Saturday, February 18, 2012

Loves Role in Fairy Tales

Seeing as how Valentine's Day has just passed, I thought a good topic for the "Discussion" post would be love and how it plays into fairy tales. It might seem fairly obvious at first--a prince and a princess fall in love and get married and live happily ever after. But fairy tales are much more than that. 
My opinion on the matter is that love plays a large part in how many fairy tales turn out, but it isn't genuine love. More often it's just desperate. 
I mean honestly, if you think a princess who's been dead for 100 years is beautiful enough to kiss and marry, despite the 100 years worth of dust, dirt, and spider webs, then you really must be desperate. 
And what about in Cinderella, where all the prince knows about her is that she's a good dancer and has expensive shoes, yet he decides that's enough to make her his bride, and absolutely no one else can compare. 
My point is that I think that love is quite often confused with blind desperation. 
Now there are some other fairy tales where this isn't quite the case. There are some where the heroine and her beau get to know each other for a while, such as Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel. In Beauty and the Beast, they don't really hit it off at first, but they finally end up falling in love. Rapunzel and the prince, on the other hand, fall in love instantly. But I don't think it's genuine love in these stories, either. In both these cases, the heroine is trapped, and the only living being around happens to be the one they fall in love with. "Love without choice isn't love at all." (Gotta love Beth Revis!)
This is one reason why I love retellings. They elaborate on the story, and twist the romance into something a little less twisted than the original. Here are some of my favorite retellings with this beautiful, REAL fairy tale love: 

What are your thoughts on loves role in fairy tales? 
Do you think there's real love in fairy tales? 
What are your favorite retellings with strong romance?

Have you signed up for the Fairy Tales Retold Challenge?

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