Abstract

Attempting to guess the name of the dwarf who spun straw into gold and now claims her child, the queen in "Rumpelstiltskin" first gives the names of the three Magi, followed by three names connoting disease and deformity. This article argues that these incorrect guesses are psychologically more significant than Rumpelstiltskin's actual name, insofar as they yield insights into the queen's role in the tale as constructed in part by Wilhelm Grimm. Grimm's addition of the incorrect guesses to the tale is analyzed in the context of nineteenth-century gender roles, disease and disability, and Grimm's own experience as a father.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-1802
Print ISSN
1521-4281
Pages
pp. 298-315
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-06
Open Access
No
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