Bluebeard, The Robber Bridegroom, and Fitcher’s Bird

All three tales, “Bluebeard,” “The Robber Bridegroom,” and “Fitcher’s Bird” are very interesting and equally disturbing. They have a few similarities, but the plots and little details are all very different. The actual bluebeard feature is only in “Bluebeard”, but the ugly and evil traits that man possess is in both “The Robber Bridegroom” and “Fitcher’s Bird”. So, the bluebeard is more symbolic in those two. Another critical similarity to highlight is the blood that won’t wipe off the key in “Bluebeard” and on the egg in “The Robber Bridegroom”. Either way, the permanent stain of blood can represent loss of innocence or premature menstruation. I have outlined the plots of all three tales for further comparison below.

All the tales are unique in how they play out. They all hold up the core theme of being “married to a nightmare”, which is important. Also, these tales are pretty much backwards to typical fairy tales. These three tales start with the “happy ending” of marriage and really give a look into marriage, whereas in typical fairytales the stories end with a marriage. Also, one very glum moral in all three tales includes how women should stay out of men’s business. Another moral can be the perils and challenges of marriage in general.

I think my favorite tale is “The Robber Bridegroom”. I liked reading about it for my oral report, so I knew the tale before we had to read it for this lesson. I think it’s very disturbing and violent, and the different editions of it showcases the Brother’s Grimm’s adding of violence. “Fitcher’s Bird” is my least favorite, mainly because it seems sort of random and out there. All the random things like with the skull and decorating herself in honey and feathers are just so odd.

Plot comparisons:

“Bluebeard” “The Robber Bridegroom” “Fitcher’s Bird”
-A man’s blue beard makes him ugly and scary to others

-Mystery of what happened to his previous wives

-Bluebeard throws an extravagant party to get one of the neighbor’s daughters to like him; she does and they marry

-After one month, Bluebeard goes on a trip and leaves his wife with a key he says she is forbidden to use to open the little room

-Wife is overcome with curiosity and unlocks the room, and finds dead women hung all over the walls and the floors covered in blood

-She drops the key and the blood does not wipe off as the key is bewitched

-Bluebeard returns and discovers this and is going to kill his wife, but she begs for time to pray

-He gives her 30 minutes

-Wife calls to her family and her brothers arrive just in time stab Bluebeard dead

-Wife receives all his riches, using it to marry her sister and pay her brothers

-She remarries a good man

-A prince wants his bride-to-be princess to visit his castle

-He ties ribbon on the each tree for her to follow, and eventually she does

-An old woman is at the house and tells the princess the prince wants to kill her and eat her

-The old woman feels pity and tells the princess to hide behind a barrel in the cellar

-The robbers and her bridegroom kidnapped the princess’s’ grandmother and kill her

-One robber cuts off a finger to get a ring but it flies into the princess’s lap

-She escapes and the next day the prince comes over and she tells him what she witnessed (As a dream)

-The robbers and bridegroom are executed

-A thief and sorcerer knocks on a maiden’s door and kidnaps her to be his wife

-He goes on a trip and leaves her with an egg and a key, threatening her not to go into the room it opens

-She does and sees a large basin with butchered people in it; she drops the egg and the blood won’t come off

-The man kills her and marries the second daughter, giving her the same instructions and the same thing occurs

-He marries the third daughter, whom outsmarts him by leaving the egg in a cupboard before going into the room

-She puts her sisters back together and they’re alive

-She covers them in a basket and tells the man to bring it to her parents

-She decorates a skull

-She invites the man’s friends to the wedding

-She dips herself in honey and feathers to disguise herself

-Thinking the skull is his bride the man goes back into the house and the helpers fetched by the sisters burn the house down

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