Sunday, February 26, 2012

As similar as you never thought;" Cupid and Psyche" and "Beauty and The Beast"

I will start this blog with an interpretation of this beautiful sculpture of "Cupid and Psyche". This beautiful Western European Art dates back to 1787 and it is made by the talented sculptor Antonio Canova.This work of "Cupid and Psyche" is considered to be one of the best work by the exponents of the Roman School of Sculpture. Following the fashion at the time the sculptor brings with this sculpture an episode from the Greek tale "Cupid and Psyche", the moment when "Cupid brings his dying love back in life with a kiss" for this this sculpture is called "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss". The composition of the sculpture varies in smooth rhythmic lines the figure gives a sense of harmony and graceful gestures creating a decorative atmosphere. This magnificent work was a request of Prince Yusupov in Rome in 1796 now is in the Musée du Louvre (Lovre museum), Paris.

Coming back to my assignment comparing the story of Cupid and Psyche with another story with the same theme.Many tales have things in common with "Cupid and Psyche" like "The Frog Princes" "Urashima" etc. But immediately in my mind comes the tale "Beauty and the Beast" by Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont, even though they differ in many ways the story line of "Beauty and the Beast "is incredible similar with the great and most known  Greek love tale "Cupid and Psyche". 
Psyche is the youngest of three daughters and even the most beautiful of them. She is that beautiful that people forget about their goddess Venus. This makes Venus furious and jealous how a mortal could be more beautiful than her so sends her son Cupid to make possible that she falls in love with the most veil person. But when Cupid sees her and her beauty he fells in love with her as he sees her beautiful soul. From where even her name "Psyche" comes from Greek meaning "soul". Amazed from her beauty accidentally Cupid points his arrow and shoots himself instead and falls deeply in love with her. As her enormous beauty makes it hard for her to be married with a mortal her parents are forced to send her to the mountain where it is said that she would have to be married with a monster. Psyche finds herself in a beautiful palace, she has servants but never sees them and she would meet Cupid her master only at night but never sees him. When her sisters visit her they were dying from envy when they sow their sisters rich life but soon they got to know that she has never seen her husband so they tell her that voices around are that he is a horrible serpent and that she should see him and kill him to get her freedom back. When her sisters left Psyche was left with this terrible thought so she decided to see her husband. When night comes she gets a candle and a knife while he is sleeping but instead of a horrible snake she finds the beautiful god Cupid. Amazed she gets closer to kiss him but drops from the candle felt into him , awake and angry he flies away.While trying to see him she puncture herself with Cupids arrow and fell deeply in love with him. 

In search of her love Psyche has to accomplish many tasks given from Venus if she wants to get him back. In the end her curiosity puts her in the path of death only to be rescued by a kiss from her love Cupid. They got married and lived happily ever after. 

Beauty same as Psyche has older sisters who are less pretty than her and jealous of her. She was very beautiful and same as Psyche was admired by every one so they called her Beauty and Psyche was recognized after the goddess of beauty Venus. The similarities continue between this two tales while they are prettier than they sisters they are even different from them as rather than wealth they are more  interested in love,virtue and kindness. Both of them have a sense of curiosity even though Psyche has it more and puts herself in trouble , Beauty has it as well while they found themselves in a beautiful castle both of them had servants or heard music but never sow a living soul around them. Both of them had to see their "monster" only at a certain time not all the time. After a while both of them enjoyed and loved their "monster". Both Beauty and Psyche had to go and live with a monster as a sacrifice for their family. While Beauty and Psyche both had to see their masters at the evening Beauty on the side gets to know the Beast better and fells in love with his soul on the other side Cupid does not want Psyche to see him so makes her to believe that he is a monster so she fells in love with him and not for who he is.In both tales is elaborated the importance of having a beautiful soul instead of an enormous beauty. The sisters of  both Beauty and Psyche are that jealous about their happiness that they try to destroy it. Beauty and Psyche both ended marrying the kind , beautiful prince/god  and their evil sisters got the punishment they deserved  "Beauty and the Beast" and "Cupid and Psyche" lived Happily Ever After. 


 Maria Tatar,.. "The Classic Fairy Tales" , 1999,New York-London,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A 21st century Red Riding Hood

Before going to the assignment number 4 I would like to share this song with you. In class we talked a lot about little red riding hood and why this tale could be interpreted as sexual ,as well little big red riding hood as a pretty girl that the wolf really desires. Enjoy the song and the interesting picture.

Coming back to my assignment, I found this add with the theme of red riding hood and felt in love with it. I had always been scared of this tale and in a certain way i was annoyed why little red riding hood could  not be strong enough to fight the wolf. This add I think is great for the purpose that it is made. I think it is perfect because it even holds a message as well, in a way the red riding hood innocence, fragile and weak does not exist any more, now in the 21st century women are stronger, have more power and can fight the wolf back.So women even if they do not know how to fight the wolf back (the wolf personify an attacker the evil) you always can make a choice like to attend a martial art school get some lesion and leave happy, independent,stronger and secure.

This add is for a martial art school and i think is best described through the tale of red riding hood. If even red riding hood can fight and defeat through martial art the big wolf I guest we all should get some martial art lessons. 

This video is presented by the Ringling school of Art and Design 
They used the red riding hood tale to explain the importance of martial art, if you see carefully even the basket that she holds can be used as a weapon to defeat the wolf
 Animated  by Hyun-Ho Choi

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Psychology of the Fairy Tales

 Each tale follows a path and in this path shows the changes of a person in this journey. It delivers a message as we go toward in our path we develop, we grow, we change and in the end we come back as a different person. In the end of our journey we have collected so much and we have changed so much so we understand the world in a different way. But each journey of each person is different but the similarity is that everyone has to go through the journey everyone has to go through the experience, through this path and everyone will return in the end but he will return changed as a person that has done its journey and has learned all the important stuff. This seems more like the path of our life’s, this is our journey and each of us will live it, experience different things in different ways but in the end we have to go back  there where we came from.

This week our guest lecture Dr. Mazeroff introduced and explained to us the interpretation of fairy tales from the psychological perspective. And this as Dr. Mazeroff did explain could not be explained better than from the perspective and interpretation of two most important schools of thoughts Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Through they had different points of view on the psychology of how human mind function and perceive things or dreams, their ideas make you think. The first time that Jung met with Freud in 1906 they talked for 13 hours and as they would describe their talk as "interminable”.
The study of Myths and Fairy Tales started with Freud but not until 19 century. Freud believed that every explanation of fairy tales and dreams one would interpret as reflection of the persons own Id, Ego and Superego. Same as fairy tales dreams come from the persons subconscious. According to Freud fairy tales can be best explained in the psycho analysis of the explanation of( Id) that personify the pleasure, the( ego) the personifies the rational thinking, and the( superego) the moral behind every thought.

Jung interpretation of fairy tales goes through many psychological concepts such as the collective unconsciousness, the archetype, the synchronicity and the complex. The collective unconscious as a repository of racial memories encoded in cells and passed genetically. So according to Jung even though we are from different part of the world we do not share the same culture, language or religion, we embody same component of unconscious. Archetypes emerge in fairy tales or dreams for example the “shadow” that personify part of us that it is negative or underdeveloped, etc. Despite our diversity we all perceive the same archetype figure described in fairy tales such as the “evil step-mother” etc. Jung accepts that every detail in fairy tales has a purpose and delivers a message.

Fairy tales, explain phenomena that connect the present with the past, teaches lessons and delivers messages. According to Freud fairy tales express underlying conflict and developmental issue. According to Jung fairy tale express growth and transformation.
We can see dreams personalized in Fairy tales and Fairy tales personalized in dreams.

I would like to thank Dr. Mazeroff for his interesting lecture. And for all the interested in Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud ideas and how they affected each other, I would recommend the  new movie “ A Dangerous Method” .

Dr. Mazeroff’s lecture
Class notes

Monday, February 6, 2012

“Imagination is more important than knowledge“ Here the fairy tale definition starts

And so said by an excellent mind like that of Albert Einstein this quote makes more sense while talking about fairy tale. Knowledge has limits, imagination does not, it embraces everything in the world. One thing that fairy tales need is imagination, free you mind no barriers you can go everywhere be everyone and do whatever you want. You can even transform beast or frogs into prince and live happily ever after. Imagination affect our life's in a way that we never thought about, it affects our feelings, our emotions as well as our intellect. For this fairy tales are like a school of humans inner problems, helping our consciousnesses to find the right solution for those problems. Imagination is the mother of fairy tales and as every mother she delivers love and happy positive energy without boundaries. Children find meaning of life through fairy tales but that does not mean that fairy tales are for children only, in fact fairy tales where made by adult for adult not for children but later on they got into the children world as they will survive longer there in the children imagination and help them in their process of growing up facing and dealing with the problems of the society and life it self. As Freud may characterize fairy tales according to human behavior has a form of escape to human suffering.
” Applying the psychoanalytic model of the human personality, fairy tales carry important messages to the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious mind, on whatever level each is functioning at the time”.Trying to explain the child the fairy tale from an adult perspective is wrong it destroys the child's imagination and perception on finding his own way through life . Every one has a different perception about tales, each of us find a character that likes more or percept the same scene in different form for this every one should have their own imagination and perception of fairy tales.

 One may ask the question: why do we need to see so many fairy tales in the end they seem like they deliver the same message? And we in fairy tale class will answer that : Tales tend to describe one and the same fact but this fact it is so complex for us so we need hundreds of tales until this fact is delivered in our consciousness. And that is why we have seen , heard or read so many tales but never got bored of them. Certain themes of tales go as far back as twenty-five thousand years before Christ. Even after all this time the basic motifs of tales has not changed . In Europe fairy tales used to be the prime form of entertainment for adults and children.
According to the author Jack Zipes fairy tales were widely used by aristocratic women in the salons. This was a kind of an imagination that one would make up to amuse the listener. Fairy tales are all different from each other but all of them have one thing in common; every single tale has an "image".
Where fairy tales come from? We have two assumption about the origins of fairy tale one that fairy tales was originated in a specific country and spread from there through other parts of the world through  migration , trade etc.
And the second assumption is that different tales were created in different parts of the world at the same time.Fairy tales where short so one could easily memorize and circulate, simplicity is another important fact that characterize fairy tales.
Here was a summary of some important fact about fairy tale. Who could have thought that fairy tales would have had a long journey and carry important messages to the conscious, preconscious and unconscious mind; indeed fairy tales have a long history, important purpose and do not forget "imagination" this is the key to positive feelings and to fairy tales.

Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment , New York: Vintage Books Editions, May 2010 .
Von Franz, Mary-Louise. The Interpretation of Fairy Tales. Boston: Shambhala
     Publications, Inc., 1996. Print.
Zipes, Jack. Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion. New York: Routledge Taylor
     and Francis Group, 2006. Print.
Class notes.