Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the king, and in order to make himself appear important he said to him, "I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold." Let's summarize this story. Rumpelstiltskin There was once a miller who was poor, but he had one beautiful daughter. Rumpelstiltskin is a fairytale popularly associated with Germany (where he is known as Rumpelstilzchen). But, as in all great tales, the exact interpretation is left up to the reader. The story of Rumpelstiltskin has few variations, and appears to be primarily contained to the European continent. The fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin by the Brothers Grimm There was once a miller who was poor, but he had a beautiful daughter. ); Copyright © East of the Web and contributors 2018. From Hansel and Gretel and Other Brothers Grimm Stories by KayNielsen, ‘Suddenly the door opened, and in stepped a tiny little man. The name ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ is thought to have derived from an old children’s game. The archaic German word ‘Stülz’ also means ‘lame’ or ‘with a limp’, and so ‘Rumpelstilzchen’ was conceived as a noisy goblin with a limp (directly translating as ‘little rattle stilt’). Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the king, and in order to make himself appear important he said to him, "I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold. The tale is more famously known to be collected by the Brothers Grimm as part of their book Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales). This change is significant, and arguably a mis-translation, as in the original German, the Grimms referred to Rumpelstiltskin as a ‘männlein’ (little man) as opposed to the word ‘Zwerge’, meaning dwarf. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. ", And when the girl was brought to him he took her into a room which was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel, and said, "Now set to work, and if by to-morrow morning early you have not spun this straw into gold during the night, you must die.". The tale was one collected by the Brothers Grimm in the 1812 edition of Children's and Household Tales. (Many variants listed here.). Then the queen began to lament and cry, so that the manikin pitied her. It takes the form of Aarne-Thompson type 500: ‘the name of the helper’, as in almost every variant on the narrative, the plot centres around the discovery of the name of a troublesome, though not necessarily evil ‘helper’. The imp has no interest in her wealth, but offers to give up his claim if the Queen can guess his name within three days…. And when the king came in the morning, and found all as he had wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller's daughter became a queen. But suddenly he came into her room, and said, "Now give me what you promised. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this. Rumpelstilzchen von den Brüdern Grimm, a comparison of three versions of the tale (1810, 1812, 1819), in the original German. This assistant is, of course, the Rumpelstiltskin character. The most famous version of the Rumpelstiltskin narrative was penned by the Brothers Grimm however, and it was from this tale that most subsequent folklorists took their inspiration. Article by Ty Hulse Read the Original Story According to Sara Graça da Silva and Jamshid J. Tehrani's research the Rumpelstiltskin stories are likely over 2500 years old, and possibly as old as the Indo-European's life on the Steppes 6000 years ago. But the manikin said, "No, something alive is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world.". The impish creature ‘makes gold’ with the young girl each night, and then demands her first born (which may very well be his to take). Rumpelstiltskin is a greedy man who has dark potentials, but he never does any harm without the other person’s consent. Folktales of type 500, and related tales, in which a mysterious and threatening helper is defeated when the hero or heroine discovers his name. Stiltskin's life deteriorated afterwards, and his reputation is practically ruined as he wishes vehemently that Shrek was never born. { window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter. You may imagine how glad the queen was when she heard the name. ", On the second day she had inquiries made in the neighborhood as to the names of the people there, and she repeated to the manikin the most uncommon and curious. A rumpelstilt or rumpelstilz was consequently the name of a type of goblin, also called a pophart or poppart, that makes noises by rattling posts and rapping on planks. A miller boasts to the king of his daughter's (exaggerated) domestic skills; in an effort to appear important, the miller tells him that she can even spin straw into gold. The meaning is similar to rumpelgeist ("rattle ghost") or poltergeist, a mischievous spirit that clatters and moves household objects. He had the miller's daughter taken into another room full of straw, which was much larger, and commanded her to spin that also in one night if she valued her life. The brothers transcribed these tales directly from folk and fairy stories told to them by common villagers. (function() { Giambattista Basile, a Neapolitain poet and courtier, published the first full-length printed version of the Rumpelstiltskin-type narrative in his Pentamerone (1634 – 36). Instead, the story revolves around a young woman (often depicted a lazy and ungrateful daughter), married to a King through dishonest means, and the self-seeking ‘goblin’ character that provides the dubious ‘aid’ (the tale of The Valiant Little Tailor also features a similarly self-seeking protagonist). window.mc4wp.listeners.push( Little does my lady dream Rumpelstiltskin is my name!"' There once lived a miller with his daughter. The Name of the Helper. The miller’s daughter promised her firstborn child to Rumpelstiltskin, but later did not want to keep her promise. Many readers see him as a selfish liar, but he has never lied in the story, nor has he caused any harm. It is only once the girl knows what to call the visiting imp (thus gaining masculine knowledge), that she is able to control her own fate. If Rumpelstiltskin is thus as wise and as powerful as the imagery would suggest, why does he then give the young woman a chance to escape her fateful promise, and keep her first-born? The King demands that the girl perform this act and shuts her in a tower filled with straw and a spinning wheel, threatening to kill her if she is not capable. Origins of Fairy Tales from Around the World, Rumpelstiltskin (Origins of Fairy Tales from Around the World), Old, Old Fairy Tales – Illustrated by Anne Anderson, Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Selected and Illustrated by Elenore Abbott, The Legend of Rumpelstiltskin – And Other Angry Imps with Rather Unusual Names, Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Stories and Tales of Elves, Goblins and Fairies – with Louis Rhead Illustrations, Grimm’s Fairy Tales – With Illustrations by Monro Orr, The Fairy Book – The Best Popular Fairy Stories Selected and Rendered Anew – Illustrated by Warwick Goble. 1. ", On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, "I have not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high mountain at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid each other good night, there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous little man was jumping, he hopped upon one leg, and shouted -. When the manikin came the next day, she began with Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and said all the names she knew, one after another, but to every one the little man said, "That is not my name. With Werner Krüger, Liane Croon, Wilhelm Groothe, Hermann Hartmann. Have you ever made a promise that you later regretted making? Such elements also suggest a ‘shadow-animus’ narrative, a coming-of-age tale, where the young protagonist is ‘trapped’ until they are able to grow into maturity by rebelling against their elders. The legend has been studied by many folklorists, the most notable of which has been Edward Clodd, who produced an entire book on Tom-Tit-Tot (the English name of the story) titled An Essay on Savage Philosophy in Folk-Tale (1898). Rumpelstiltskin was played by Robert Stadlober. A soldier risks his life to uncover the secret of twelve beautiful princesses. ", At first she said, "Is your name Conrad?". callback: cb Fischart (1545 – 1591) was a German satirist and publicist, and his game was the 363rd ‘amusement’ in his book. In the Grimm brother’s original 1812 story imp-man runs away and is never seen again. "I have nothing left that I could give," answered the girl. } Header illustration by Andreas Meyer. 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