Cinderella Fleeing the Ball by Anne Anderson
|Aarne-Thompson grouping||ATU 510 A (Persecuted Heroine)|
"Cinderella", or "The Little Glass Slipper", is a folk tale embodying an element of unjust oppression and triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The protagonist is a young woman living in forsaken circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. The story of Rhodopis, recounted by the Greek geographer Strabo sometime between around 7 BC and AD 23, about a Greek slave girl who marries the king of Egypt, is usually considered to be the earliest known variant of the Cinderella story.
The Chinese story of Ye Xian, first attested in a source from around AD 860, is another early variant of the story. The first literary European version of the story was published in Italy by Giambattista Basile in his Pentamerone in 1634; the version that is now most widely known in the English-speaking world was published in French by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. Another version was later published by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms' Fairy Tales in 1812.
Although the story's title and main character's name change in different languages, in English-language folklore Cinderella is an archetypal name. The word Cinderella has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized: one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. The still-popular story of Cinderella continues to influence popular culture internationally, lending plot elements, allusions, and tropes to a wide variety of media. The Aarne–Thompson–Uther system classifies Cinderella as Tale Type 510A, Persecuted Heroine.:24–26
The oldest known oral version of the Cinderella story is the ancient Greek story of Rhodopis, a Greek courtesan living in the colony of Naucratis in Egypt, whose name means "Rosy-Cheeks". The story is first recorded by the Greek geographer Strabo in his Geographica (book 17, 33), The eagle snatched one of her sandals from her maid and carried it to Memphis; and while the king was administering justice in the open air, the eagle, when it arrived above his head, flung the sandal into his lap; and the king, stirred both by the beautiful shape of the sandal and by the strangeness of the occurrence, sent men in all directions into the country in quest of the woman who wore the sandal; and when she was found in the city of Naucratis, she was brought up to Memphis, became the wife of the king ...
The same story is also later reported by the Roman orator Aelian (ca. 175–ca. 235) in his Miscellaneous History, which was written entirely in Greek. Aelian's story closely resembles the story told by Strabo, but adds that the name of the pharaoh in question was Psammetichus. Aelian's account indicates that the story of Rhodopis remained popular throughout antiquity.
Herodotus, some five centuries before Strabo, records a popular legend about a possibly-related courtesan named Rhodopis in his Histories,:27 claiming that Rhodopis came from Thrace, and was the slave of Iadmon of Samos, and a fellow-slave of the story-teller Aesop and that she was taken to Egypt in the time of Pharaoh Amasis, and freed there for a large sum by Charaxus of Mytilene, brother of Sappho the lyric poet.:27–28
Aspasia of Phocaea
A second predecessor for the Cinderella character, hailing from late Antiquity, may be Aspasia of Phocaea. Her story is told in Aelian's Varia Storia: orphaned in early childhood and raised by her father, Aspasia, despite living in poverty, has dreamt of meeting a noble man. As she dozes off, the girl has a vision of a dove transforming into a woman, who instructs her on how to remove a physical imperfection and restore her own beauty. In another episode, she and other courtesans are made to attend a feast hosted by Persian regent Cyrus the Younger. During the banquet, the Persian King sets his sights on Aspasia herself and ignores the other women.
Ċiklemfusa from Malta
The Maltese Cinderella is named Ċiklemfusa. She is portrayed as an orphaned child in her early childhood. Before his death, her father gave her three magical objects: a chestnut, a nut and an almond. She used to work as a servant in the King's palace. Nobody ever took notice of the poor girl. One day she heard of a big ball and with the help of a magical spell turned herself into a beautiful princess. The prince fell in love with her and gave her a ring. On the following night the Prince gave her a diamond and on the third night he gave her a ring with a large gem on it. By the end of the ball Ċiklemfusa would run away hiding herself in the cellars of the Palace. She knew that the Prince was very sad about her disappearance so one day she made some krustini (typical Maltese biscuits) for him and hid the three gifts in each of them. When the Prince ate the biscuits he found the gifts he had given to the mysterious Princess and soon realized the huge mistake he had made of ignoring Ċiklemfusa because of her poor looks. They soon made marriage arrangements and she became his wife. 
The twelfth-century AD lai of Le Fresne ("The Ash-Tree Girl"), retold by Marie de France, is a variant of the "Cinderella" story:41 in which a wealthy noblewoman abandons her infant daughter at the base of an ash tree outside a nunnery with a ring and brocade as tokens of her identity,:41 because she is one of twin sisters:41 the mother fears that she will be accused of infidelity:41 (according to popular belief, twins were evidence of two different fathers). The infant is discovered by the porter, who names her Fresne, meaning "Ash Tree",:41 and she is raised by the nuns.:41 After she has attained maturity, a young nobleman sees her and becomes her lover.:41 The nobleman, however, is forced to marry a woman of noble birth.:41 Fresne accepts that she will never marry her beloved,:41 but waits in the wedding chamber as a handmaiden.:41 She covers the bed with her own brocade,:41 but, unbeknownst to her, her beloved's bride is actually her twin sister,:41 and her mother recognizes the brocade as the same one she had given to the daughter she had abandoned so many years before.:41 Fresne's true parentage is revealed:41 and, as a result of her noble birth, she is allowed to marry her beloved,:41 while her twin sister is married to a different nobleman.:41
A version of the story, Ye Xian, appeared in Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang written by Duan Chengshi around 860. In this version, Ye Xian is the daughter of the local tribal leader who died when she was young. Because her mother died before her father, she is now under the care of her father's second wife, who abused her. She befriends a fish, which is the reincarnation of her deceased mother. Her stepmother and half-sister kill the fish, but Ye Xian finds the bones, which are magical, and they help her dress appropriately for a local Festival, including a very light golden shoe. Her stepfamily recognizes her at the festival, causing her to flee and accidentally lose the shoe. Afterwards, the king of another sea island obtains the shoe and is curious about it as no one has feet that can fit the shoe. The King searches everywhere and finally reaches Ye's house, where she tries on the shoe. The king realises she is the one and takes her back to his kingdom. Her cruel stepmother and half-sister are killed by flying fish. Variants of the story are also found in many ethnic groups in China.
Sumiyoshi Monogatari (The Tale of Sumiyoshi)
The existing version of this Cinderella-like Japanese tale (Sumiyoshi Monogatari) dates back only the 13th century, but mention of it occurs in the early 11th-century Genji Monogatari (Tale of Genji). Sumiyoshi refers to a village and a shrine in the Osaka area. There in the shrine the Cinderella figure has taken refuge, when her lover, following a dream, is reunited with her.
One Thousand and One Nights
Several different variants of the story appear in the medieval One Thousand and One Nights, also known as the Arabian Nights, including "The Second Shaykh's Story", "The Eldest Lady's Tale" and "Abdallah ibn Fadil and His Brothers", all dealing with the theme of a younger sibling harassed by two jealous elders. In some of these, the siblings are female, while in others, they are male. One of the tales, "Judar and His Brethren", departs from the happy endings of previous variants and reworks the plot to give it a tragic ending instead, with the younger brother being poisoned by his elder brothers.
Tam and Cam
The Story of Tam and Cam, from Vietnam, is similar to the Chinese version. The heroine Tấm also had a fish which was killed by the stepmother and the half-sister, and its bones also give her clothes. Later after marrying the king, Tấm was killed by her stepmother and sister, and reincarnated several times in form of a bird, a loom and a "gold apple". She finally reunited with the king and lived happily ever after.
The Moon Brow (Persian: ماه پیشونی, mâh pishâni) is the Iranian version of the story. This version is about Shahrbanou, daughter of a rich merchant and her evil stepmother and stepsister. At the end of the story, Shahrbanou marries a prince; who falls in love with Shahrbanou after seeing her in a wedding.
The first written European version of the story was published in Naples, Italy, by Giambattista Basile, in his Pentamerone (1634). The story itself was set in the Kingdom of Naples, at that time the most important political and cultural center of Southern Italy and among the most influential capitals in Europe, and written in the Neapolitan dialect. It was later retold, along with other Basile tales, by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé (1697), and by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms' Fairy Tales (1812).
The name "Cenerentola" comes from the Italian word "cenere" (ash, cinder). It has to do with the fact that servants and scullions were usually soiled with ash at that time, because of their cleaning work and also because they had to live in cold basements so they usually tried to get warm by sitting close to the fireplace.
Cenerentola, by Basile
Giambattista Basile, an Italian soldier and government official, assembled a set of oral folk tales into a written collection titled Lo cunto de li cunti (The Story of Stories), or Pentamerone. It included the tale of Cenerentola, which features a wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters, magical transformations, a missing slipper, and a hunt by a monarch for the owner of the slipper. It was published posthumously in 1634.
- A prince has a daughter, Zezolla (tonnie) (the Cinderella figure), who is tended by a beloved governess. The governess, with Zezolla's help, persuades the prince to marry her. The governess then brings forward six daughters of her own, who abuse Zezolla (tonnie), and send her into the kitchen to work as a servant. The prince goes to the island of Sinia, meets a fairy who gives presents to his daughter, and brings back for her: a golden spade, a golden bucket, a silken napkin, and a date seedling. The girl cultivates the tree, and when the king hosts a ball, Zezolla appears dressed richly by a fairy living in the date tree. The king falls in love with her, but Zezolla runs away before he can find out who she is. Twice Zezolla escapes the king and his servants. The third time, the king's servant captures one of her slippers. The king invites all of the maidens in the land to a ball with a shoe-test, identifies Zezolla (tonnie) after the shoe jumps from his hand to her foot, and eventually marries her.
Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre, by Perrault
One of the most popular versions of Cinderella was written in French by Charles Perrault in 1697, under the name Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre. The popularity of his tale was due to his additions to the story, including the pumpkin, the fairy-godmother and the introduction of "glass" slippers.
- A wealthy widower has a beautiful young daughter; a girl of unparalleled kindness and sweet temper. The gentleman marries a proud and haughty woman as his second wife. She has two daughters, who are equally vain and selfish. The girl is forced into servitude by her stepmother, where she is made to work day and night doing menial chores. After the girl's chores are done for the day, she curls up near the fireplace in an effort to stay warm. She often arises covered in cinders, giving rise to the mocking nickname "Cinderella" by her stepsisters. Cinderella bears the abuse patiently and does not tell her father, who would have scolded her.
- One day, the Prince invites all the young ladies in the land to a royal ball, planning to choose a wife. The two stepsisters gleefully plan their wardrobes for the ball, and taunt Cinderella by telling her that maids are not invited to the ball.
- As the sisters depart to the ball, Cinderella cries in despair. Her Fairy Godmother magically appears and immediately begins to transform Cinderella from house servant to the young lady she was by birth, all in the effort to get Cinderella to the ball. She turns a pumpkin into a golden carriage, mice into horses, a rat into a coachman, and lizards into footmen. She then turns Cinderella's rags into a beautiful jeweled gown, complete with a delicate pair of glass slippers. The Godmother tells her to enjoy the ball, but warns her that she must return before midnight, when the spells will be broken.
- At the ball, the entire court is entranced by Cinderella, especially the Prince. At this first ball, Cinderella remembers to leave before midnight. Back home, Cinderella graciously thanks her Godmother. She then innocently greets the stepsisters, who had not recognized her earlier, and talk of nothing but the beautiful girl at the ball.
- Another ball is held the next evening, and Cinderella again attends with her Godmother's help. The Prince has become even more infatuated with the mysterious woman at the ball, and Cinderella in turn becomes so enchanted by him she loses track of time and leaves only at the final stroke of midnight, losing one of her glass slippers on the steps of the palace in her haste. The Prince chases her, but outside the palace, the guards see only a simple country girl leave. The Prince pockets the slipper and vows to find and marry the girl to whom it belongs. Meanwhile, Cinderella keeps the other slipper, which does not disappear when the spell is broken.
- The Prince tries the slipper on all the women in the kingdom. When the Prince arrives at Cinderella's home, the stepsisters try in vain to win him over. Cinderella asks if she may try, but the stepsisters taunt her. Naturally, the slipper fits perfectly, and Cinderella produces the other slipper for good measure. Cinderella's stepfamily pleads for forgiveness, and Cinderella agrees. Cinderella had hoped her step-family would love her always.
- Cinderella married the Prince as her stepsisters are married to two handsome gentlemen of the royal court.
The first moral of the story is that beauty is a treasure, but graciousness is priceless. Without it, nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.
However, the second moral of the story mitigates the first one and reveals the criticism that Perrault is aiming at: That "without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother."
Aschenputtel, by the Brothers Grimm
Another well-known version was recorded by the German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century. The tale is called "Aschenputtel" ("Cinderella" in English translations). This version is much more intense than that of Perrault and Disney, in that Cinderella's father did not die and the stepsisters mutilate their feet to fit in the golden slipper. There is no fairy godmother, but rather help comes from a wishing tree that the heroine planted on her mother's grave. In the second edition of their collection (1819), the Grimms supplemented the original 1812 version with a coda in which the stepsisters suffer a terrible punishment for their cruelty.
- A plague infests a village, and a wealthy gentleman's wife lies on her deathbed. She calls for her only daughter, and tells her to remain good and kind, as God would protect her. She then dies and is buried. The child visits her mother's grave every day to grieve and a year goes by. The gentleman marries another woman with two older daughters from a previous marriage. They have beautiful faces and fair skin, but their hearts are cruel and wicked. The stepsisters steal the girl's fine clothes and jewels and force her to wear rags. They banish her into the kitchen, and give her the nickname "Aschenputtel" ("Ashfool"). She is forced to do all kinds of hard work from dawn to dusk for the sisters. The cruel sisters do nothing but mock her and make her chores harder by creating messes. However, despite all of it, the girl remains good and kind, and will always go to her mother's grave to cry and pray to God that she will see her circumstances improve.
- One day the gentleman visits a fair, promising his stepdaughters gifts of luxury. The eldest asks for beautiful dresses, while the younger for pearls and diamonds. His own daughter merely begs for the first twig to knock his hat off on the way. The gentleman goes on his way, and acquires presents for his stepdaughters. While passing a forest he gets a hazel twig, and gives it to his daughter. She plants the twig over her mother's grave, waters it with her tears and over the years, it grows into a glowing hazel tree. The girl prays under it three times a day, and a white bird always comes to her as she prays. She tells her wishes to the bird, and every time the bird throws down to her what she has wished for.
- The king decides to ordain a festival that will last for three days and invites all the beautiful maidens in the land to attend so that the prince can select one of them for his bride. The two sisters are also invited, but when Aschenputtel begs them to allow her to go with them into the celebration, the stepmother refuses because she has no decent dress nor shoes to wear. When the girl insists, the woman throws a dish of lentils into the ashes for her to pick up, guaranteeing her permission to attend the festival, if she can clean up the lentils in two hours. When the girl accomplished the task in less than an hour with the help of a flock of white doves that came when she sang a certain chant, the stepmother only redoubles the task and throws down even a greater quantity of lentils. When Aschenputtel is able to accomplish it in a greater speed, not wanting to spoil her daughters' chances, the stepmother hastens away with her husband and daughters to the celebration and leaves the crying stepdaughter behind.
- The girl retreats to the graveyard and asks to be clothed in silver and gold. The white bird drops a gold and silver gown and silk shoes. She goes to the feast. The prince dances with her all the time, and when sunset comes she asks to leave. The prince escorts her home, but she eludes him and jumps inside a pigeon coop. The father came home ahead of time and the prince asks him to chop the pigeon coop down, but Aschenputtel has already escaped. The next day, the girl appears in grander apparel. The prince falls in love with her and dances with her for the whole day, and when sunset comes, the prince tries to accompany her home again. However, she climbs a pear tree to escape him. The Prince calls her father who chops down the tree, wondering if it could be Aschenputtel, but Aschenputtel has disappeared. The third day, she appears dressed in grand finery, with slippers of gold. Now the prince is determined to keep her, and has the entire stairway smeared with pitch. Aschenputtel loses track of time, and when she runs away one of her golden slippers sticks on that pitch. The prince proclaims that he will marry the maiden whose foot fits the golden slipper.
- The next morning, the prince goes to Aschenputtel's house and tries the slipper on the eldest stepsister. The sister was advised by her mother to cut off her toes in order to fit the slipper. While riding with the stepsister, the two doves from Heaven tell the Prince that blood drips from her foot. Appalled by her treachery, he goes back again and tries the slipper on the other stepsister. She cut off part of her heel in order to get her foot in the slipper, and again the prince is fooled. While riding with her to the king's castle, the doves alert him again about the blood on her foot. He comes back to inquire about another girl. The gentleman tells him that they keep a kitchen-maid in the house – omitting to mention that she is his own daughter – and the prince asks him to let her try on the slipper. Aschenputtel appears after washing herself, and when she puts on the slipper, the prince recognizes her as the stranger with whom he has danced at the ball.
- In a coda added in the second edition of 1819, during Aschenputtel's wedding, as she walks down the aisle with her stepsisters as her bridesmaids, (they had hoped to worm their way into her favour), the doves fly down and strike the two stepsisters' eyes, one in the left and the other in the right. When the wedding comes to an end, and Aschenputtel and her prince march out of the church, the doves fly again, striking the remaining eyes of the two evil sisters blind, a punishment they had to endure for the rest of their lives.
Aschenputtel's relationship with her father in this version is ambiguous; Perrault's version states that the absent father is dominated by his second wife, explaining why he does not prevent the abuse of his daughter. However, the father in this tale plays an active role in several scenes, and it is not explained why he tolerates the mistreatment of his child. He also describes Aschenputtel as his "first wife's child" and not his own.
Plot variations and alternative tellings
In some versions, her father plays an active role in the humiliation of his daughter; in others, he is secondary to his new wife, Cinderella's stepmother; in some versions, especially the popular 1950 Disney film, Cinderella's father has died and so has Cinderella's mother.
Although many variants of Cinderella feature the wicked stepmother, the defining trait of type 510A is a female persecutor: in Fair, Brown and Trembling and Finette Cendron, the stepmother does not appear at all, and it is the older sisters who confine her to the kitchen. In other fairy tales featuring the ball, she was driven from home by the persecutions of her father, usually because he wished to marry her. Of this type (510B) are Cap O' Rushes, Catskin, All-Kinds-of-Fur, and Allerleirauh, and she slaves in the kitchen because she found a job there. In Katie Woodencloak, the stepmother drives her from home, and she likewise finds such a job.
In La Cenerentola, Gioachino Rossini inverted the sex roles: Cenerentola is oppressed by her stepfather. (This makes the opera Aarne-Thompson type 510B.) He also made the economic basis for such hostility unusually clear, in that Don Magnifico wishes to make his own daughters' dowries larger, to attract a grander match, which is impossible if he must provide a third dowry. Folklorists often interpret the hostility between the stepmother and stepdaughter as just such a competition for resources, but seldom does the tale make it clear.
Ball, Ballgown, and Curfew
The number of balls varies, sometimes one, sometimes two, and sometimes three. The fairy godmother is Perrault's own addition to the tale. The person who aided Cinderella (Aschenputtel) in the Grimms's version is her dead mother. Aschenputtel requests her aid by praying at her grave, on which a tree is growing. Helpful doves roosting in the tree shake down the clothing she needs for the ball. This motif is found in other variants of the tale as well, such as in the Finnish The Wonderful Birch. Playwright James Lapine incorporated this motif into the Cinderella plotline of the musical Into the Woods. Giambattista Basile's Cenerentola combined them; the Cinderella figure, Zezolla, asks her father to commend her to the Dove of Fairies and ask her to send her something, and she receives a tree that will provide her clothing. Other variants have her helped by talking animals, as in Katie Woodencloak, Rushen Coatie, Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, The Story of Tam and Cam, or The Sharp Grey Sheep—these animals often having some connection with her dead mother; in The Golden Slipper, a fish aids her after she puts it in water. In "The Anklet", it's a magical alabaster pot the girl purchased with her own money that brings her the gowns and the anklets she wears to the ball. Gioachino Rossini, having agreed to do an opera based on Cinderella if he could omit all magical elements, wrote La Cenerentola, in which she was aided by Alidoro, a philosopher and formerly the Prince's tutor.
The midnight curfew is also absent in many versions; Cinderella leaves the ball to get home before her stepmother and stepsisters, or she is simply tired. In the Grimms' version, Aschenputtel slips away when she is tired, hiding on her father's estate in a tree, and then the pigeon coop, to elude her pursuers; her father tries to catch her by chopping them down, but she escapes.
Furthermore, the gathering need not be a ball; several variants on Cinderella, such as Katie Woodencloak and The Golden Slipper have her attend church.
In the three-ball version, Cinderella keeps a close watch on the time the first two nights and is able to leave without difficulty. However, on the third (or only) night, she loses track of the time and must flee the castle before her disguise vanishes. In her haste, she loses a glass slipper which the prince finds—or else the prince has carefully had her exit tarred, so as to catch her, and the slipper is caught in it.
The identifying item
The glass slipper is unique to Charles Perrault's version and its derivatives; in other versions of the tale it may be made of other materials (in the version recorded by the Brothers Grimm, German: Aschenbroedel and Aschenputtel, for instance, it is gold) and in still other tellings, it is not a slipper but an anklet, a ring, or a bracelet that gives the prince the key to Cinderella's identity. In Rossini's opera "La Cenerentola" ("Cinderella"), the slipper is replaced by twin bracelets to prove her identity. In the Finnish variant The Wonderful Birch the prince uses tar to gain something every ball, and so has a ring, a circlet, and a pair of slippers. Some interpreters, perhaps troubled by sartorial impracticalities, have suggested that Perrault's "glass slipper" (pantoufle de verre) had been a "squirrel fur slipper" (pantoufle de vair) in some unidentified earlier version of the tale, and that Perrault or one of his sources confused the words; however, most scholars believe the glass slipper was a deliberate piece of poetic invention on Perrault's part. The 1950 Disney adaptation takes advantage of the slipper being made of glass to add a twist whereby the slipper is shattered just before Cinderella has the chance to try it on, leaving her with only the matching slipper with which to prove her identity.
Another interpretation of verre/vair (glass/fur) suggested a sexual element—the Prince was 'trying on' the 'fur slipper' (vagina) of the maidens in the kingdom, as a 'Droit du seigneur' right of sexual possession of his subjects. The disguised Cinderella's 'fur slipper' was of unique appeal to the Prince who sought her thereafter through sexual congress (a variety of sources including Joan Gould).
The translation of the story into cultures with different standards of beauty has left the significance of Cinderella's shoe size unclear, and resulted in the implausibility of Cinderella's feet being of a unique size for no particular reason. Humorous retellings of the story sometimes use the twist of having the shoes turn out to also fit somebody completely unsuitable, such as an amorous old crone. In Terry Pratchett's Witches Abroad, the witches accuse another witch of manipulating the events because it was a common shoe size, and she could only ensure that the right woman put it on if she already knew where she was and went straight to her. In "When the Clock Strikes" (from Red As Blood), Tanith Lee had the sorcerous shoe alter shape whenever a woman tried to put it on, so it would not fit.
Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters (in some versions just the stepsisters and, in some other versions, a stepfather and stepsisters) conspire to win the prince's hand for one of them. In the German telling, the first stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off a toe, but the doves in the hazel tree alert the prince to the blood dripping from the slipper, and he returns the false bride to her mother. The second stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off her heel, but the same doves give her away.
In many variants of the tale, the prince is told that Cinderella can not possibly be the one, as she is too dirty and ragged. Often, this is said by the stepmother or stepsisters. In the Grimms' version, both the stepmother and the father urge it. The prince nevertheless insists on her trying. Cinderella arrives and proves her identity by fitting into the slipper or other item (in some cases she has kept the other).
In the German version of the story, the evil stepsisters are punished for their deception by having their eyes pecked out by birds. In other versions, they are forgiven, and made ladies-in-waiting with marriages to lesser lords.
In The Thousand Nights and A Night, in a tale called "The Anklet", the stepsisters make a comeback by using twelve magical hairpins to turn the bride into a dove on her wedding night. In The Wonderful Birch, the stepmother, a witch, manages to substitute her daughter for the true bride after she has given birth. Such tales continue the fairy tale into what is in effect a second episode.
In an episode of Jim Henson's The Storyteller, writer Anthony Minghella merged the old folk tale Donkeyskin (also written by Perrault) with Cinderella to tell the tale of Sapsorrow, a girl both cursed and blessed by destiny.
Many popular new works based on the story feature one step-sister who is not as cruel to Cinderella as the other. Examples are the film Ever After, Cinderella 3 and the Broadway revival.
Folklorists have long studied variants on this tale across cultures. In 1893, Marian Roalfe Cox, commissioned by the Folklore Society of Britain, produced Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-Five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin and, Cap o'Rushes, Abstracted and Tabulated with a Discussion of Medieval Analogues and Notes.
The Aarne–Thompson–Uther system classifies Cinderella as type 510A, "Persecuted Heroine". Others of this type include The Sharp Grey Sheep; The Golden Slipper; The Story of Tam and Cam; Rushen Coatie; The Wonderful Birch; Fair, Brown and Trembling; and Katie Woodencloak.
In popular culture
The story of Cinderella has formed the basis of many notable works:
Opera and ballet
- Cendrillon (1749) by Jean-Louis Laruette
- Cendrillon (1810) by Nicolas Isouard, libretto by Charles-Guillaume Étienne
- Agatina o La virtù premiata (1814) by Stefano Pavesi
- La Cenerentola (1817) by Gioachino Rossini
- Cinderella (1893) by Baron Boris Vietinghoff-Scheel
- Cendrillon (1894–95) by Jules Massenet, libretto by Henri Caïn
- Aschenbrödel (1901) by Johann Strauss II, adapted and completed by Josef Bayer
- Cinderella (1901–02) by Gustav Holst
- La Cenerentola (1902) by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
- Cendrillon (1904) by Pauline García-Viardot
- Aschenbrödel (1905) by Leo Blech, libretto by Richard Batka
- Das Märchen vom Aschenbrödel (1941) by Frank Martin
- Soluschka or Cinderella (1945) by Sergei Prokofiev
- La Cenicienta (1966) by Jorge Peña Hen
- Cinderella, a "pantomime opera" (1979) by Peter Maxwell Davies
- Cinderella (1980) by Paul Reade
- My First Cinderella (2013) directed by George Williamson and Loipa Araújo
- Cinderella (2015) by 10-year-old composer prodigy Alma Deutscher
In 1804 Cinderella was presented at Drury Lane Theatre, London, described as "A new Grand Allegorical Pantomimic Spectacle" though it was very far in style and content from the modern pantomime. However, it included notable clown Joseph Grimaldi playing the part of a servant called Pedro, the antecedant of today's character Buttons. In 1820 Harlequin and Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden had much of the modern story (taken from the opera La Cenerentola) by Rossini but was a Harlequinade again featuring Grimaldi. In 1830 Rophino Lacy used Rossini's music but with spoken dialogue in a comic opera with many of the main characters: the Baron, the two stepsisters and Pedro the servant all as comic characters, plus a Fairy Queen instead of a magician. However it was the conversion of this via burlesque and rhyming couplets by Henry Byron which led to what was effectively the modern pantomime in both story and style at the Royal Strand Theatre in 1860: Cinderella! Or the Lover, the Lackey, and the Little Glass Slipper.
In the traditional pantomime version the opening scene takes place in a forest with a hunt in progress; here Cinderella first meets Prince Charming and his "right-hand man" Dandini, whose name and character come from Gioachino Rossini's opera (La Cenerentola). Cinderella mistakes Dandini for the Prince and the Prince for Dandini. Her father, Baron Hardup, is under the thumb of his two stepdaughters, the Ugly sisters, and has a servant, Cinderella's friend Buttons. (Throughout the pantomime, the Baron is continually harassed by the Broker's Men (often named after current politicians) for outstanding rent.) The Fairy Godmother must magically create a coach (from a pumpkin), footmen (from mice), a coach driver (from a frog), and a beautiful dress (from rags) for Cinderella to go to the ball. However, she must return by midnight, as it is then that the spell ceases.
- Cinderella by Rodgers and Hammerstein was produced for television three times and staged live in various productions. A version ran in 1958 at the London Coliseum with a cast including Tommy Steele, Yana, Jimmy Edwards, Kenneth Williams and Betty Marsden. This version was augmented with several other Rodgers and Hammerstein's songs plus a song written by Tommy Steele, "You and Me". In 2013, a Broadway production opened, with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane, and ran for 770 performances.
- Mr. Cinders, a musical, opened at the Adelphi Theatre, London in 1929 and received a film version in 1934.
- Cindy, a 1964 Off-Broadway musical, was composed by Johnny Brandon and has had many revivals.
- Cinderella is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber that was scheduled premiere in the West End in 2020; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West End theatre re-openings are to be announced.
- Into the Woods, a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, includes Cinderella as one of the many fairy-tale characters in the plot. This is partly based on the Grimm Brothers' version of "Cinderella", including the enchanted birds, mother's grave, three balls, and mutilation and blinding of the stepsisters. It opened on Broadway in 1988 and has had many revivals.
Films and television
Over the decades, hundreds of films have been made that are either direct adaptations from Cinderella or have plots loosely based on the story.
- Aschenputtel (1922), a silhouette shadow play short by Lotte Reiniger. The short silent film uses exaggerated figures and has no background, which creates a stark look. The film shows Aschenputtel's step-sisters graphically hacking their feet off in order to fit into the glass slipper.
- Cinderella (1922), an animated Laugh-O-Gram produced by Walt Disney, first released on December 6, 1922. This film was about seven and half minutes long.
- Cinderella (1925), an animated short film directed by Walter Lantz, produced by Bray Studios Inc.
- A Kick for Cinderella (1925), an animated short film directed by Bud Fisher, in the Mutt and Jeff series of comic strip adaptations.
- Cinderella Blues (1931), a Van Beuren animated short film featuring a feline version of the Cinderella character.
- Poor Cinderella (1934), Fleischer Studios' first color cartoon and only appearance of Betty Boop in color during the Fleischer era.
- A Coch For Cinderella (1937) - Jam Handy, Cervolet advert
- A Ride For Cinderella (1937) - Jam Handy, Cervolet advert
- Cinderella Meets Fella (1938), a Merrie Melodies animated short film featuring Egghead, the character who would eventually evolve into Elmer Fudd, as Prince Charming.
- Cinderella (1950), a Walt Disney animated feature released on February 15, 1950, now considered one of Disney's classics as well as the most well known film adaptation.
- Ancient Fistory a Popeye parody animated short film.
- Cinderella (1979), an animated short film based on Charles Perrault' s version of the fairy tale. It was produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studio.
- Cinderella? Cinderella! (1986), an episode of Alvin & the Chipmunks. With Brittany of The Chipettes playing the role of Cinderella and Alvin playing the role of Prince Charming.
- Cinderella (1994), a direct-to-video animated film produced by Jetlag Productions.
- Cinderella the Cat (2017), Italian animated film directed by Alessandro Rak
- Cinderella and the Secret Prince (2018), American animated film directed by Lynne Southerland.
- The story was retold as part of the episode "Grimm Job" of the American animated TV series Family Guy (season 12, episode 10), with Lois as Cinderella, Peter as Prince Charming, Mayor West as the fairy godmother, Lois's mother as the wicked step-mother, and Meg and Stewie as the step-sisters.
- Cinderella (1899), the first film version, produced in France by Georges Méliès, as "Cendrillon".
- Cinderella (1911) silent film starring Florence La Badie
- Cinderella (1914), a silent film starring Mary Pickford
- Ella Cinders (1926), a modern tale starring Colleen Moore, based on a comic strip by William M. Conselman and Charles Plumb, inspired by Charles Perrault's version.
- Mamele (1938) a Molly Picon vehicle made by the prewar Warsaw Yiddish film industry taking place in contemporary Lodz.
- First Love (1939), a musical modernization with Deanna Durbin and Robert Stack.
- Cinderella (1947), a Soviet film based on the screenplay by Evgeny Schwartz, with Yanina Zhejmo in the leading role. Shot black-and-white, it went through colorization in 2009.
- The Glass Slipper (1955), feature film with Leslie Caron and Michael Wilding
- Cinderella (1955), German film
- Cinderella (1957), a musical adaptation by Rodgers and Hammerstein, starring Julie Andrews as Cinderella, featuring Jon Cypher, Kaye Ballard, Alice Ghostley, and Edie Adams (originally broadcast in color, but only black-and-white kinescopes survive).
- Cinderfella (1960), Cinderfella's (Jerry Lewis) fairy godfather (Ed Wynn) helps him escape from his wicked stepmother (Judith Anderson) and stepbrothers.
- Cinderella (1965), the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was again produced for television, starring 18-year-old Lesley Ann Warren in the leading role, and featuring Stuart Damon as the Prince, with Ginger Rogers, Walter Pidgeon, and Celeste Holm (filmed in color and broadcast annually for 10 years).
- Hey, Cinderella! (1969), a television adaptation featuring The Muppets.
- Three Wishes for Cinderella (Tři oříšky pro Popelku) (1973), a Czechoslovakian/East German fairy tale film starring Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella and Pavel Trávníček as Prince. A cult film in several European countries.
- The Slipper and the Rose (1976), a British Sherman Brothers musical film starring Gemma Craven and Richard Chamberlain.
- Cindy (1978), This version of the Cinderella tale with an all-black cast has Cinderella, who wants to marry a dashing army officer, finding out that her father, who she thought had an important job at a big hotel, is actually the men's room attendant. Her wicked stepmother finds out, too, and complications ensue. Starred Charlayne Woodard.
- In 1985, Shelley Duvall produced a version of the story for Faerie Tale Theatre.
- The Charmings (1987), a spoof of Cinderella appears in the episode "Cindy's Back In Town" where Cinderella, portrayed by Kim Johnston Ulrich, makes a play for Snow White's husband Prince Charming.
- Cinderella Monogatari (The Story of Cinderella) (1996), anime television series produced by Tatsunoko Production.
- Cinderella (1997), Rodgers and Hammerstein musical starring Brandy Norwood as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Bernadette Peters as Cinderella's evil stepmother, Jason Alexander as Lionel the valet and Whoopi Goldberg as the Queen. Remake of the 1957 and 1965 TV films.
- Ever After (1998), starring Drew Barrymore, a post-feminist, historical fiction take on the Cinderella story.
- Cinderella, a British modernization featuring Marcella Plunkett as Cinderella, Kathleen Turner as the stepmother and Jane Birkin as the fairy godmother.
- The 10th Kingdom (2000) is a TV miniseries featuring Cinderella as a major character.
- A Cinderella Story (2004), a modernization featuring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray
- Another Cinderella Story (2008), a modernization featuring Selena Gomez and Drew Seeley
- Cinderella 4×4. Everything starts with desire (Zolushka 4x4. Vsyo nachinayetsya s zhelaniy) (2008), a Russian modernization featuring Darya Melnikova
- Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale (2010), a modernization featuring Ashlee Hewitt and Sterling Knight
- Aschenputtel (2010 film), a German film
- Aschenputtel (2011 film), another German film
- A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song (2011), a modernization featuring Lucy Hale and Freddie Stroma
- Once Upon a Time (2011), features Cinderella as a recurring character, played by Jessy Schram who made a deal with Rumplestiltskin who killed her fairy godmother right in front of her. In 2016, more of the story is shown in which Ashley, Cinderella's real-world counterpart, discovers her stepsister wanted to marry the footman rather than the prince. A different Cinderella in season 7, played by Dania Ramirez, went to the ball to kill the prince, not meet him.
- Rags (2012), a musical gender switched inversion of the Cinderella story that stars Keke Palmer and Max Schneider.
- Aik Nayee Cinderella (2013), a Pakistani modernization serial aired on Geo TV featuring Maya Ali and Osman Khalid Butt
- Into the Woods (2014), a live-action fairy-tale-themed adaptation of the above-mentioned homonymous musical play, in which Anna Kendrick's Cinderella is a central character.
- Cinderella (2015), a live-action film starring Lily James as Cinderella, Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's evil stepmother, Richard Madden as Kit, the Prince Charming and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. It is essentially a live-action reimagining of the 1950 animated film.
- A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016), a modernization featuring Sofia Carson and Thomas Law
- A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish (2019), a modernization featuring Laura Marano and Gregg Sulkin
- Cinderella adaptations on TV and in cinema are not just limited to female protagonists. The Sesame Street special "Cinderelmo" and the Magic Adventures of Mumfie episode "Scarecrowella" both feature a male protagonist playing the Cinderella role.
- Cinderella (2021), a live-action film musical starring Camila Cabello as Cinderella, Idina Menzel as Cinderella's evil stepmother, Nicholas Galitzine as the Prince, and Billy Porter as the Fairy Godmother.
- Cinderella (1919), Charles S. Evans and illustrated by Arthur Rackham
- The Rough-Face Girl (1998), Rafe Martin and illustrated by David Shannon
- Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story (2004), Tomie dePaola
- Ella's Big Chance (2005), Shirley Hughes
- Ella Enchanted (1998), Gail Carson Levine
- Just Ella (1999), Margaret Peterson Haddix
- Cinder (2012), Marissa Meyer
- Cendrillon (2008), sung by Hatsune Miku and KAITO and produced by Signal-P. This song is about Cinderella but with a morbid plot twist - Cinderella is a highly trained assassin, given the task of killing Prince Charming at the stroke of midnight.
- The hidden object game series Dark Parables uses the tale of Cinderella as the basis of its fifth installment, The Final Cinderella.
- Amelia Carruthers (2015-09-24). Cinderella - And Other Girls Who Lost Their Slippers (Origins of Fairy Tales). ISBN 9781473370111.
- (Italian: Cenerentola; French: Cendrillon; German: Aschenputtel)
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- Roger Lancelyn Green: Tales of Ancient Egypt, Penguin UK, 2011, ISBN 978-0-14-133822-4, chapter The Land of Egypt
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- Hansen, William (2017). The Book of Greek & Roman Folktales, Legends & Myths. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 86–87. ISBN 9780691170152.
- Strabo: "The Geography", book 17, 33
- Aelian: "Various History", book 13, chapter 33
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