Marriage: Dream VS Nightmare

Within these fairy tales there are two very different viewpoints of marriage presented.  This idea that marriage is either a blissful union or a dangerous trap still exists today.  Almost everyone has heard of or experienced at messy divorce or a marriage that seems it would be torture to be in.  These situations are held up within the media as the stark opposite of the perfect love story.  The entertainment industry is filled with examples of pure true love that prevails against all odds.  This happily ever after marriage is shown in Beauty and the Beast, whereas Bluebeard acts as an example of a dangerous and menacing marriage.

When thinking about fairy tales the image that most likely comes to mind is the part at the end when the man and woman triumph and are rewarded with a true and pure love that seems as though it will last til their end of their lives.  This love is portrayed as above other average relationships and as being based on things much deeper than comforts or looks.  However, “‘Bluebeard’ stands virtually alone among fairy tales in its depiction of marriage as an institution haunted by the threat of murder” (Tatar 139).  This image of marriage may be more or less common than the previous, however, it is still vital that both sides are shown.  Bluebeard acts as a way to warn women that marriage may not always be everything its cracked up to be, which is not something often offered to women of the time.

Beauty and the Beast and Bluebeard are both stories of relationships that stand trials and have a woman involved with somewhat of a monster, however, that is just about where the similarities end.  Beauty and the Beast depicts a loving story based on trust and mutual respect, while Bluebeard shows a heroine outsmarting her truly evil husband in order to escape certain death.  They differ on their ideas about relationships between men and women so intensely that their remaining similarities are almost cancelled out.

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