Showing posts with label Fairy Tales & Myths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fairy Tales & Myths. Show all posts

Brothers Grimm Redux: Frog Prince Analysis

Fooled the Young Princess
So I decided that I would read every Brothers Grimm story. Starting at the beginning, I read the Frog Prince or Iron Heinrich from my Bantam Classic purchased years ago at the used bookstore. The story was your typical fairy tale with a young beautiful princess whose the youngest of her family. She likes playing her golden ball which falls into the water. A frog says he'll get it for her but at a price. To say that Brothers Grimm runs like the Twilight Zone is an understatement. If anything, it's the other way around as fairy tales came before the Twilight Zone, quite literally almost 6000 years before. While reading the Frog Prince, I thought it would be interesting to see at which point the story truly got started. Was it when the ball fell into the water? The Frog makes a deal with her? The Frog shows up for dinner? Or when the Princess throws the Frog against the wall?

Gilgamesh's Enkidu and the Bible's Adam Similiarities

The oldest story on Earth has a lot in common with the greatest story every told. The oldest story, being, of course, The Epic of Gilgamesh and the greatest, the Bible, starting with the Book of Genesis. Both have strong male leads whose lives are in a state of proverbial bliss only to be disturbed by the love of a woman. In Gilgamesh, Enkidu is a wild man who gets drawn into Sumerian life through the love of a prostitute and in the Book of Genesis, Adam is seduced by Eve to break his bond with God and live by the sweat of the brow. When two stories use the same plot we some times call it "archetype" - a word used for a mythic element that speaks to a universal human experience.

Why it Doesn't Matter if Jesus Was a Real Person

Christmastime comes around each year and with it, age-old questions about life and lviing. One such question is about the historical Jesus. Did he exist or not? For many, it's as easy as pointing to a superhero comic book and saying, "No, of course, not." For others, they express loyalty to their religious convictions that attest to Jesus' superhuman feats. But a third answer emerges, which is my answer, that says it doesn't matter too much whether he existed or not. Here's why.

Revisiting the Parables of Jesus

The parables of Jesus tend to be overlooked by secular readers. Everyone except the faithful or the scholarly pay any attention to them. Yet, they continue to be a source of fascination in terms of form and function. Professor Amy-Jill Levine is a Bible scholar who found new appreciation for the parables as a Jewish woman and scholar. Since the stories were based on her culture, she claims that she and others like her, are in a better position to interpret them. Her claim: In order to fully grasp the function of the parable, one must have understanding of the context in which they were used for these stories didn't contain universal symbols that could be be interpreted by anyone. The pearl, the sheep and even thief of the night had a meaning that Jews, living at the time of Jesus, could understand.