I am all for strong, capable women. I also respect that the current trend in the industry seem to be agents seeking stories for strong women characters. However, I sometimes think that it is at the cost of male characters. So, I decided to make a fun little article about three of my favorite fairy tales and the males that deserve a little credit!
Let’s forget for just one moment the fact that Rapunzel becomes pregnant – not much to do, I guess, during those late night visits – and that’s how their secret was revealed. Then again, in later versions Rapunzel the stupid ditz just comes right out and asks the witch why the prince is easier to lift (I did say this was a homage to males, right?).
Let’s pay homage to our dear Prince who sought the female at the risk of being discovered by a witch. Who plotted and schemed to try to save his true love, and in the end was blinded for it. Whether he fell or was pushed from the tower and was blinded by thorns below, or the witch gouged his eyes out herself, it is still a testament to our forlorn Romeo that he suffered so greatly and wandered the world until he found Rapunzel once again and her tears fixed his eyes.
Oh, shucks, while we are at it, we might as well also throw in some respect for Disney’s Eugene from Tangled. He only got stabbed but he risked that death and while I don’t think the suffering was quite as great as the character he was based on it was still quite worthy.
The Frog Prince
I have tried many, many times to wrap my head around this tale. There are very few versions that paint a wonderful story. For this reason I think of all the male characters in literature, it is our dear Frog-ness that deserves the most homage.
The princess he falls in love with in many of the versions of the story is downright spoiled and absolutely mean! In perhaps the oldest version the brat actually throws him up against a wall!
While most of today’s retellings just say that the poor guy had to receive a kiss, let’s please return back to the original tale and remember that this guy had to convince the princess to basically sleep with his warty self for three days to break the spell. (Though in the aforementioned version, just hurtling the poor guy into a solid barrier was enough to do the trick.) It was only after he turned into a handsome prince that the spoiled princess wanted anything to do with him.
If the prince just wanted to break the spell I totally get the abuse, but the matrimony that takes place afterwards always boggled my mind. Dude, seriously?! She just tried to end you. She’s your true love?!!
(Honestly, I can’t see their marriage having lasted all that long.)
I am giving this story an honorable mention only. There’s very few if any versions of this story that I like. In one version, the prince is actually part-ogre and he nearly gets his wife and kids eaten. In another far more disgusting version the king actually rapes her after conveniently just finding her, and when he returns to have some fun again they “fall in love.” She even gave birth to his children while she was asleep!
Clearly this film got the Disney treatment in all of the best ways possible. It is only the Disney version of this story, then, that I think the guy deserves a little praise. Let’s have a round of applause for our dear Prince Phillip who took on Maleficent after having only just met the girl, and was almost locked away for all eternity. Oh and yeah, he fought a dragon.
… Ok, I really don’t mind the fact that when Disney made the movie Maleficent they just forgot the prince altogether. I’m fine with that.
I hope you enjoyed my really fun article. If you think of any guys that deserve some honorable praise in literature, please feel free to share in the comments and maybe I’ll do another of these articles in the future.