Fairy Tales 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

AGONNNYYYYY, misery, and strife.

I love this song, and I can't really even put my finger on a reason why I love it more than any of the others in the play. Nonetheless, even when I first saw a production of Into the Woods years ago, I was immediately drawn to this song. Sure the song is amusing, but so is the rest of the play. I think more than anything it is the tongue-in-cheek misogynistic humor and the interaction between the two princes that draws me to this scene.

The two princes share their problems with their women, problems drawn directly from old fairy tales. Rapunzel's prince is saddened because he must climb a tall tower to reach his love, while Cinderella's prince is distressed because his damsel continues to flee from him into the woods. Both princes are absolutely perplexed as to why ANY woman would spurn the advances of such dashing young men. This confusion only deepens their heartbroken agony, and, being a musical, they are therefore required to sing about it.

The scene is amusing not only because of its absurdity, but also because of the shared confusion these men feel because their "loves" are not jumping directly into their waiting arms. As fairy tale princes, they are physically perfect in beauty and bearing, but unlike more traditional princes who are wholly flat, static characters, these two are not only confused by their predicaments, but also somewhat offended that these women do not see how beautiful and perfect the princes are. All these two poor men want is to be able to be with their beautiful princesses, but they cannot.

If only there were doors...

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