It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Sondheim and Lapine’s Into the Woods takes the simple figures from fairy tales and weaves them into a world in which they have complex psychologies and rich inner lives. They create human characters with intense desires, compelling motives, and deep flaws. To understand why this iteration of characters standout from other adaptations, it is important to understand how they existed in the past. These sources dive into fairy tale character archetypes, provide a literary analysis of their stories, and apply psychological theories, helping to contextualize the inhabitants of Sondheim and Lapine’s woods through an understanding of their ancestors.
Since the ancient times, the fairy tale manages to catch the imagination of human beings everywhere in the world. Its appeal comes to us even thanks to reinterpretations, constant contaminations from different media, from the oral writing, from cinema to theatre, from advertising to animation. This article will highlight the key features of a very much analysed genre, after the most recent studies and will follow it also by referring to the new routes that it has embarked on in our time. Special attention is then paid on the woman presence and on her origin and evolution that she, in her most varied personifications – innocent girl persecuted by the fairy and by the witch – has suffered up to the latest rewriting of the fairy tales.
Stephen Sondheim's and James Lapine's Tony award winning play "Into the Woods" works well in a college classroom because of its ability to allow the audience to identify with a character as that character matures.
In this paper we attempt to interpret Little Red Riding Hood’s most famous variants in light of its recent film adaptations. With reference to René Girard’s theory of sacrifice, we will argue that the latest one of these, Catherine Hardwicke’s 2011 adaptation offers the chance to see in Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood” the result of a diachronical evolution in four steps of the misrecognizing narration of a collective lynching, a full-fledged scapegoating of an anonymous villager accused and persecuted as werewolf. We will find further support in Vladimir Propp’s and Alan Dundes’s contributions.
This collection of exemplary essays by internationally recognized scholars examines the fairy tale from historical, folkloristic, literary, and psychoanalytical points of view. For generations of children and adults, fairy tales have encapsulated social values, often through the use of fixed characters and situations, to a far greater extent than any other oral or literary form. In many societies, fairy tales function as a paradigm both for understanding society and for developing individual behavior and personality.
Journeying Through the Woods References
The setting of a story can impact it in subtle but strong ways. For Into the Woods, the setting of a dark forest provides the key to happiness for the Baker and his wife, it holds the sanctuary of Cinderella’s mother’s grave where she often visits, and Jack and Little Red Riding Hood must travel through it to get to the market and to the grandmother’s house. Each of the characters need something and to have it, they must go to the woods. But Sondheim and Lapine tie desire to danger in these woods as it is easy for the characters to lose their paths and encounter deadly creatures. They are not the first writers to do so, as stories involving journeying and the woods as a setting are often tied to character desire, dangerous obstacles challenging characters, and larger questions about life. These sources go into further detail explaining how the woods and journeying through it is a motif which greatly shapes the characters and the arch of their story.
Every journey into the woods becomes an intense and stimulating experience, because the beauty and mystery of Ryhope is counterbalanced by its chaotic nature and the threat of sudden death. [...]Holdstock's forest is, on the one hand, a setting for a Jungian drama in which the male heroes chase after their anima, flee from the overbearing presence of the father, and face their own fears, and on the other, it is the source and the embodiment of the sublime (Oziewicz 81-95).
From the visionary rebellion of Easy Rider to the reinvention of home in The Straight Story, the road movie has emerged as a significant film genre since the late 1960s, able to cut across a wide variety of film styles and contexts. Yet, within the variety, a certain generic core remains constant: the journey as cultural critique, as exploration beyond society and within oneself. This book traces the generic evolution of the road movie with respect to its diverse presentations, emphasizing it as an "independent genre" that attempts to incorporate marginality and subversion on many levels. David Laderman begins by identifying the road movie's defining features and by establishing the literary, classical Hollywood, and 1950s highway culture antecedents that formatively influenced it. He then traces the historical and aesthetic evolution of the road movie decade by decade through detailed and lively discussions of key films. Laderman concludes with a look at the European road movie, from the late 1950s auteurs through Godard and Wenders, and at compelling feminist road movies of the 1980s and 1990s.
Content for this page was created by Leann Mullen, lnto the Woods undergraduate dramaturg.
Jack Climbs the Beanstalk by Walter Crane (1898)
Before she had time to exclaim 'Oh, my gracious!' by Gustave Doré (1865)
Rapunzel by John B Gruelle and R. Emmett Owen (1922)