Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bluebeards of Different Hues: Knight Goldbeard

Bluebeard Tales From Around the World

Yesterday I began a three day arc of discussing different beard colors in the Bluebeard tales group. I also discussed Barbe Rouge from France. Today is Knight Goldbeard's day and he comes from Switzerland. (Imagine that, a blonde Bluebeard from Switzerland!) This Bluebeard tale has elements that make it primarily ATU 312 although it could fit somewhat into ATU 311 and even ATU 955 quite comfortably.

Goldbeard woos three sisters simultaneously in this one, a rare occurence in these tales in which the women are usually consecutive instead. He woos and flatters and convinces them to keep their "romances" secret. Then within the span of a day, he lures them to a place in the woods and kills each of them, well, the first two that is, not a great loss since the two older sisters are nasty creatures. They are neither rescued nor resurrected. In fact, the final sentence of the tale is: "The next day the slain sisters were buried in the cemetery."

The youngest, who is lovely and is wooed primarily by Goldbeard's singing voice, is ultimately rescued by her brother. She doesn't break any taboo beyond keeping her "romance" with Goldbeard a secret and that taboo isn't implicit anyway. There is a very subtle implication that he needs to kill the three women in one day, but no magical or supernatural reasons are alluded to.

The tale is, of course, available in Bluebeard Tales From Around the World.

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