Jillian Jayes was a normal girl. Well, not really, but don't tell her that. She loved nothing more than judo, skipping school, and watching the superheroes fight crime all over Gigacity. But when her father is killed by super villains and her mother insists they move out to the country, she's forced to adjust to small town life. It's tough going, but she soon learns that the smallest towns can hold the biggest secrets.
Part one of our superhero origin story. He runs! Can you catch him? You Can't, it says so in the song. Its the Thanksgiving Pie-Off, where a brother and sister see who can eat more thanksgiving pies. What kinds of pies? Key Lime? Also in there. Maybe it would be faster if you just listened.
A Little Red Hen is busy, and no one wants to help her make bread. When the bread is done, they all change their tune, but the Little Red Hen is all business. It's our take on this classic story, with fun songs woven throughout.
God is sending a storm to wash away the sins of man, and Noah has been chosen to carry out very specific instructions. One of the most famous Christian stories, and one of our favorites. Support the show at www. The classic fable of counting your chickens before they hatch, combined with a version of the Irish folksong "The Rattlin' Bog. Sing along if you can! A little bonus poem about Halloween being over. It's fun! Leave us a review on iTunes to support the show! His mother was a dog.
His father was a king. Know what that makes him? By the way, he's king of the dogs. This episode is ridiculous but the Dog King theme song may be our best work ever. Support the show by checking out our weekly sponsors and hitting patreon. Halloweeen time! Here is an only-slightly-spooky take on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow with original songs!
The Headless Horseman is coming Ichabod Crane finds out! Leave us a review on iTunes, it really helps out :. A boy, a cow, some magic beans and an unruly giant. Listen to Jack and the Beanstalk ad-free and support the show at patreon. In light of the impending election and the information coming to light about the candidates, we are re-releasing our updated take on the Emperor's New Clothes. Thanks for Listening! The classic story of the Princess and the Pea, retold with a fun song at the end! Max Goodname is back! This time around, some dwarves have dug too deeply and awoken an ancient evil.
Will Max, Wallace, Corly and their new friends be able to save the day? A bonus episode! In honor of Shel Silverstein's birthday, we've written and recorded five short and silly poems for you. A poem about a war between the Peanut Butter and Jelly Kingdoms. It has songs about sandwiches!
When a young boy moves from Dublin to a sleepy little village on the Irish coast, he finds new friends, new myths, and some strange magic. Get the book on amazon and support the show at patreon. The classic myth of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun. Guess what, it doesn't work out for him this time either. Neddy is the biggest fish in the small pond, and the biggest bully too. One day she tries to see what life in the big pond is like. Lessons are learned.
Songs are sung! There's a drought in the savanna, and tensions are running high between the striped and spotted animals. The mice have gathered and need a plan to stop the cat! One mouse has a plan, but is anyone brave enough to pull it off? Support the show and get our ad-free archive at Patreon. A King wishes for everything he touches to turn to gold. Adapted from the Hawthorne version of this classic Greek Myth. An updated take on the Emperor's New Clothes!
Support the show and have your child's name read at the beginning of an episode at Patreon. The classic tale of Little Red, a wolf, a grandmother and a woodcutter. The moral? Don't talk to strangers! There is a happy farm with happy farmers and happy animals and one sad dog. The dog doesn't feel useful Spoiler alert: he's useful after all. An original lullaby, guaranteed to make grumpy babies calm and calm babies sleepy. Do you like giraffes? This one has giraffes in it! The thrilling conclusion to the sage of Amazing Grace! Listen now and don't forget to support the show at Patreon.
A schoolyard artist, a schoolyard bully, a magic piece of chalk, and a very real T-Rex. This week's contemporary fairy tale is full of fun, danger, and magic. Safe for kids of all ages, but the T-Rex roar can be a little scary :. In the tradition of Shel Silverstein, here's a fun poem about deciding what you want to be when you grow up! A young man is shipwrecked in the middle of the Pacific ocean. He finds himself saved by an unlikely creature, one with long coral hair and a shiny Subscribe and leave us a review on itunes!
Goats, trolls, and some serious gruff. Listen to our take on this classic Norwegian fairy tale! Who will win in the great race between the tortoise in the hare? Place your bets, and then listen here to find out! Enjoy the new version of the classic tale told in rhyming couplets! It's one of our favorite stories and we hope you'll love it too. Making shoes can be tough work, but we all get by with a little help from our handy, tiny, magical friends! It's another new twist on an old fairy tale classic. We can't tell you which, it will ruin the surprise!
This week, we want to tell you the story about the origin of Hanukkah. This is a story from the Jewish Faith, and it's well loved all around the world. We hope you like it! This week, we want to tell you the story about the origin of Christmas. A new story that deals with how we see ourselves, what we are, and what we wish we could be. Give a listen and support our show at storiespodcast.
Hungry kids, hungry witches, houses made of candy and charming songs. Listen to our version of the family classic Hansel and Gretel, and support our show at storiespodcast. A mighty lion and a humble mouse. They're very different, but that doesn't mean one is better than the other. Listen to our take on this classic tale for fun songs and a big heart. One little girl, a handful of pumpkin seeds, and some halloween magic.
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Listen to the episode now and support us by going to patreon. This week we tell you a spin on the classic story of the ugly duckling. Remember everyone, beauty is only feather deep! Support the show on patreon. This week we have the classic cautionary tale. You can cry wolf all you want, but what happens when you come face to face with the real thing? One has been working all year saving up food for the winter.
The other is a grasshopper. Learn the value of hard work and foresight in our version of this classic fable, and support the show by going to patreon. Listen to this episode featuring the classic Three Little Pigs or we'll huff and we'll puff and we'll blow your house down :. And check out GoPlayPretend. Some porridge is too hot, some porridge isn't hot enough! It's the classic tale of happy mediums this week when we bring you Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
The classic tale of the Velveteen Rabbit. Animals, Scarlet Fever, Fairies, this story has it all. Max Goodname is back in action! This time, the king wants to send the young knight and his wizard pal Wallace Q. Wallace up against the dreaded Basilisk. Along the way, they'll meet up with their cleric friend, Corly Anders, and maybe make a few new friends too. The Dread Dragon Drogogard is terrorizing princes and destroying castles, and only the Tooth Fairy Dentina can save the day. A followup to the wildly popular "Secret Origins of the Tooth Fairy.
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Hexacorns are being poached, and the town of Majico2 has called in Amazing Grace Green to help bring the poachers to justice and save the wild Hexacorns. They've tried to scare her out of town but Grace doesn't scare easy. Make sure you listen to Amazing Grace - Every Creature pt. Inside of her branches, lives a magical race of Fairies dedicated to protecting the forest.
This is a simple and soothing bedtime story, perfect for younger children. Sophia is a snowflake who falls from the sky on a blustery February day. When she lands on the lawn of a neighborhood boy, she calls on her big family to do him a big favor. In the black depths of space, where star ships travel faster than the law, there is a new and wild frontier.
Colonists settle strange planets, pirates smuggle exotic goods, and bold heroes eke out livings with the sweat of their brows and the triggers of their blasters. In this brave new world, there is one girl dedicated to protecting the defenseless creatures of the universe. Today we bring you another interesting animal origin story from Rudyard Kipling, the author of the Jungle Book. How did the Camel get his hump? We have the answers in the form of this unique, vocabulary-enhancing just-so story. Have you ever wondered where the Tooth Fairy got her start? Why does she pay for old teeth and where does she get all that money anyway?
We have the answers in this charming fairy tale. Today we bring you an interesting animal origin story from Rudyard Kipling, the author of the Jungle Book. How did whales get so big? Where did their big whale throats come from? Joshua is a young ball with big dreams.
Will he grow up to be dunked through a hoop or kicked through the uprights like he dreams, or will he have a different, more special fate. The ancient Greeks believed that winter was brought on by a kidnapping and a sorrowful tale of unrequited love between gods and mortals. It may not be true, but that doesn't stop it from being an awesome story! This week we bring your the classic Christmas poem by Clement Clarke Moore.
It's the perfect thing to play while your little mice are stirring from all the Christmas excitement.
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In his way stand some of the best warriors in the realm, but with a crafty wizard and a beautiful cleric in his corner, he just may have a chance. The grand finale of The Magic Armor. With the help of Wallace Q. Wallace, Max finally gets his chance to joust. Will he prove his skill and win his knighthood? There's only one way to find out! A young squire named Max Goodname dreams of knighthood, and he won't let a little thing like having no armor bring him down. Peter Rabbit and his sister Penny venture into Mr. McGregor's Garden. Will the two naughty little rabbits make it out, or will they end up in a rabbit pie?
Our take on the classic tale of the fairest maiden herself, Snow White, inspired by the Brothers Grimm. Beautiful princesses, evil witches, an unlikely hero What more could you want? Find Podcasts. Refresh podcast On the Stories Podcast, we perform a new story for your children every week. Jun 17 Allan has the perfect plan to sneak the cookies from the special snack cabinet, but will he get away with it? Jun 12 Samuel is looking for information about his old family friend, Leonidas Smiley, and he's convinced that Simon Wheeler can help.
Jun 04 Goose does a favor for a wolf, and it comes back to bite him May 28 Edward G. May 22 Demigod Phaeton wants to be JUST like his father, Helios, the god of the sun, but he doesn't want to wait until he's a grown up! Apr 30 A grumpy tortoise and a chirpy mother robin meet on a sunshine-y spring day and argue about who has the best house.
Apr 22 Sam, Darnell, and Violet are back from April vacation, and they all had a great break! Apr 12 Maya and her mom just moved in with her mom's new husband, and Maya is NOT happy about it. Mar 24 Today is part two of our special St. Mar 17 Today is part one of a special St. Mar 11 This week's episode is based on a traditional Japanese folktale and it's all about two cats named Gon and Koma! Mar 05 This week's episode is based on a Bulgarian myth about what happens when Father Frost is nowhere to be found and an entire village is buried in snow!
Feb 25 Honey Bear is bulking up for hibernation, but a bee gets in his way. Feb 17 Scales the snake wants to win the hugging contest, but nobody will let him enter! Feb 08 Ms. Jan 29 In this story, based on a traditional Ethiopian fable, a very nervous young man named Abel seeks a magical solution to his struggles, but he needs to retrieve a very special ingredient first! Jan 22 This week's story is an adaptation of the classic Greek myth about the famous, superstrong demigod, Hercules!
Jan 13 This is a story about an absent-minded little lamb who follows a butterfly into the woods and finds herself invited to dinner with a fox Jan 01 Celebrate the start of with this adaptation of a traditional Irish story that truly has it all: singing, dancing, wolves, a fairy queen, and a pooka!! Dec 23 A hermit crab just keeps eating, and growing, his voice getting deeper! Dec 13 The door is open and someone needs to close it. Dec 03 Two Greek gods get into an argument and make a bet.
Nov 22 It's Thanksgiving! Oct 06 Today we bring you an original story all about what happens to Nellie when she tries to take a bit of old forest magic, a fairy, and keep it in a jar as a pet. Aug 29 The Brilliant Firefly is back! Aug 23 It's here! Aug 03 Today we find Dog King, Pickles, Rambo, and all of our other favorite canines in another episode! Jul 20 An old folktale from Uganda finds a Lizard and a Python performing together and then arguing over their lucky drum!
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Jul 09 This week's episode is the classic story from the Judeo-Christian tradition about a very small boy who goes up against a very big giant to save his people! Jun 23 Based on the old Turkish Proverb, a story about the dangers of judging by appearance and trusting too easily. Jun 11 This week, we celebrate the return of Mick Munter the Monster Hunter in a brand new story! Jun 03 What happens when Jon and Maria visit a village that doesn't share? May 27 The Dragon King is sick and needs a special cure that only Tokki can provide!
May 11 The class Hopi story of spring. Apr 22 The classic story of the lost axe and a fisherman's honesty. Apr 12 A story about how the grass is always greener and the pitfalls of wishing for the lives of others. Apr 04 A little bird is separated from his family and needs a place to spend the winter. Mar 20 Mr. Mar 05 Rats are plaguing a small village, but one musician has an interesting solution. Feb 23 The classic fable of the ant and the grasshopper! Feb 10 A boy is born with a golden screw in his bellybutton. Jan 25 Four animal musicians, abandoned by their masters, try to make their way in the world!
Jan 14 An old Irish folktale about a Fairy rath rath is an old Irish word for glade and some farmer who invade their favorite Hawthorne tree. Dec 31 The conclusion of book 2! Dec 22 The classic story of the Gingerbread Man! Dec 14 Jill has her toughest battle yet against the new villain known as Battlesnake. Dec 07 It's a Dinosaur Christmas! Nov 28 Book 2 of the Brilliant Firefly! Nov 19 Book 2 of the Brilliant Firefly! Nov 11 A silly poem in the style of Dr. Nov 04 A classic tale that originated in West Africa, featuring the trickster god Anansi the Spider. Oct 28 It's a Goblin Picnic!
Oct 20 This week we bring you the Haudenosaunee Iroquois Native American story on why the leaves change color in the autumn. Oct 10 A rhyming, singing salesman comes to town, fast talking about his miraculous cure-all known only as Snake Oil. Sep 29 Mick Munter is back, and this time he's on the hunt for the legendary Bigfoot!
Sep 18 A slightly spooky story from Old English folklore. He would probably have died if it was not for the fantastic beasts he met by chance in the forest.
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Your pain will soon come to an end! Kraljevitch Marko — Written by A. There was once upon a time a mother who gave birth to Kraljevitch Marko. She reared him, and placed him in a position to become a hero. He wore a wolf-skin cap pulled low over his dark eyes, his black moustache was the size of a six-month-old lamb and his cloak was a shaggy wolf-pelt. Once upon a time there lived a king who had three sons. Upon a certain island in the middle of the sea dwelt an old man and his wife. They were so poor that they often went short of bread, for the fish he caught were their only means of livelihood.
One day when the man had been fishing for many hours without success, he hooked a small gold-fish, whose eyes shone as brightly as diamonds. A man dies leaving his wife with child. Six months later she gives birth to a son. His story is not set for being like a long and quiet river. One year the wicked Winter Witch decided to stop Spring from coming on time and make Winter the only season on Earth.
Fairy Gardens — Written by Theodore P. Gianakoulis and Georgia H. Uncle Kostas, as everyone called him, had once been a prisoner of the fairies. McPherson in A long time ago was one Padishah who was joyless, for he had no son. One day dervish takes an apple from his breast and present it to the Padishah. He share it with Sultana and not for long time ago was born a Crone Prince Shahzada. What life will have young Prince? Will be he kindliness or greedy?
Lets read such a fascinating story. European Fairy Tales. The False Prince and the True — Collected by Andrew Lang A king learns that his son, the prince, had been struck by a gentleman after an argument over a game of tennis. United Kingdom. Czech Republic. Pastaris and the Giant — Collected by Teikas If you are trapped in a cave and a Giant is threatening you: better listen and obey.
The Egg-Born Princess — Collected by Friedrich Kreutzwald A queen told an old woman that she had two griefs: a new one, that her husband was at war, and an old one, that they had no children. Romania - Moldova. Wratislaw There was once upon a time a mother who gave birth to Kraljevitch Marko. Bosnia and Herzegovina - Kosovo. MacPherson Uncle Kostas, as everyone called him, had once been a prisoner of the fairies.
The mother duck expresses sympathy for the Water-rat:. The narrator, presumably Wilde himself, adds: "And I quite agree with her" The puer and the bird are carriers of the spirit, representatives, as it were, of the Great Mother and the Eros principle--exactly what is needed for balance in the one-sided world of this particular fairy tale and in the society for which it was written.
Here the egotistic protagonist, the Rocket of the title, unlike the Miller in the previous tale, gets what he deserves. Calling "The Remarkable Rocket" "an exploration of vanity," he writes:. Wilde, though often accused of vanity, did not approve of it. The vainest man he knew was Whistler, who called himself, with a pretense of jocularity, "the amazing one.
Eight years later he had written of the "fireworks" in Whistler's prose and painting alike. This, no doubt, is the painting Wilde refers to above and that he was thinking of when he wrote "The Remarkable Rocket. Ellmann comments further: "Now the 'remarkable' rocket, with all its fizzing, is a dud" The story then focuses on the fireworks that are to go off at the end of the elaborate wedding ball. Auden, comparing the personification of inanimate objects in a Grimm tale to the same in an Andersen tale, writes about the latter: "Here the action is subordinate to the actors, providing them with a suitable occasion to display their characters which are individual [.
Auden's comments about Andersen's "The Darning Needle" apply equally to Wilde's tale, whose Rocket has an egotism even greater than that of Andersen's Needle. We have a Catharine Wheel who declares, "Romance is dead," and repeats the phrase over and over because "she was one of those people who think that, if you say the same thing over and over a great many times, it becomes true in the end" If love is a theme in this tale, it is the self-love of the Rocket. When he is interrupted in his attempt to dominate the conversation, he forgets what he had been talking about.
The Roman Candle reminds him: "You were talking about yourself. I hate rudeness and bad manners of every kind, for I am extremely sensitive. No one in the whole world is so sensitive as I am, I am quite sure of that" Before the interruption, the Rocket had been boasting of his ancestry. The resemblance to the patriarchal god Zeus is important because the Rocket symbolizes patriarchy at its self-destructive worst. When the Fire-balloon warns him that he must keep himself dry, the power-driven Rocket deliberately bursts into tears, thereby destroying his ability to perform.
Here Wilde cannot resist a dig at overly sentimental romantics. He has the Catharine Wheel exclaim: "He must have a truly romantic nature [. In De Profundis Wilde was to define a sentimentalist as "simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it," Letters Unable to perform at the end of the ball, the Rocket rationalizes: "'I suppose they are reserving me for some grand occasion,' [. Instead, the next day a workman discovers him and throws him over a wall into a ditch, where he sinks ever deeper into the mud.
There he encounters a Frog who is as self-centered as he, dominating the conversation because he, like the Rocket, prefers to do "all the talking" himself: "It saves time, and prevents arguments. Despite all contrary evidence, the Rocket believes he has been put where he is "to recruit" his "health" and that "the Prince and Princess were married yesterday in my honour.
The Dragon-fly tells the Rocket there's no good talking to the Frog: "no good at all, for he has gone away. I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. After a conversation with a tolerant and generous female Duck the only true embodiment of the Eros principle in the tale , whom the Rocket dismisses as an animal with "a decidedly middle-class mind," two young boys come along. In his conceit, the Rocket believes they must be the palace "deputation," come to collect him.
Instead, one of them remarks on "this old stick" which, typically, the Rocket hears as "Gold Stick". They place the stick with the rest of their "faggots" and light them, in order to boil some water. While waiting for the water to boil, the boys fall asleep, the Rocket is heated sufficiently to go off and does, to the enjoyment of no one, for nobody is awake to see him see Fig. His send off is worth quoting, for it illustrates how the Rocket is a symbolic phallus:.
What a success I am! Then he began to feel a curious tingling sensation all over him. However, as I have said, nobody sees or hears him. He drops down, hitting a Goose on the back. Deluded to the last, the Rocket symbolizes what Jungian analyst Eugene Monick calls the "solar phallic shadow" Further, "the patronizing attitude is a clear indication of shadow solar phallos. While in fact the Rocket is hardly stronger than anyone else in the tale, he is a victim of psychic inflation--he is possessed by the phallus as "God-image" See Monick When this kind of inflation occurs, "Feminine relatedness must take a back seat on the bus" Monick What is needed is to confront the shadow side of phallus: "Admitting weakness paradoxically brings strength.
A modicum of humility does not destroy the effectiveness of phallos. A most bizarre and pitiful figure is that of Priapus, the Roman god whose enormous erection will not go away. Men who resist serious reflection on the pomposity and inflation ofpatriarchal assumptionsofsupremacy are priapic psychologically. Wilde's Remarkable Rocket is a phallic symbol in its most ludicrous aspect, as representative of some of the worse traits in the patriarchal male.
He has none of the Eros capacity for relatedness and connection. Totally self-absorbed, he projects his defects onto others, much like the judge and prosecutors at Wilde's trials were to do. More than he himself was aware, Wilde criticized contemporary society in a witty, delightful story that anticipates the social criticism of his comedies. Hopcke wonders "if it might not be that gay men are carrying Eros in all his masculinity for a patriarchal culture that has misperceived and distorted Eros into a feminine principle, something that women embody or are expected to embody for men but that men cannot or do not dare embody for themselves" Hopcke's comments are relevant to Wilde because in his fairy tales Wilde, a gay man, does in fact demonstrate the desperate need for the Eros principle in the patriarchal society of his day and, indeed, of our own.
Whether Eros is a masculine or a feminine principle, depends, I think, largely on the context--be it dream, folk tale, formal literature, or society--in which it is found or is found to be needed. As we have seen, Jung equates Eros with Luna, or the moon Mysterium Coniunctionis , considered a feminine symbol in modern Western culture. But Harding shows that this has not always been so. Some of the most ancient civilizations regarded the moon as masculine. The Iranian culture which preceded the Persian in the millennium before B.
Furthermore, "Some of the moon gods are actually androgynous, both male and female" Sinn, moon god of the Babylonians, is an example; ibid. In Wilde, as we have seen and as we shall see, very often the Eros principle is indeed embodied in a figure of the male gender. Peter Raby believes that in A House of Pomegranates , Wilde's second and final book of fairy tales, "Wilde is more consciously using the form of fairy-tale to address himself to an adult audience" Because Wilde also continues his themes of self-sacrifice and love, a consideration of the symbolism of the pomegranate is in order before we examine the four tales in the House of Pomegranates.
The pomegranate is connected to two myths we have already discussed in connection with The Happy Prince : those of Dionysus and of Hades-Persephone-Demeter. Sir James Frazer cites both myths as ones concerned with "the decay and revival of vegetation" Dionysus, of course, is well known as the god of wine, ecstasy, and divine madness who is worshiped by the female maenads.
Additionally and this is relevant to the first and the last stories in A House of Pomegranates : "The Young King" and "The Star-Child" , Frazer says that "in his infancy Dionysus occupied for a short time the throne of his father Zeus. Also relevant is that, in addition to anemones ibid. Perhaps a better known mythological fact is that Persephone was forced to return to the underworld four months each year because she had eaten a pomegranate seed. According to Rhoda A. Hendricks, "The pomegranate was the food of the dead, and those who had eaten of it could not be freed from the land of the dead" 48, n.
Wilde's use of the pomegranate is not limited to House of Pomegranates. They both conform to the pattern of "infant exile and return," which, Joseph Campbell in his monumental Hero with a Thousand Faces says "is a prominent feature in all legend, folk tale, and myth" Like Oedipus, Moses, King Arthur, and countless other heroes, both are raised by foster parents. Both go through their own initiations, both have their particular ordeals to go through, both have their own symbolic descents into hell, and both return with some kind of boon, transformed into a Christ-king the young King or a Saint-king the Star-Child.
They correspond to von Franz's definition of the hero as " an archetypal figure which presents a model of an ego functioning in accord with the Self. The young King goes through two initiations. The first is into the world of the palace, which has been compared to Tennyson's "Palace of Art" See Murray The son of the old King's only daughter by a stranger she had secretly married, the boy had been sent off to be raised by a goatherd after his parents died under mysterious circumstances.
At the age of sixteen, when his grandfather is dying, he is summoned back to court to become king. There, he is initiated into the world of beauty, to which he becomes as much a devotee as Dorian Gray. He virtually makes a religion of "the worship of some new gods" Complete Shorter Fiction He is found "gazing, as one in a trance, at a Greek gem carved with the figure of Adonis.
The young King also passes "a whole night in noting the effect of the moonlight on a silver image of Endymion" ibid. Adonis, of course, is a supreme symbol of male beauty Endymion is also a beautiful youth , associated with the red rose. Red roses sprout from the "dry thorn" at the story's end when the young King is transformed into a Christ-like being. Hadrian and Antinous are archetypal male lovers, and Antinous is alluded to in Wilde's homosexual story, "The Portrait of Mr. Also, there is no princess in the story. Ludwig too hated "tedious court ceremonies" Wilde, Complete Shorter Fiction and worshiped the arts, visual art as well as the music of Wagner.
What Hopcke suggests about gay men in patriarchal Western society, that they may be carriers of Eros, applies to this story. After the young King's second initiation he is able to bring Eros to his people. The initiation comes in the form of three dreams his descent into the underworld of the collective unconscious wherein he discovers that the three things that he especially looks forward to having at his coronation--"the robe of tissued gold, and the ruby-studded crown, and the sceptre with its rows and rings of pearls" --these three things are all gotten through the suffering and even death of less fortunate people.
The main weaver of the robe complains to the King in the first dream that the rich "give us such mean wages that we die" Not even the church helps: "The priest rides by and tells his beads, and no man has care of us" The second dream shows the young King a slave galley run by a black master. The youngest of the slaves this I believe would particularly appeal to the young King is forced to dive for pearls till he dies finding what is truly a pearl of great price, "fairer than all the pearls of Ormuz [.
The final dream is an allegory in which Death and Avarice argue over the fate of "an immense multitude of men toiling" to mine rubies for the King's crown Death eventually wins. Despite the contrary advice of his officers, the young King rejects the robe, crown, and sceptre:.
For on the loom of Sorrow, and by the white hands of Pain, has this my robe been woven. There is Blood in the heart of the ruby, and Death in the heart of the pearl. Telling everyone to leave, but "one page whom he kept as his companion, a lad a year younger than himself" another hint that he is homosexual , the young King takes a ritual bath, a symbolic baptism, a death to his old ego, a rebirth to the Self. He dons his former clothes: a "leathern tunic and rough sheepskin cloak," and for a crown he plucks a "spray of wild briar that was climbing over the balcony," bends it and makes a "circlet of it, and set it on his own head" Mounting a horse, he proceeds to the cathedral for his coronation, mocked by the people, to whom he tells his three dreams, as he had told his officers and as he will tell the old Bishop who is to crown him--three ritual tellings of the dream followed by his transfiguration, just as the three dreams were followed by his transformation.
So, as von Franz observes, in a different context, there is really a pattern of fours, and as anyone who has studied Jungian psychology knows, four is the number of psychic wholeness. Like all the others, the priest discounts the young King's experience, discounts, in other words, psyche and the message of the collective unconscious.
They all support the oppressive, patriarchal system, even the people, who would prefer to see their king dressed as a king, his ego identified with his persona, which the royal garb symbolizes. As Murray notes, Wilde's story has "submerged parallels to the Crucifixion" , n. Also, the people cry out, "Where is this dreamer of dreams? Christian Bible scholars believe Joseph is a type of Christ or the "Christ-soul, the Self struggling upward from below" Gaskell The dead staff blossomed, and bare lilies that were whiter than pearls.
The dry thorn blossomed, and bare roses that were redder than rubies. He stands dressed like a king in "marvellous and mystical light [. To be oneself is the goal of individuation, and the young King shows by example his own self-fulfillment. His ego has become the Self--a guide to his people and, on an unconscious level, to the readers of the tale. In his new guise as compassionate teacher, he has united the Logos, which he already possessed in abundance, with the Eros principle. That he has had no guide, no Wise Old Man, to council him is not too surprising, for as a young gay man this would have been his likely lot in contemporary life.
Very few, if any, homosexual role models were available. Wilde's story illustrates a profound modern truth: that the hero's struggle--the process of individuation--is internal.
Modern men and women cannot rely on sources outside themselves to gain psychic wholeness. The unconscious is the young King's guide and the figures there, in his dreams, point out the excesses and cruelty of his society, defects the Happy Prince saw only after death. Apart from Wilde's more sophisticated and pseudo-biblical diction, "The Star-Child" comes closest of any of Wilde's tales to resembling an actual folk fairy tale in plot as well as in theme. What Auden says about the Grimm and Andersen tales is true for this tale: "There is no joy or success without risk and suffering, and those who try to avoid suffering fail to obtain the joy, but get the suffering anyway.
Finally, and above all, one must not be anxious about ultimate success or failure but think only about what it is necessary to do at the present moment" As I have indicated, the Star-Child is an example of the hero archetype, and "the hero," as Neumann says, "is the prototype of the development of the individual" New Ethic The story begins with the traditional "Once upon a time," and in the coldest part of winter. Two "poor Woodcutters" are trudging through a "pine-forest" , so that we are immediately thrown into the symbolism of the unconscious, typical of fairy tales.
The atmosphere here, despite the bitter cold, is almost magical. The animals, as in "The Devoted Friend," have a discussion, this time about the weather. Wilde personalizes them in a way more typical of literary fairy tales than of folk fairy tales. The wolf, for example, is a bully who would eat those who disagree with him. A "beautiful star" falls, and hoping to find a "crock of gold," the Woodcutters rush to where the star fell There they indeed find a "thing of gold": a "cloak of golden tissue, curiously wrought with stars" When they discover the cloak contains a sleeping child, one wants to abandon the child as a thing of no worth.
The other shows the compassion characteristic of Jung's concept of Eros. He rescues the child while his friend marvels at his "foolishness and softness of heart" , traits usually considered feminine in patriarchal society.
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The compassionate Woodcutter's wife at first feels as the other Woodcutter. She already has too many mouths to feed. But she relents and takes the child in. The Opies observe that "in the most-loved fairy tales [. Wilde's tales, subversive as they are, are no exception to the Opies' observation. The Star-Child is in fact the son of a King and Queen; therefore, he is more beautiful than any other child in the village. Whereas the other children of the Woodcutter are "swarthy and black-haired," he is "white and delicate as sawn ivory, and his curls were like the rings of the daffodil" Significantly, Wilde compares his body to the "narcissus of the field where the mower comes not" The Star-Child intuits that he is of noble birth and, like the mythological Narcissus, admires his reflection in water.
However, the child's nature is hardly noble. Though the local priest tries to teach him to love the animals in "God's world" , the boy is cruel to animals, just as he is cruel to the other children, albeit he becomes their leader. If the young King had worshiped beauty in the form of objets d'art , the Star-Child worships his own personal beauty, again not unlike Dorian Gray.
When he is ten years old, his mother comes, disguised as an ugly, beggar woman, an embodiment of Eros seeking his love. He rejects her because she is lowly and ugly. This rejection of the Eros principle, of human compassion, prompts his first transformation--into an ugly creature, "foul as the toad," as the other children say, "and as loathsome as the adder" This transformation is for him what Campbell labels the "call" He goes into the forest symbolically into himself, his unconscious seeking the forgiveness of his mother. Like many heroes, he learns what it is to be a scapegoat.
Because of his looks, children mock and throw stones at him. Adults drive him away. Kosinski's boy is also a scapegoat because he is dark and thus taken for either a Jew or a gypsy. The Star-Child searches for his mother for three years in a world with "neither love nor loving-kindness nor charity for him. The only way he can pass the threshold is through being sold to "an old and evil-visaged man" for a "bowl of sweet wine" The man turns out to be "the subtlest of the magicians of Libya" , who takes the now thirteen-year-old through "a little door that was set in a wall that was covered with a pomegranate tree.
The dungeon is symbolic of what Campbell calls "the belly of the whale," "a sphere of rebirth" Campbell 90 , like the kiva of the American Pueblo Indians. From this dungeon, the boy is sent to perform three tasks: to find, successively, pieces of white, yellow, and red gold. If he doesn't bring back the gold each time, he is threatened with beating and finally with death. Not unexpectedly, he must search in the woods for the gold.
There he fails to find it until he helps a Hare out of a trap. The Hare, an animal helper such as is found in so many fairy tales, helps him find the gold each time, but each time when the boy reenters town, he is accosted by a hungry leper another scapegoat. Having learned empathy and compassion by now, the boy each time gives the leper the gold, even though he knows he can expect a beating or death. Instead of being put to death, however, upon passing the third test, the boy is transformed the second time. His beautiful looks are restored, and they now match his interior.
The people recognize him as the son of the king, who was to return on that very day, according to prophecy. He sees the beggar-woman, kisses and sheds tears on her wounded feet, and begs her forgiveness. He also clasps the "white feet of the leper" The feet here are symbolic because his attachment to them shows the character and extent of his transformation.
The feet therefore combine both masculine and feminine symbolism. Again in Wilde, the Eros principle is embodied in a male, but he has had to acquire the principle of connection, relatedness, and love. After the beggar-woman is revealed to be his mother, the leper his father, he rules over the city, banishing the evil Magician who ironically had been an instrument, a sort of necessary negative mentor, in his transformation. The new King also sends "many rich gifts" to his foster parents and honors their children He has also learned his vital connection to the animal world:.
Like the fourteen-year-old hero of the Grimm fairy tale "The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs," this thirteen-year-old has become king through prophecy and his courageous passing of three initiatory tests. He has become, like the young King, a symbol of wholeness, uniting the principles of Eros and Logos. However, Wilde does not end the tale here. Instead, he has the new king die after only three years, "so great had been his suffering, and so bitter the fire of his testing. This letdown is not unique to Wilde. Von Franz notes that in fairy tales "there may be a double end to the lysis [.
Von Franz explains this phenomenon thus: "These strophes at the end of a fairy tale are a rite de sortie , because a fairy tale takes you far away into the childhood dream world of the collective unconscious where you may not stay" While in prison, Wilde wrote the following:. The other half of the garden [of the world] had its secrets for me also. It is as if the thinking function in Wilde were at war with the intuitive function. He had intuitively created an image of psychic wholeness in "The Star-Child," banished doom, as it were, and then the conscious, logical side asserted itself, the side that perceived the actual world he lived in with all its poverty, illness, and indeed its sexism and homophobia.
Rather than leave the image whole, as he had in "The Young King," he injected the pessimism of the exterior world. Perhaps, as von Franz says, he knew that he could not stay in the "childhood dream world of the collective unconscious. Whether or not Wilde echoes the ancient custom of the temporary king who is sacrificed, a kind of scapegoatism, he clearly depicts other types of scapegoatism in "The Birthday of the Infanta," the story he felt was "in style [.
The story takes place on the twelfth birthday of the only daughter of the king of Spain, who still grieves for his wife, who had died within six months after the birth of their daughter. Here Wilde takes a satiric stab at the Victorian cult of death initiated by Queen Victoria herself upon the death of Prince Albert , for the King has had his wife embalmed and kept on a "tapestried bier in the black marble chapel of the the Palace. Wilde's description of the palace garden hints at some of the conflicts in the story. The flowers are haughty. The "tall striped tulips" are phallic symbols which stand "straight up upon their stalks," while the pomegranates are vaginal: "split and cracked with the heat, [.
In the middle are the roses. The white rose which the Infanta gives to the Dwarf is supposed to symbolize her virginity. In this intensely Catholic country, the rose would be associated with the Virgin Mary and thus, being white, would stand for "virtue, virginity, and love of God," according to Barbara Seward, whereas a red rose would symbolize the Virgin's "charity, spirituality, and annihilation of vice" 23 , qualities the Infanta totally lacks.
Love, charity, spirituality, a recognition of her own potential for vice her shadow side ,--all these Eros qualities the Infanta lacks while at the same time she possesses the negative Logos qualities of arrogance and cruelty. The Inquisitor, it goes without saying, is unspeakably cruel, but the cruelty of the King's brother is "notorious. The King, "wedded to Sorrow" , refuses to consider a second marriage.
Like the others, he is an example of the divided psyche. With such a background, it is no wonder the Infanta herself should be cruel, physically attractive and graceful as she is. She is the product of a patriarchal system that by means of the Inquisition murders countless heretics, gypsies, and since they are at war with the English, many Englishmen.
Because the individual and the collective shadow cannot be accepted by the ego, the individual or the community or nation at large attributes his or her own shadow defects to the scapegoat. The victims of the Inquisition fall into the first category. Of them, Neumann writes: "The fight against heretics, political opponents, and national enemies is actually the fight against our own religious doubts, the insecurity of our own political position, and the one-sidedness of our own national viewpoint" Since homosexuality used to be considered pathological, gays and lesbians would fall into the second class; yet since homosexuality in and of itself is not in fact pathological, and homosexuals are in fact a persecuted minority, they really should fall under Neumann's first category.
An English translation did not appear till , the year of the Stonewall riots and the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement. Wilde's personal history not only lends authority to how he consciously portrays scapegoatism in "The Birthday of the Infanta," but also lends credence to the unconscious contents of his tale that portray the scapegoat archetype. The Dwarf, of course, is the chief scapegoat. If anything, he has too much Eros, too much connection with nature apart from the haughty plants in the formal palace garden, almost all other animals and plants seem to love him.
Considering him an "ugly and useless child," his father , "a poor charcoal-burner," had been only too happy to allow two nobles to take him off as a source of amusement for the Court. And he is exactly that: "The Dwarf [. The Dwarf mistakes the laughter of the Infanta, with whom he falls in love immediately, as affection.
When he learns that she wants him to dance a second time for her, he concocts an impossible fantasy that she will run away with him into the forest. Certainly there was a great deal to look at in the forest [. In his innocence, the Dwarf has no idea that the "three barefooted men" are on their way to be burned as heretics--scapegoats just as surely he is a scapegoat.
Like the Star-Child during his wanderings in the forest, the Dwarf is ridiculed because he is ugly, a personification of shadow traits others project onto him. This is too much for him to bare, and he dies of a broken heart.
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