Laureen Nussbaum

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in German


World Languages and Literatures

Physical Description

1 online resource (113 p.)


Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) -- Criticism and interpretation, Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) -- Criticism and interpretation, Ludwig Bechstein (1801-1860) -- Criticism and interpretation, Fairy tales -- Germany -- History and criticism, Witchcraft




Fairy Tales have been an important part of peoples' cultural heritage since time immemorial. From a very early age on, children hear stories about witches, giants, dwarf's, and magicians which make up their first entry into the literary world. Only recently have scholars begun to research just how much influence these stories have on children and how they might have a different impact on girls than on boys. This thesis will investigate the world of fairy tales in relation to their historical context and their differing relevance for male and female readers. I will examine the fairy tales of the brothers Grimm and of Ludwig Bechstein because these three scholars count among the most important fairy tale narrators in the German-speaking region. I will limit my examination to the witch in fairy tales because of all the figures she seems to have the most impact on the audience.


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