Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Rapunzel

I hope I can still catch my plane, I should stop writing and finish packing...
Anyway here is the second part.

Rapunzel
(English Version below)




Es war einmal ein Mann und eine Frau, die hatten sich schon lange ein Kind gewünscht und nie eins bekommen, endlich aber ward die Frau guter Hoffnung. Diese Leute hatten in ihrem Hinterhaus ein kleines Fenster, daraus konnten sie in den Garten einer Fee sehen, der voll von Blumen und Kräutern stand, allerlei Art, keiner aber durfte es wagen, in den Garten hineinzugehen. Eines Tages stand die Frau an diesem Fenster und sah hinab, da erblickte sie wunderschöne Rapunzeln auf einem Beet und wurde so lüstern darnach, und wußte doch, daß sie keine davon bekommen konnte, daß sie ganz abfiel und elend wurde. Ihr Mann erschrack endlich und fragte nach der Ursache; »ach wenn ich keine von den Rapunzeln aus dem Garten hinter unserm Haus zu essen kriege, so muß ich sterben.« Der Mann, welcher sie gar lieb hatte, dachte, es mag kosten was es will, so willst du ihr doch welche schaffen, stieg eines Abends über die hohe Mauer und stach in aller Eile eine Hand voll Rapunzeln aus, die er seiner Frau brachte. Die Frau machte sich sogleich Salat daraus, und aß sie in vollem Heißhunger auf. Sie hatten ihr aber so gut, so gut geschmeckt, daß sie den andern Tag noch dreimal soviel Lust bekam. Der Mann sah wohl, daß keine Ruh wäre, also stieg er noch einmal in den Garten, allein er erschrack gewaltig, als die Fee darin stand und ihn heftig schalt, daß er es wage in ihren Garten zu kommen und daraus zu stehlen. Er entschuldigte sich, so gut er konnte, mit der Schwangerschaft seiner Frau, und wie gefährlich es sey, ihr dann etwas abzuschlagen, endlich sprach die Fee: »ich will mich zufrieden geben und dir selbst gestatten Rapunzeln mitzunehmen, so viel du willst, wofern du mir das Kind geben wirst, womit deine Frau jetzo geht.« In der Angst sagte der Mann alles zu, und als die Frau in Wochen kam, erschien die Fee sogleich, nannte das kleine Mädchen Rapunzel und nahm es mit sich fort.

Dieses Rapunzel wurde das schönste Kind unter der Sonne, wie es aber zwölf Jahr alt war, so schloß es die Fee in einen hohen hohen Thurm, der hatte weder Thür noch Treppe, nur bloß ganz oben war ein kleines Fensterchen. Wenn nun die Fee hinein wollte, so stand sie unten und rief:

»Rapunzel, Rapunzel!
laß mir dein Haar herunter.«

Rapunzel hatte aber prächtige Haare, fein wie gesponnen Gold, und wenn die Fee so rief, so band sie sie los, wickelte sie oben um einen Fensterhaken und dann fielen die Haare zwanzig Ellen tief hinunter und die Fee stieg daran hinauf.

Eines Tages kam nun ein junger Königssohn durch den Wald, wo der Thurm stand, sah das schöne Rapunzel oben am Fenster stehen und hörte sie mit so süßer Stimme singen, daß er sich ganz in sie verliebte. Da aber keine Thüre im Thurm war und keine Leiter so hoch reichen konnte, so gerieth er in Verzweiflung, doch ging er alle Tage in den Wald hin, bis er einstmals die Fee kommen sah, die sprach:

»Rapunzel, Rapunzel!
laß dein Haar herunter.«

Darauf sah er wohl, auf welcher Leiter man in den Thurm kommen konnte. Er hatte sich aber die Worte wohl gemerkt, die man sprechen mußte, und des andern Tages, als es dunkel war, ging er an den Thurm und sprach hinauf:

Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
laß dein Haar herunter!

da ließ sie die Haare los, und wie sie unten waren, machte er sich daran fest und wurde hinaufgezogen.

Rapunzel erschrack nun anfangs, bald aber gefiel ihr der junge König so gut, daß sie mit ihm verabredete, er solle alle Tage kommen und hinaufgezogen werden. So lebten sie lustig und in Freuden eine geraume Zeit, und die Fee kam nicht dahinter, bis eines Tages das Rapunzel anfing und zu ihr sagte: »sag' sie mir doch Frau Gothel, meine Kleiderchen werden mir so eng und wollen nicht mehr passen.« Ach du gottloses Kind, sprach die Fee, was muß ich von dir hören, und sie merkte gleich, wie sie betrogen wäre, und war ganz aufgebracht. Da nahm sie die schönen Haare Rapunzels, schlug sie ein paar Mal um ihre linke Hand, griff eine Scheere mit der rechten und ritsch, ritsch, waren sie abgeschnitten. Darauf verwieß sie Rapunzel in eine Wüstenei, wo es ihr sehr kümmerlich erging und sie nach Verlauf einiger Zeit Zwillinge, einen Knaben und ein Mädchen gebar.

Denselben Tag aber, wo sie Rapunzel verstoßen hatte, machte die Fee Abends die abgeschnittenen Haare oben am Haken fest, und als der Königssohn kam:

Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
laß dein Haar herunter!

so ließ sie zwar die Haare nieder, allein wie erstaunte der Prinz, als er statt seines geliebten Rapunzels die Fee oben fand. »Weißt du was, sprach die erzürnte Fee, Rapunzel ist für dich Bösewicht auf immer verloren!«

Da wurde der Königssohn ganz verzweifelnd, und stürzte sich gleich den Thurm hinab, das Leben brachte er davon, aber die beiden Augen hatte er sich ausgefallen, traurig irrte er im Wald herum, aß nichts als Gras und Wurzeln, und that nichts als weinen. Einige Jahre nachher geräth er in jene Wüstenei, wo Rapunzel kümmerlich mit ihren Kindern lebte, ihre Stimme däuchte ihm so bekannt, in demselben Augenblick erkannte sie ihn auch und fällt ihm um den Hals. Zwei von ihren Tränen fallen in seine Augen, da werden sie wieder klar, und er kann damit sehen, wie sonst.


Rapunzel



There were once a man and a woman who had long in vain wished for a child. At length the woman hoped that God was about to grant her desire. These people had a little window at the back of their house from which a splendid garden could be seen, which was full of the most beautiful flowers and herbs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go into it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and was dreaded by all the world.

One day the woman was standing by this window and looking down into the garden, when she saw a bed which was planted with the most beautiful rampion (rapunzel), and it looked so fresh and green that she longed for it, and had the greatest desire to eat some. This desire increased every day, and as she knew that she could not get any of it, she quite pined away, and looked pale and miserable.

Then her husband was alarmed, and asked, "What ails you, dear wife?"

"Ah," she replied, "if I can't get some of the rampion which is in the garden behind our house, to eat, I shall die."

The man, who loved her, thought, "Sooner than let your wife die, bring her some of the rampion yourself, let it cost you what it will." In the twilight of evening, he clambered down over the wall into the garden of the enchantress, hastily clutched a handful of rampion, and took it to his wife. She at once made herself a salad of it, and ate it with much relish. She, however, liked it so much, so very much, that the next day she longed for it three times as much as before. If he was to have any rest, her husband must once more descend into the garden. In the gloom of evening, therefore, he let himself down again; but when he had clambered down the wall he was terribly afraid, for he saw the enchantress standing before him.

"How can you dare," said she with angry look, "to descend into my garden and steal my rampion like a thief? You shall suffer for it!"

"Ah," answered he, "let mercy take the place of justice. I only made up my mind to do it out of necessity. My wife saw your rampion from the window, and felt such a longing for it that she would have died if she had not got some to eat."

Then the enchantress allowed her anger to be softened, and said to him, "If the case be as you say, I will allow you to take away with you as much rampion as you will, only I make one condition, you must give me the child which your wife will bring into the world; it shall be well treated, and I will care for it like a mother."

The man in his terror consented to everything, and when the little one came to them, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the child the name of Rapunzel, and took it away with her.

Rapunzel grew into the most beautiful child beneath the sun. When she was twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a tower, which lay in a forest, and had neither stairs nor door, but quite at the top was a little window. When the enchantress wanted to go in, she placed herself beneath this, and cried,

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair to me."

Rapunzel had magnificent long hair, fine as spun gold, and when she heard the voice of the enchantress she unfastened her braided tresses, wound them round one of the hooks of the window above, and then the hair fell twenty yards down, and the enchantress climbed up by it.

After a year or two, it came to pass that the King's son rode through the forest and went by the tower. Then he heard a song, which was so charming that he stood still and listened. This was Rapunzel, who in her solitude passed her time in letting her sweet voice resound. The King's son wanted to climb up to her, and looked for the door of the tower, but none was to be found. He rode home, but the singing had so deeply touched his heart, that every day he went out into the forest and listened to it. Once when he was thus standing behind a tree, he saw that an enchantress came there, and he heard how she cried,

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair."

Then Rapunzel let down the braids of her hair, and the enchantress climbed up to her. "If that is the ladder by which one mounts, I will for once try my fortune," said he, and the next day, when it began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair."

Immediately the hair fell down, and the King's son climbed up. At first Rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man such as her eyes had never yet beheld came to her; but the King's son began to talk to her quite like a friend, and told her that his heart had been so stirred that it had let him have no rest, and he had been forced to see her. Then Rapunzel lost her fear, and when he asked her if she would take him for a husband, and she saw that he was young and handsome, she thought, "He will love me more than old Dame Gothel does;" and she said yes, and laid her hand in his.

She said, "I will willingly go away with you, but I do not know how to get down. Bring with you a skein of silk every time that you come, and I will weave a ladder with it, and when that is ready I will descend, and you will take me on your horse."

They agreed that until that time he should come to her every evening, for the old woman came by day.

The enchantress remarked nothing of this, until once Rapunzel said to her, "Tell me, Dame Gothel, how it happens that you are so much heavier for me to draw up than the young King's son—he is with me in a moment."

"Ah! you wicked child," cried the enchantress, "what do I hear you say! I thought I had separated you from all the world, and yet you have deceived me!"

In her anger she clutched Rapunzel's beautiful tresses, wrapped them twice round her left hand, seized a pair of scissors with the right, and snip, snip, they were cut off, and the lovely braids lay on the ground. And she was so pitiless that she took poor Rapunzel into a desert, where she had to live in great grief and misery.

On the same day, however, that she cast out Rapunzel, the enchantress in the evening fastened the braids of hair which she had cut off to the hook of the window, and when the King's son came and cried,

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair,"

she let the hair down. The King's son ascended, but he did not find his dearest Rapunzel above, but the enchantress, who gazed at him with wicked and venomous looks.

"Aha!" she cried mockingly. "You would fetch your dearest, but the beautiful bird sits no longer singing in the nest; the cat has got it, and will scratch out your eyes as well. Rapunzel is lost to you; you will never see her more."

The King's son was beside himself with pain, and in his despair he leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell pierced his eyes. Then he wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing but roots and berries, and did nothing but lament and weep over the loss of his dearest wife.

Thus he roamed about I in misery for some years, and at length came to the desert where Rapunzel lived in wretchedness. He heard a voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went towards it, and when he approached, Rapunzel knew him and fell on his neck and wept. Two of her tears wetted his eyes, and they grew clear again, and he could see with them as before. He led her to his kingdom, where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented.

-----------

Again my childhood memories of this story were quite different. I did not realize back then that the wife in the story longed so much for something unimportant, that she made his husband steal something from a witch.
Also in my memories again the witch was clearly evil and mischievous, yet reading the story again, suddenly she becomes the person being stolen from.

Yet she can not compared to the good hearted Rumpelstilzchen. She clearly isolated the child from the outside world and reacts very angry and unfair, once she hears about Rapunzel meeting a prince.
The prince himself appears a good hearted innocent character, fond of music and Rapunzel a very naive character, obviously because of her isolation.

Again Nakamura-san raised the question of why the witch would want the daughter. And again my only reasonable thoughts made me answer, that maybe the witch was searching for a successor, since she can not give birth herself (without male assistance). This would also on a nice side effect explain, why her tears could magically heal the prince's eyes. Yet it would seem strange that the witch did not teach her much until this point, so my assumption here is pretty weak.

Can you think of a better reason?

2 comments:

Cassius said...

Hallo Michael, wie geht's?

My name is Matthieu Lux, I'm a 23-year old french software engineer and I've been accepted at Asahi Kasei to work on the french model of the speech recognition project.
I'm very glad but I'd kindly ask you few (actually a lot!) questions about the program if you don't mind.

What did you think of this experience? Have you learned a lot with this internship? How many other applicants for the german engine had applied? What do the work concretely consists in? How much programming is ther to do? How is Atsugi? How far is it from Tokyo? How many other interns where there when you was working? Do you have any advice? Is there anything I should know?

I've been in Japan one month and really loved the place but I'm wondering if the programme's for me. Oh by the way I lived in Aachen one year as an Erasmus exchange student, so I also speak german! Anyway. I'd be very grateful if you could give me any piece of advice/info about the Asahi-Kasei program before friday, because I have to give my final answer this friday.
Danke im Vorraus! Please email me at cassiusg@gmail.com

Best regards,

Matthieu Lux

Vilwarin said...

I wrote you an email answering your questions, since your comment seems somewhat unrelated to the fairy tale of Rapunzel...