Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Frog King, or Iron Henry VS Cupid and Psyche

My initial thought was these 2 tales are completely different, and couldn’t possible have anything in common. For heaven’s sake, one tale, The Frog King, is short and simple due to being a fairytale, and Cupid and Psyche is much longer and convoluted due to being an old Greek tale. Looking at the 2 tales through a simple “lenses” then looking at the deeper meaning of them, they have a few similarities and differences.

The first similarity is the catalyst to the story: a drop. In the Frog King, the Princess dropped her precious golden ball down the well, thus summoning the prince in his frog form to get the story rolling [: - )] In Cupid and Psyche, after Cupid accidentally shot himself, Psyche went to his castle. At one point, Psyche accidentally let a drop of oil drop onto Cupid, making him fly off and inadvertently testing her loyalty; another similarity.

Loyalty is another similarity between the 2 tales. In the Frog King, after the Prince reverted to a human, he was riding home on a carriage with his loyal servant, Henry. The Prince hears 3 cracks throughout his ride. Those 3 cracks are revealed to be bands that were around Henry’s heart so it wouldn’t break after his master was transformed and taken away from him. The bands also show that Henry was only loyal to the Prince to the point of locking himself to him and only him. In Cupid and Psyche, when Psyche wanted to apologize for her actions, she had to prove herself to Cupids mother, Venus. Venus made Psyche engage in 3 tasks: sorting grains, crossing a river for golden wool, and transferring beauty. These were done to show how loyal Psyche was to Cupid.

A smaller similarity between the 2 tales was the usage of water and gold. In the Frog King, the princess drops her gold ball down the well (with water in it). In Cupid and Psyche, Psyche had to cross a river to collect gold wool from the sheep on the other side. As discussed in class previously, water loosely symbolizes maturity because it can be a large obstacle to overcome, like it was for Hansel and Gretel. The Princess only matured into a not spoiled brat when she dropped her golden ball in to the well and Psyche was maturing by apologizing for her actions against cupid. Also, the gold represents power because it is one of the strongest metals from the earth and it looks like the sun, which gives off heat for basic life. The golden ball represented the royalty that the Princess came from, and the golden wool represented the power and strength that Psyche needed to show to move past that task.

An interesting similarity is that the non magical being was coerced into confronting the magical being. The King told the Princess that she made a promise to the frog and had to honor it. Psyche’s sisters made her confront Cupid, because she never saw him. This was done because confronting the unknown is a very scary thing to do, and usually it is not done on one’s free will.

As I said before, these 2 tales are very different, but they aren’t very comparable with their differences. I found 2 small differences in between the 2 tales. In the Frog King, after the Prince was transformed back into his human form, he instantly redeemed the Princess and was Ok with her actions, shown by (implied) hanky panky and bringing her home to his castle. In Cupid and Psyche, Psyche had to redeem herself with the 3 tasks. This redemption may link back to the kind of tale being told; Fairytale (Short and action oriented) VS Greek Tale (Long and action AND detailed oriented).

The other difference was how offended the man in the story was. The Prince wasn’t offended at all by the Princess, because h never gave up on her. Cupid was very offended when Psyche first confronted him with a knife and dripping lit candle, because she never saw his face before. At this point, it seemed like Cupid gave up on Psyche, but through details it was shown he didn’t.

Overall, these 2 tales are more comparable than I thought was possible. Using a the action of dropping as a catalyst for the rest of the story, the use of the number 3 with loyalty, the usage of gold and water to show power and maturity, and coercion to face the unknown are a few of the similarities throughout the 2 tales, but redemption and degrees of being offended were very different.  
This shows the Frog Prince guarding the golden ball for compassion and love from the Princess.

This is Cupid and (presumably) Psyche from the animated series, Fairyodd Parents
[These blogs are supposed to be fun right? : - )]


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