- What three wishes would you make upon meeting a magic fish? Would the wishes be for yourself, for someone else you know, or for others in the world around them. Now make three new wishes, one in each of these categories (you, someone else, the world). Discuss your reasoning behind each of your choices.
For myself, I would wish that I have everything needed to be happy. If I wish for, say, a million dollars, I may find out later that I don’t need that much money or that having so much money brings too many problems. Money and other things cannot guarantee happiness. Hence, I will wish for happiness.
In making a wish for someone else, I would make a wish for my parents – that they always have good health so they can enjoy life ahead without worrying about their health. And lastly, for the world, I would wish that every human being believes in living in harmony with the world around them. By making this wish, I am hoping that wars, terrorism and other conflicts that happen in the name of religion or race will end forever. In this manner, the world will become a safer place for all.
- The fisherman comments, “It will not end well. It will not end well. Asking to be archbishop is too shameless.” What does he mean by this, and what is he afraid will happen?
The fisherman is aware that his wife’s demands are wrong because they satisfy her greed. She is taking undue advantage of the magic fish. Rather than being grateful, she is asking for more each time. The fisherman, therefore, describes her demand to be archbishop as ‘shameless.’ The fisherman is afraid that the magic fish will punish her in some way for her greed.
- Discuss whether or not this fairy tale has a moral. Can a story have more than one lesson? Why or why not.
The moral of this story is that greed is never satisfied and leads to one’s downfall. The other moral is to value what we have, right now, rather than to constantly wish for something better.
A story can have more than one lesson for the reader. Having more than one moral gives the story complexity and thus allows the reader to enjoy the story on many levels. Different characters can be used to teach different lessons – that way, readers can identify with a character they choose. Having multiple morals allows the story to appeal to a wider audience.
- What is the plot and setting of the story?
A woman longs for some Rapunzel from a sorceress’s garden and begs her husband to get her some. When he enters the garden, he is caught stealing by the powerful sorceress or witch, Frau Gothel, who spares his life on the condition that he will give their child to her. The man agrees, and the child is handed over to the sorceress who brings her up alone in a forest, in a tower that has no door and only one window.
The sorceress enters through the window by telling Rapunzel to let down her long hair and then climbing it. A prince hears Rapunzel singing and comes back often to hear her. One day, he hears the sorceress asking Rapunzel to let down her hair and then sees her climbing it. He follows the same route and meets Rapunzel. They fall in love and decide to marry. The prince brings a strand of silk every day so Rapunzel can weave a ladder, and they can escape. But the sorceress learns of this, cuts off Rapunzel’s hair and then banishes her into the wilderness.
Taking Rapunzel’s place, the sorceress tells the prince when he comes to visit, that his Rapunzel is lost to him forever. The prince throws himself off the tower in grief and thorns poke his eyes, leaving him blind. He wanders miserably in the forest and is eventually reunited with Rapunzel and their twin children. Rapunzel’s tears cure his blindness and they all move to his kingdom to live happily for many years.
The story is at first set in the countryside and then moves to the forest.
- Whom did the garden behind the house belong to?
The garden behind the house belonged to the sorceress, Frau Gothel.
- What did the witch learn at the end of the story?
The witch learned that over possessiveness cannot win over true love.
- What did Rapunzel learn?
Rapunzel learnt to be more careful of what she said, and she learnt to survive on her own in the wilderness. She also learnt to experience a healthy relationship with the prince and her children.
- Look up the word “Villain” in the dictionary. Was there a villain in this story? Who was it? Did the villain win out?
The villain in this story was the witch. She did not win.
- What surprised you most in the play?
It surprised me that Rapunzel who had never lived outside in the real world managed to survive the wilderness.
- The Prince went through a couple of severe changes. What were those changes?
One of the severe changes the Prince went through was losing his eyesight and wandering around the forest helplessly. The other severe change was meeting Rapunzel again, having his sight restored and meeting his children.
- What is the moral of Rapunzel?
The moral is unhealthy, over possessive relationships are meaningless and that true love eventually triumphs.