Date of Award

Fall 12-22-2020

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Department

Honors College

Faculty Advisor

Silvia Giorgini-Althoen

Abstract

Fairy tales are often thought to be solely for children as a means of education and entertainment. The literary fairy tale provided a medium that allowed authors to express their opinions under the guise of a story. This has not always been the case as literary fairy tales have been utilized as political instruments by authors and intended for a highly educated audience. Using fairy tales as a facade provided protection for authors, as outright criticisms against those in power usually resulted in dire consequences such as imprisonment or even death for the objector. The literary fairy tale provided a medium that allowed authors to express their opinions under the guise of a story. Understanding this allows one to interact with firsthand accounts of society and history. Analyzing Giambattista Basile’s and Charles Perrault’s variants of the tale commonly known as “Sleeping Beauty” give insight into the sociohistorical atmosphere of Italy and France during the seventeenth century.

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