"We perform not need magic to change the world, we bring all the power we require inside ourselves already; we have the power to imagine much better." -JK Rowling

You are watching: Into the woods act i: on the steps of the palace

#13: On the Steps of the Palace- Analysis on Sondheim’s Construction of Choice of character within "Into the Woods"


See more: What Family Has The Most Reactive Metals ? Solution: The Two Most Reactive Families

I"ve been trying to decide how to formulate my thoughts on Into the Woods for a while currently, and I"ve finally landed on a place in our English course that correlates (strangely, I know) to the themes of the musical: Macbeth. First, let me ago up a little little. Into the Woods is a musical by Stephen Sondheim, which explores and also reinvents the classical fairy tales: Cinderella, Little Red, Jack and also the Beanstalk, Rapunzel. Each of these stories is tied together with a story of a baker and also his wife trying to reverse the curse that a Witch has put on them. Each of them enters the woods, and enters a terrific journey.On the surconfront, this musical is so easy, because of its conveniently digestible fairy tale premise. However before, simply as the fair and foul in Macbeth, points end up being infinitely more facility. As each character goes into the woods, each of them is fruitlessly chasing what they want: there"s a factor that the main layout of the virtually 15 minute prologue is, "I wish." Jack"s mom wishes her child to market the cow, but Jack openly rebels and also entails himself in peril via his beanstalk. Little Red wishes to go to her grandmother"s house, yet led astray by the wolf, an oddly sex-related and predatory creature. Cinderella wishes to go to the festival, and also offers the grave of her mom in order to obtain what she desires. However before, subsequently, her stepsisters cut off their feet in order to try to win over the prince. The Witch, at initially singing in extremely shrieking tones and mad incantations, mirrors a softer side with, "Stay With Me," as she keeps her daughter, Rapunzel, trapped smothers her in the name of love and also security, to which she blinds her suitor to keep him away from him. And the primary personalities, the Baker and also the Baker"s Wife, madly steal from Jack, Little Red, and Cinderella to get what they want: to have a boy. Even the princes, trying to win over Cinderella and also Rapunzel, struggle in their own vanity and their incapacity to simply obtain the girls that they love quickly.Pretty facility web of a plot currently, isn"t it? Things reach a state of equilibrium within the end of Act One, and in all senses, whatever need to have been happily ever after. I suppose, everyone is happy and everyone has gained everything they wanted.However before, Sondheim chooses to express and disclose the darker side of fairy tales, in just how the ends do not justify the implies, and also what civilization sacrifice to obtain what they desire, and exactly how this affects other people alengthy the means. Some human being criticize the second act to be basically meaningless; the plot is sort of everywhere the place, and also none of the canonized occasions of the fairy tales we"ve concerned know and love actually take place. But, as through a lot of objections, I kind of say, "That"s the point!" The characters have to come together currently to confront a challenge bigger than themselves: a mysterious, never-seen-but-only-heard giant. They are thrust out of their day-to-day stays, and the search of individual desires, and also should occupational together to solve this problem. The metaphorical implications of the woods and the giants are huge: the woods have the right to be understood as any struggle, or also the loss of innocence, and the giants has been taken as whatever from the HIV/AIDS crisis to God. However when addressing the troubles, in a lot of regards, they fail miserably. I praise Sondheim for being well ahead of his time in the invariation of fairy tales and frequently interpreted archetypes, currently having a vast revival via the popularity of "Frozen" or "Wicked." However, his vision can be a lot darker. There"s a far-reaching tone of self-aware meta-narrative, fourth wall breaks, and also meaningmuch less in Act Two. They kill the narrator of the story, thus destroying any hope for fate, or even of establishments. By the time of "Your Fault," every one of them are pretty much trying to go earlier to the plot of act one, discover the actions of others, and blame them. Some personalities are turn and also run ameans (Cinderella"s stepsisters), some sacrifice their beauty only to die of self-destruction of simply insanity (the witch), some come close to abandoning whatever however are haunted by the ghosts to the past (Baker via the "Mysterious Man" or his dad), some fall back into their own desires again (Cinderella"s Prince), some face hopemuch less loss (Jack and Little Red). However, at the allude of best despair, comes "No One is Alone," and "Children Will Listen" songs that both comforts and cautions human being of the consequences of their actions. "Wishes come true, not cost-free."I view good parallels between this work and the failures of Macbeth. The Scottish King is a character that is trapped within his very own self- indulgence, in getting what he wants. He is upcollection via his fate, and is inescapably trapped within the limitations he puts upon himself, truly in a state of despair. The characters of Into the Woods, though confronted through the unpreventable meaningless of their livesor even the unrelenting confront of loss, they find definition within producing new stays for themselves. No One is Alone claims, "People make mistakes, everybody provides one another"s damaging mistakes. Witches deserve to be right, giants can be great, you decide what"s appropriate, you decide what"s good." This shows the characters acknowledging what they have the right to and also cannot manage, and inevitably discover forgiveness for themselves, for various other human being, and for the actions done in the past. This is precisely what Macbeth cannot perform. By in search of power and also for his very own desire, he ultimately becomes controlled by his previous actions. He believes he is too far stepped in blood to ever before readjust his life aobtain, so he becomes trapped by establishing limitations for himself, favor that he must achieve his fate. The personalities of "Into the Woods" did achieve their fate, ruined it, and chose to proceed to live on anyway. They make choices for themselves, for their very own lives, and pick to accept all the things that they"ve done, and relocate on. In this way, they practically end up being existential heroes, similar to the Sisyphus Camus describes: constantly failing, but knowing this and moving forward anyway. This was something Macbeth was never able to accept, and also therefore eventually brought about his downfall (possibly equivalent to the Witch, who bore the weight of knowledge and justice however turned that right into anger). But as soon as confronted through going ago into the woods at the finish of the show, Little Red, the Baker, Jack, Cinderella, and then a whole host of characters decide to go too, face an additional day of continuing to be up late at night composing for their English blog--- I mean, to confront the battles of their stays aobtain.