular 2010 Disney movie “Tangled.” Because of Rapunzel’s great beauty, she is confined to a tower by a witch and can only be rescued by a prince who must climb up by her hair.
“Over The Seven Jeweled Hills, Beyond The Seventh Wall, In The Cottage Of The Seven Dwarfs, Dwells Snow White, Fairest One Of All.”
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the tale of a beautiful maiden who is pure in spirit with hair as black as ink, lips as red as a rose, and skin as white as snow. She talks with the animals and enchants everyone who comes in contact with her (including her Prince Charming, whom she meets at the well while fetching water). The only person who is most certainly not enchanted with her is the evil queen who makes Snow White wear rags like a peasant to disguise her beauty; because she is the “fairest one of all,” the queen becomes jealous and orders a huntsman to carry out the fair maiden’s demise. He cannot harm Snow White after all, and so she escapes into the woods and finds solace in the home of the seven dwarfs. When the evil queen discovers that Snow White is alive, she decides to poison her with a ruby red apple, and, because of this, the beautiful and gentle maiden falls into a deep sleep where she can only be awakened by love’s first kiss. This tale has everything: magic talking mirrors and little men called “Doc,” “Sleepy,” “Dopey,” “Sneezy,” “Bashful,” “Grumpy,” and “Happy.” Originating from the 19th century Brothers Grimm fairy tale # 53, Snow White is a favorite for the ages.
“And from this slumber you shall wake, when true love’s kiss, the spell shall break.”
- Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault in France, 1528) weaves the tale of Princess Aurora who, as an infant, is cursed by an evil fairy, Maleficent. The story goes that, when she comes of age, she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep for one hundred years. The only thing that will awaken her, at the end of her century-long sleep, is the kiss of a handsome prince. One of the most imaginative and fun aspects of the fairy tale is Aurora’s three quirky fairy godmothers: Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.
Don’t you see? She’s the one. The girl we have been waiting for. She has come to break the spell.-Lumiere
- Beauty and the Beast (written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740) is a French story with a very important moral: it’s not one’s outward appearance that truly matters by what’s on the inside that counts. A gentle maiden, Belle, is sent to live in a castle with a beast in order to repay her father’s debts. The twist is that the beast was a man—a prince—who was very conceited and consumed with himself and, because of this, was turned into a beast. If someone can learn to love him as the beast then he will be transformed back into a handsome prince, but there’s a catch: there’s only a limited amount of time for this to happen (before the last petal falls on a magical rose in a bell jar). The servants in the castle have also been turned into non-human forms such as a clock, candlestick, and a teapot and teacup. In the end, Belle sees through the frightening beastly veneer and falls in love with the cursed prince because, in his heart, he is truly good and has learned the error of his ways. He magically transforms back into a man (and so do the rest of the characters placed under the spell), and all rejoice and live happily ever after.
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