G.B. Basile and Apuleius : First Literary Tales : Morphological analysis of three fairytales



Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Graeco-Latina Brunensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digitální knihovna FF MU
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.5817/GLB2018-2-6
Keywords Giambattista Basile; Apuleius; Pentamerone; Cupid and Psyche; The Golden Trunk; The Padlock; Beauty and the Beast; ATU; Propp; morphology of the folk tale; Difficult Task; Villain; Hero; Sought-For-Person
Description This paper compares two fairy tales The Golden Trunk and The Padlock from the collection Pentamerone by G.B. Basile and the Tale of Cupid and Psyche from the Apuleius’ Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass) according to a morphological analysis of functions (Propp 1968) and according to the Aarne–Thompson–Uther classification system (Uther & Disinlage 2004). The analysis is based on Canepa (2007: pp. 169, 199, 399, 404), translator of the English version of Basile’s Pentamerone, who maintains that four of the fairy tales in this collection contain Cupid and Psyche motifs and elements as well as Zipes (2000: p. 54), who includes these four fairy tales in the family of “Beauty and the Beast” tales. Following preliminary research, it was found that the structure of Tale of Cupid and Psyche is most similar to the Basile’s fairy tales called The Golden Trunk and The Padlock, which is also confirmed by the Jacob Grimm’s statement (1846: p. xi) and by comparative reading of A. Maggi (2015: pp. 25–27). In this paper, their findings are supported by the detailed structural comparison based on Propp’s morphological analysis with the emphasis on the function of the Difficult Task which mostly links together the three key figures (the Villain, the Hero, and the Sought-For-Person) and which is considered crucial for the dynamics and theatrical potential of the tales where the function is present. The further studies will focus on this function, the acting figures and the performativity of fairy tales in Baroque Europe.
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