Comscore

Into the Woods Observation

Showface Profile Photo
Showface
Broadway Star
joined:6/25/14
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/27/14 at 01:51pm
In the second act, Rapunzel confronts the Witch telling her how she ruined her chances of being happy. One if the reasons she said was, "You locked me in a tower for 14 years". This would make Rapunzel only 14 years old (I think the film changed it to 16 years according to the leaked script).

Now if the Witch took Rapunzel when the baker was only a "babe". That would make him around the age of 15-16.

Now, I know this is a fairy tale, and there is no need to over think. I just thought this was very interesting, and strange.

Also, if the Witch banishes Rapunzel to the desert, and she fetches her after the transformation, how does she get to Rapunzel. I mean, the Witch lost her powers, and I doubt she would just walk to desert (that is unless the dessert is fairly close to the Kingdom).

Again, I know I'm over thinking, I just thought it was interesting, funny, and strange.
I can't even! Ughh! Don't you...don't you understand? I'M IN TECH!!!
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/27/14 at 04:02pm
The Rapunzel age debate is a long standing one. It never states that the Witch locks her in a tower right away... She may have only locked her in a tower when she neared puberty, meaning Rapunzel could easily be in her mid-20s. The Baker, therefore could be in his late 20s... While quite different from how normally cast, not having a child before your late 20s several hundred years ago would be quite the scandal, so it fits.

As you said, we are also never told WHERE the desert is. Or HOW she travels. The desert could be several days worth of travel away, not several weeks.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/27/14 at 04:10pm
Further comment in re: Rapunzel:

Personally, I am fond of viewing Rapunzel's captivity and her relationship to the Witch in this way... After the Witch claimed Rapunzel, she took her and hid her away somewhere in the wood - a cabin or a cave maybe - and, perhaps, one additional reason that the Baker's father left in his grief was try to find his missing daughter. As Rapunzel neared puberty and her curiosity about the world grew, and so did her ability to leave, the Witch panicked and resorted to the tower as a last measure to not only keep Rapunzel safe from the harms of the world, but to keep her close by... Very much an extreme act, but rooted firmly in a feeling experienced by virtually every parent as their child grows.
Showface Profile Photo
Showface
Broadway Star
joined:6/25/14
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/27/14 at 05:51pm
"As you said, we are also never told WHERE the desert is. Or HOW she travels. The desert could be several days worth of travel away, not several weeks"

Makes since, but why would she want to walk. Why not just teleport there? Who knows? Maybe none of the characters really journey until the second act after the narrator dies. Before the narrator dies it was a fun fairy tale adventure, so if the narrator wants a character to be in the dessert at a certain moment, they wouldn't have to venture out to the dessert, they could just "be there". Make sense?

Then, when the narrator dies, the characters can no longer be there, which is why there costumes are all ripped and ragged, (from there journey).

Its just an interesting theory I thought of!
I can't even! Ughh! Don't you...don't you understand? I'M IN TECH!!!
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 12:28am
Quite simply put, you are reaching to create plot hopes where none exist. Th libretto specifies that the Witch pops out at characters, frequently surprising them, but no wprd in the script even hints at the Witch having the skill to teleport. A Magical Being does not posess ALL power, they posess a power or set of powers and you are projecting a power onto her the script actually VERY CLEARLY AND EXPRESSLY states she does not have. If she did, why would she have to climb Rapunzel's golden hair?
I think you will argue her disappearance in Last Midnight as her teleporting, but that is not the case... The Witch has surrendered the remaining Magic Beans and, as with what happened previously, she is being cursed by her Mother. She DOES say after a confrontation with the Giantess that if she still had her powers, she would not be "stuck here" with the other characters, but I take that to clearly mean stuck there at the mercy of a Giant with no way to defend herself and defeat her.

The phrasing of your Narrator theory makes little sense and would defy the entire story beforehand where each characters travels and adventures and crossed paths affect each of the others. You also seem to believe the Narrator to be a benevolent, God-like figure who is creating the story, when in fact the Narrator is quite the opposite. He is just standing outside of the story to tell it to us. He also has a VERY specific identity laid out and stated clearly in early drafts of the show with only one very brief segment of dialogue remaining to hint at what was a more major plot point.
ChairinMain Profile Photo
ChairinMain
Leading Actor
joined:4/2/07
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 02:02am
It should be noted that in the version of the script currently available for production, Rapunzel says that she's been locked in a tower "All my Life", not "14 years" which gives her a lot more leeway in terms of age. And yes, presuming the baker is no more than, say 4 or 5 when Rapunzel is born, then it is permissible to assume that he's at most in his early 30s.

Remember that at least 9 months pass between Rapunzel being banished and Rapunzel being fetched by the Witch. She is clearly impregnated by the Prince on his visit to her tower right before he goes to sing "Agony" (From his statements in the previous scene, we can assume that this is his first and only visit to her. Dude works quick.) Rapunzel is there long enough to give birth to her twins. The desert is described as remote so perhaps the Witch, after teleporting her there, simply decides to bide her time and take a long and relaxing journey to fetch her daughter back after a good amount of time has passed.

It is a little bit of a plot hole that the Witch has no noticed her powers disappearing in all that time, but you can invent around that. Maybe her powers have been slowly zapping but don't entirely leave until she zaps Rapunzel. Maybe she doesn't use them except for things she hasn't needed to do. Maybe she's been too busy enjoying being young again. I dunno. It's a GRIMM fairy tale. These things don't make perfectly lineary sense. I mean, have you READ The Twelve Huntsman, for example? Yeesh.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 03:45am
Yes, Chair! That particular line change is pobably the most "needed" change in the dialogue from the current revised version. I only have the original, published libretto at hand, so that one escaped my memory.
If we are being super technical about the time frame as far as when the Witch goes to fetch Rapunzel, I was say it is likely a bit less than 9 months, as she would have had been pregnant before being banished and because the Baker's Wife, who becomes pregnant AFTER that banishment, is still visibly pregnant after the Witch, Rapunzel and her Prince return. the Central Park production had a wonderful effect where the Wife becomes visibly and heavily pregnant as soon as the Witch transformed, but THAT drove me absolutely bonkers because it totally ignores that time frame.

Very true about Grimm's tales always having a healthy dose of nonsense... As far as her noticing, that always struck me in relation to the magic we DO see. We do not really see the Witch use magic for casual purposes... I mean, as I said before, she manually climbs up to Rapunzel and THAT is a strain to her. She generally only uses it to freighten and harm. The one exception that springs to mind is bringing Milky-White back to life... even that is completely self serving and a desperate move as the clock is about to strike 12. Perhaps regaining her beauty left her in SUCH a happy place that she was not out unleashing havoc and terror on others and Rapunzel just broke that in two,
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 09:36am
If magic was needed to retrieve Rapunzel from a far off desert, then she could have consulted someone else with magic. The Witch is never posited as the only one in the neighborhood with magic, notwithstanding that she is the only one in the story with power. If there are giants in the sky then there could certainly be wizards lurking around somewhere.

There are other ways to get somewhere besides walking and magic. There are, for instance, horses and coaches. The witch may be deprived of her magic but she is not necessarily destitute. She may have the means to travel. And given the apparently medieval European setting, there are deserts in Poland, Spain, Serbia and italy. Perhaps Rapunzel was exiled to Accona or Bledow.

(I am feeling inordinately literal giving this answer, but since you asked)
Updated On: 7/28/14 at 09:36 AM
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 09:55am
Re: European serring:
Seeing as how the Grimms were German and German, the forest setting for most of their tales - and by proxy, Into the Woods - would be the fabled Black Forect
Reginald Tresilian Profile Photo
Reginald Tresilian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/08
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 10:22am
According to Wikipedia, in the original Grimm tale, Rapunzel is locked in the tower when she's twelve.
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 10:48am
You don't lock a daughter in a tower before the onset of menses.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
ChairinMain Profile Photo
ChairinMain
Leading Actor
joined:4/2/07
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 01:39pm
So imagining Rapunzel ha been in that tower for 14 years, starting at age 12, then she's 26. Assuming the baker is no more than 4-5 years older, he's about 30. That seems logical.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 03:20pm
While we're on the subject (sort of), has anyone considered that fact that The Mysterious Man might also be the long-lost father of Jack? The script says he reacts in disgust when Jack mentions his mother, then he runs and hides when he hears her coming. Is Jack the Baker's half-brother?
Showface Profile Photo
Showface
Broadway Star
joined:6/25/14
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 03:27pm
^Interesting...when you think about it...the a lot of the characters have some family connection:

The Baker's Wife has a crush on her sister in-law's husband (Rapunzel's Prince)

As far as we know, the Baker has no reunion with his sister (Rapunzel) even though they are in the same scene at one point and he is one of her subjects

The mysterious man could possibly have fathered Jack (and who knows who else)

The narrator is the Baker's son (fan theory)
I can't even! Ughh! Don't you...don't you understand? I'M IN TECH!!!
AEA AGMA SM Profile Photo
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 08:26pm
Except that after the Witch takes Rapunzel she curses the father so that his "family tree would always be a barren one... you too, son." So if the Mysterious Man is fathering children after the curse it would mean it wasn't a very effective curse and the Baker and his Wife are having other issues.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
MagicalMusical
Stand-by
joined:9/4/07
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/28/14 at 09:01pm
The Witch does teleport at the end of “Last Midnight”. She disappears. Back to her mother. She doesn’t just turn back to old and ugly and then walk away.

The Witch maybe couldn’t teleport usually, but after she lost the beans the powers from that teleported her, or her mother's powers included teleporting while the Witch’s didn’t, so her mother’s powers teleported her.

The Prince could have impregnated Rapunzel even after “Agony”, before she got banished to the desert.

I have a question myself. Wouldn't Rapunzel bearing twins, before the curse ended, mean her and the Baker's family tree were not a barren one like the curse was supposed to make happen? Unless, it was ok that Rapunzel was pregnant but she could have lost the babies before they were born, but because the curse ended in time, she got to have those babies...?

Updated On: 7/28/14 at 09:01 PM
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/29/14 at 01:31am
The Wicth does not teleport HERSELF, which was the previously expressed theory. It was never in her powers. She is teleported by the curse and magic of someone else, so the Witch does not do it. It is done TO her as part of a punishment, which she deems better than remaining there at the mercy of the Giantess.. Hence why teleporting to where Rapunzel was banished is out of the realm of possibility for her ever.


Yes, Rapunzel could have been impregnated after Agony, meaning it was her first OR second encounter with her Prince. Remmber, it does happen within two days.

The Witch cursed the Baker and his remaining family. The Witch viewed Rapunzel as her daughter, just as Rapunzel viewed the Witch as her Mother. She loved her daighter and no intention of cursing her until she felt betrayed by her. You need to apply the logic of "family" as including adoption, not nuclear / bilogical family.

As far as the Mysterious Man fathering Jack, that is really an element of how it is cast. If you cast Jack as YOUNG, it is illogical. If you cast Jack as roughly the same age as a Baker in his late 20s, making them contemporaries, it is entirely possible. The show does tread heavily in the topic of infidelity. Again, Jack's age is never specified in the script aside from his describing himself as "a man now" and she says that he is "still a boy" in her eyes. I assume we all know realnlife AND fictional male characters with far too great of an attachment to their mothers at far too late of a stage in life and mothers who refuse to let go.

Showface, you make incorrct assumptions and an error or two.
The Baker's Wife has a crush on CINDERELLA'S PRINCE, though she does xpress that Rapunzel's Prince is handsome.
No, the Baker never reunites with his sister, but he comes close.
Yes, the Narrator IS the Baker's son. It was written expressly so in an early draft but the direct statements / plot point were lost as the show was trimmed and written BUT there is one articaft of that left.. When the Baker begins telling the tale to his infant son before the finale, it is the exact wording used by the Narrator to start the show. That is NOT an accident.
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 7/29/14 at 01:34am
I know Milky White was Jack's secret husband.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
MagicalMusical
Stand-by
joined:9/4/07
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 02:15am
Yes, her mother teleported her. That's what I meant.

I suppose the Witch could have just cursed the Baker and his father's side of the family, not Rapunzel's. But I would think she wouldn't want Rapunzel to have kids either, as she wanted her to stay as just her child...forever?

The Narrator can't be the Baker's son if he gets killed by the Giant!
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 10:03am
Magical,
She wants her to atay a child forever. She doesn't want to CURSE her until she is crossed by her.
That logical about being killed by the Giant makes no sense... So the INFANT can't be killed as an adult?
maila Profile Photo
maila
Stand-by
joined:9/16/07
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 12:22pm
Well if we really wanna be real about about Rapunzel's age, it is very easy to to figure it out. That tower looks like it's at least 30 feet high so her hair is at least 25 feet long. 25 x 12 inches = 300 inches. Humans normally grow 6 inches of hair per year. 300/6 = 50. Rapunzel is at least 50 years old. :)
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 01:06pm
Now now...
On stage, it is more like 16 feet high... :)
MagicalMusical
Stand-by
joined:9/4/07
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 04:42pm
Ok broadwayguy2 maybe you're right.
MadAboutTheBoy Profile Photo
MadAboutTheBoy
Understudy
joined:12/29/10
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 06:17pm
While we're on the subject, it struck me the other day that the witch is partly the cause for some of the situational and moral conflict of the story. It is she who goads the baker and the wife into searching for the items she wants for her own selfish reasons. And anytime one of them has a moral misgiving about what they're doing and how they're doing it (i.e. the baker's conflict about stealing Red's cloak), she is right there saying, "Well, do you want your baby or not? You'd better do what needs to be done despite the ethical implications." Yet she is the first one to criticize them for the unethical things they've done and acts as though she's had it with all these selfish, shortsighted, and corrupt worldly hypocrites (hyprocrites in that to them, she is monstrous, yet it is they who are the "true" monsters). In a way, she kind of entraps them -- leading them to do things they might not otherwise have done. And really, other than Jack, who else commits truly heinous acts besides her?
Showface Profile Photo
Showface
Broadway Star
joined:6/25/14
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 08:09pm
^
We overlook those faults because the Witch is just awesome!

Especially when she is played by the likes of Bernadette Peters, Julia McKenzie, Donna Murphy, and Meryl Streep!
I can't even! Ughh! Don't you...don't you understand? I'M IN TECH!!!
Reginald Tresilian Profile Photo
Reginald Tresilian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/08
Into the Woods Observation
Posted: 8/1/14 at 08:39pm
Maila FTW.

1
Page:

 
Advertisement Advertisement