Friday, July 24, 2015

Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays #2: The Six Servants

Hey there!  Welcome to "Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays," a new feature on my blog where I discuss about some fairy tales and folktales I have read throughout the years.  

The Six Servants

Type: Fairy Tale

Country of Origin: Germany

Main Character Hero or Heroine: Heroes

Recommended?: Yes!

In this unusual fairy tale, a young prince learns about a beautiful princess in a faraway kingdom and he wanted to marry her.  Unfortunately, the princess' mother, the queen, is a wicked witch who sets up several trials that the princess' suitors must pass in order to marry the princess.  If the suitors fail in these tasks, then the wicked queen will take their lives.  When the King hears about this, he forbids the young prince to go journey onto the next kingdom to win the princess' hand in marriage.  But then the prince suddenly fell ill and the king realized that the only way for the prince to get better is if he let the prince go on his journey.  So, the King let the prince journey to the kingdom and on his way, the prince meets several men who have strange abilities such as one man being able to eat twice his weight, a man who can see far and beyond, a man who has long legs that can take him to a far away location in a few seconds and a man whose gaze would shatter anything he sets his eyes on.  When the prince and his servants arrive at the queen's palace, the queen immediately gives them several tasks to complete before the prince can marry the princess!

I have love many tales from the Brothers Grimm, but this remains to be one of my most favorite stories from Brothers Grimm because it is similar to another fairy tale that I really enjoyed (The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship).  I really loved the way that the six servants were able to use their own abilities to help the prince pass the tasks given out to him since it's really interesting to see what the six servants could do with their abilities.  I also generally enjoy stories that feature a group of characters that have special powers and are able to put them to great use (is it a wonder that I am a huge X-Men fan)?

1. Which of the six servants was your favorite character?

I really enjoyed the characters of the fat man and the tall man because the fat man's power is something that relates to me strongly (I love to eat too) and the tall man's power is probably one of the most interesting powers I've seen in this tale!

2. Did the princess deserved the humiliation she received at the end of the story?

Yeah, I think that the princess deserved the humiliation she got at the end because she became too haughty when she was forced to marry someone she didn't know very well (although the whole idea about marrying someone you barely know is a valid excuse to not marry that person).  I think that if the princess had just found a reasonable way to get out of her marriage instead of trying to put one of the servants' lives in danger, then she would not have gone through the humiliation that the prince put her through.

3. If the queen was actually good, what other way could she have given her daughter's hand in marriage?

Instead of killing every suitor that couldn't pass her tests, she could have just sent them away unharmed.  Also, it probably would have been better if she had each prince spend some time with the princess and learn a lot about the princess so that the princess could marry someone she is interested in and vice versa for the princes.

4. Which of the six servants' abilities would you like to have?

I definitely would like to have the tall man's ability to stretch out his legs to far away places and be at that place in a matter of seconds!

5. What other fairy tales or folktales have you read that were similar to this story?

One of the most notable folktales I had read that was pretty similar to this tale was "The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship" as both stories had the main character be accompanied by several companions and each companion possesses a unique power that helps that main character through their trials!

The Six Servants by the Brothers Grimm

The Firebird

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