If we think about “Rapunzel,” most people associate her with one of Disney’s many adaptations of her story; however, this fairy tale actually draws from real events in real life.
Brothers Grimm wrote the tale of Rapunzeel as a German folktale about an impossibly long-haired girl living in a tower with an unspeakably evil witch. Because there’s no staircase or ladder in this tower, she manages to climb by using her long locks like rope. A prince eventually hears Rapunzel singing her beautiful songs from outside and falls madly in love with her singing voice; eventually the sorceress notices and offers to allow him to come inside as long as he doesn’t kiss her; finally both agreeing together they tie knots forevermore!
At the outset of this tale, a wife who lived near a garden full of Rapunzeel yearns for it. When her craving becomes unbearable, her husband breaks into the garden to steal some from his neighbor’s crop; but, upon being caught by his witch neighbor who gives in to their demands for Rapunzel; Rapunzeel will only come their way if their baby will be named Rapunzel when born.
The sisters Grimm used this tale as the foundation of their 1812 collection of fairy stories entitled Kinder- und Hausmarchen (Children’s and Household Tales). However, Rapunzel also has connections to another classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen called The Snow Queen; according to some rumors Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind was inspired by Rapunzel when writing her character who has winter/snow/ice powers in The Snow Queen story.