06 February 2010

A rainbow of characters in a witch

There are many female (evil) villains to choose from. It is more difficult to find (what else to create) female characters that we fear on the one hand and are fascinated by on the other hand.
How different does the tale of Snow White seem if the evil witch is imagined as Norma Desmond? An aging grand-dame whose gaze is frosted to the past image of her youthful self in the mirror?
Is the tale still the same, when the jealous witch is a Fury with eyes ablaze standing behind Snow White's back, slowly approaching and resolving as she proceeds to push Snow White through the magic mirror in order to imprison her there, forever, as a doriangrayish mirror image of the witch?
And what twist does the same tale get if we imagine the witch with a dæmon? Surely the tale in which the witch's dæmon takes the shape of a family of bees is completely different from the tale in which the witch's dæmon is a harpy?
How about exploring in more detail the part of the tale where the hunter returns with what the witch believes to be the heart of Snow White, and she irmavepishly draws all blood from it?
Yet again, one may focus on the part of the story where the witch brings a poisoned apple and watches Snow White eat it and die. In one of Agatha Christie's novels, Poirot is puzzled by a painting of a beautiful woman. It turns out that the depicted woman poisoned the painter. The painter, the lover of the murderess, grows more paralyzed by the minute as he continues to paint and as she continues to pose. All the while the model stares, and all the while the painter is drawn to, and draws, the intensity of that stare.

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