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July 5th, 2010

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07:47 pm - Fairy-tale question: voiceless main character
Okay, random-seeming question is random:

I'm looking for fairy or folk tales in which the protagonist (I'm guessing most will be female but I'm looking for either gender and would be *fascinated* if anyone gives me a story with a male protag) spends most of the story unable to speak, either from a spell or by choice or because of a vow...you get the picture.

Examples: The Little Mermaid; The Six Swans.
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Date:July 6th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
Trusty John doesn't spend most of the story unable to speak, but keeping silent is a very important part of the story. (This is one of my favourite fairy tales)
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Date:July 6th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I had never read that one before, and I like it quite a lot. :)

(And your icon is making me wonder whether The Steadfast Tin Soldier might sort of count in this category; I must read it again.)
[User Picture]
Date:July 6th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
Hmmm. Sadly I don't know of anything that would fit the criteria of fairy/folk tales, but your request reminds me of a book I loved as a kid, The King's Shadow.
Date:July 6th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
There's Philomela (a rather nasty story, but it is Greek).

Also, Jorinde and Joringel (Arne-Thompson type 405); The Love for Three Oranges (somewhat racist in its assumptions), and Sleeping Beauty (if you count being asleep).

Oddly enough, Snow White and Rose Red has a prince enchanted as a bear, but he can speak, and the Frog Prince can speak, too. Male characters under enchantments seem more likely to keep their voices... Though I think I'm right in saying that Rillian in "The Silver Chair" can't speak when the Witch takes him out to ride in the Overlands?
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Date:July 6th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, Philomela! I should've thought of that story. Thank you for the other two suggestions; both very interesting (I love Jorinde and Joringel, but hadn't thought of it in this context).

You're right about Rillian--I believe he's even convinced that he must not speak when they're in the Overlands in order to prevent a spell from being unraveled! Very traditional, but with the genders reversed.

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