The Resource For Musicals



Into the Woods Forum


Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Secret meanings within the songs and actions? 
Author Message
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 3:08 pm
Posts: 1138
Post 
Oh no, I wasn't complaining. Just saying that my opinion's out there already and I don't want to sound like a broken record. :)


Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:59 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 2756
Location: New York, NY
Post 
theater_girl92 wrote:
To go on about the symbolism of things. Who knows what Sondheim and Lapine meant when they wrote some of these things. Everyones entitled to his or her own opinion. Its just cool to hear some of the different possibly theories that people have come up with.


Well, actually, they didn't write any of the plotlines in act one, besides the fact that they're side by side. Everything in Act 1 of ITW is directly from the Grimm fairy tales. Sondheim is only responsible for the songs, and Lapine for the exact dialogue used, nothing more. The stories and plotlines were written hundreds of years ago, so the symbolism wasn't invented by those men, even despite their brilliance.

_________________
Image
Previous Forum Casts: Mark (Rent), Boq (Wicked), Fagin (Oliver)
MDN's Most Handsome 2010


Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:59 pm
Profile WWW
Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:19 pm
Posts: 38
Location: MA
Post 
I know this isn't entirely related, but here's my two cents:

One of the things I've always had a problem with, and I'm just now starting to get over, is what author actually intended. I've always been really annoyed with trying to interpret literature and such and thinking "Did the author MEAN this? Was this symbolism intentional?" and any time I wasn't sure if the author intentionally put a symbol in there, I would discredit it. I hope that makes sense. I just always hated to give these authors credit when I seriously doubted that they had spent so much time perfectly crafting the work. I hope that makes sense and I don't mean to sound pretentious.

Anyhow, I've really tried to start seeing past that. You can get a lot out of a work (novels, poems, plays, etc.) if you stop thinking about what the author MEANT to say and just focus on the work itself. For example, Sondheim/Lapine might not have meant Rapunzel's tower to be a phallic symbol. That might not even have crossed their mind. However, does that make it an invalid interpretation of the work?

I guess that I believe that these sorts of works are always evolving and there's always new things to be found in them. In a lot of lit courses, you'll hear about literature being a dialogue: between the author and the reader and between all the authors in the past. And when I was first introduced to the concept I thought it was complete crap, but the more I study literature the more I'm understanding that the interpretation of a work is just as important (perhaps more so) than the written word. Once an author writes and publishes a work, there's really no taking it back. There's no point where the author steps out and says "Now here's what I meant by this passage..." because, honestly, that's not what matters. It's not what he meants. It's how we read what he wrote, whether he meant to convey that meaning or not.

Haha. Sorry. I'm rambling. Hope that kind of made sense. :)


Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:38 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:25 pm
Posts: 2121
Location: the land of aus
Main Role: Performer
Post 
Oh my goodness, call me naive, but I never figured that "Giants in the sky" was about Jack turning into a man!!

Oh and now I feel real embarrassed about asking my singing teacher if you could transpose it into a higher key.. LOLOLOL :oops: :oops: :oops: X 100000

_________________
I'm playing BABETTE, bitches :-)


Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:25 am
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 2756
Location: New York, NY
Post 
carrot cait wrote:
I know this isn't entirely related, but here's my two cents:

One of the things I've always had a problem with, and I'm just now starting to get over, is what author actually intended. I've always been really annoyed with trying to interpret literature and such and thinking "Did the author MEAN this? Was this symbolism intentional?" and any time I wasn't sure if the author intentionally put a symbol in there, I would discredit it. I hope that makes sense. I just always hated to give these authors credit when I seriously doubted that they had spent so much time perfectly crafting the work. I hope that makes sense and I don't mean to sound pretentious.

Anyhow, I've really tried to start seeing past that. You can get a lot out of a work (novels, poems, plays, etc.) if you stop thinking about what the author MEANT to say and just focus on the work itself. For example, Sondheim/Lapine might not have meant Rapunzel's tower to be a phallic symbol. That might not even have crossed their mind. However, does that make it an invalid interpretation of the work?

I guess that I believe that these sorts of works are always evolving and there's always new things to be found in them. In a lot of lit courses, you'll hear about literature being a dialogue: between the author and the reader and between all the authors in the past. And when I was first introduced to the concept I thought it was complete crap, but the more I study literature the more I'm understanding that the interpretation of a work is just as important (perhaps more so) than the written word. Once an author writes and publishes a work, there's really no taking it back. There's no point where the author steps out and says "Now here's what I meant by this passage..." because, honestly, that's not what matters. It's not what he meants. It's how we read what he wrote, whether he meant to convey that meaning or not.

Haha. Sorry. I'm rambling. Hope that kind of made sense. :)


This is an argument many people in the world of academia have. You either have your structuralists, or your post-structuralists. The latter term is what your philosophy is. My thought is that I completely agree with what you're saying, but I also find it quite rude to ignore the thought and intntion of the author by trying to make everything about the reader and one's self. I think if one is to truly appreciate any kind of text, you must explore both what the author was trying to say by writing it, and also what you have to say by seeing/reading it. Both sides are crucially important if you're going to understand any kind of text IMO.

fjays wrote:
Oh my goodness, call me naive, but I never figured that "Giants in the sky" was about Jack turning into a man!!

Oh and now I feel real embarrassed about asking my singing teacher if you could transpose it into a higher key.. LOLOLOL :oops: :oops: :oops: X 100000


Hahahahaha oh my god. That just gave me a good laugh :)

No, it's fine if you perform it for a cabaret or something, no biggie, it's a good song! But yes, in the context of the story.. it's very much about manhood... and certain changes us boys go through... lol

_________________
Image
Previous Forum Casts: Mark (Rent), Boq (Wicked), Fagin (Oliver)
MDN's Most Handsome 2010


Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:21 pm
Profile WWW
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:25 pm
Posts: 2121
Location: the land of aus
Main Role: Performer
Post 
Jman383 wrote:
fjays wrote:
Oh my goodness, call me naive, but I never figured that "Giants in the sky" was about Jack turning into a man!!

Oh and now I feel real embarrassed about asking my singing teacher if you could transpose it into a higher key.. LOLOLOL :oops: :oops: :oops: X 100000


Hahahahaha oh my god. That just gave me a good laugh :)

No, it's fine if you perform it for a cabaret or something, no biggie, it's a good song! But yes, in the context of the story.. it's very much about manhood... and certain changes us boys go through... lol


Lol, I'm glad somebody thought it was funny..
Well, that makes me feel kinda better, I wasn't planning on performing it in context, haha.

I now understand why she was like "That is an odd song for a girl to sing.."


:oops:

_________________
I'm playing BABETTE, bitches :-)


Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:04 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 10:36 am
Posts: 2631
Location: MD
Current Obsession: Paul Gordon's new musical, "Emma"
Post 
Jman383 wrote:
many of them are also very sexual and gender bias, a sign of the times as well. little red, rapunzel and even sleeping beauty (which, if you read the original Grimm tale of that, it's VERY sexual, the prince RAPES sleeping beauty while she's sleeping!!) are examples of this of course.


Not Grimm's... someone else's version I think:
"Italo Calvino included a variant in Italian Folktales. The cause of her sleep is an ill-advised wish by her mother: she wouldn't care if her daughter died of pricking her finger at fifteen, if only she had a daughter. As in Pentamerone, she wakes after the prince raped her in her sleep, and her children are born and one sucks on her finger, pulling out the prick that had put her to sleep. He preserves that the woman who tries to kill the children is the king's mother, not his wife, but adds that she does not want to eat them herself but serves them to the king.[11] His version came from Calabria, but he noted that all Italian versions closely followed Basile's"
(from this wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Beauty )

_________________
Image


Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:08 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:03 pm
Posts: 2756
Location: New York, NY
Post 
Brigantine wrote:
Jman383 wrote:
many of them are also very sexual and gender bias, a sign of the times as well. little red, rapunzel and even sleeping beauty (which, if you read the original Grimm tale of that, it's VERY sexual, the prince RAPES sleeping beauty while she's sleeping!!) are examples of this of course.


Not Grimm's... someone else's version I think:
"Italo Calvino included a variant in Italian Folktales. The cause of her sleep is an ill-advised wish by her mother: she wouldn't care if her daughter died of pricking her finger at fifteen, if only she had a daughter. As in Pentamerone, she wakes after the prince raped her in her sleep, and her children are born and one sucks on her finger, pulling out the prick that had put her to sleep. He preserves that the woman who tries to kill the children is the king's mother, not his wife, but adds that she does not want to eat them herself but serves them to the king.[11] His version came from Calabria, but he noted that all Italian versions closely followed Basile's"
(from this wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Beauty )


Actually, you're right, Brig, but I think it's actually the Perrault version I was thinking of:

Perrault transformed the tone of Basile's "Sole, Luna, e Talia". Basile's was an adult tale told by an aristocrat for aristocrats, emphasizing concerns such as marital fidelity and inheritance. Perrault's is an aristocratic tale told for a high-bourgeois audience, inculcating female patience and passivity.

Beside differences in tone, the most notable differences in the plot is that the sleep did not stem from a curse, but was prophesied; that the king did not wake Talia from the sleep with a kiss, but raped her[citation needed], and when she gave birth to two children, one sucked on her finger, drawing out the piece of flax that had put her to sleep, which woke her; and that the woman who resented her and tried to eat her and her children was not the king's mother but his jealous wife. The mother-in-law's jealousy is less motivated, although common in fairy tales.


At least, that's very close to the version I read and was referring to (I apologize for assuming that the Grimm versions were the original versions)

_________________
Image
Previous Forum Casts: Mark (Rent), Boq (Wicked), Fagin (Oliver)
MDN's Most Handsome 2010


Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:44 pm
Profile WWW
Fresh Face
Fresh Face
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:48 pm
Posts: 13
Post 
" take extra care with strangers" "flowers have thier dangers."
"scary is exciting." "nice is different than good."
All of these can relate to sexuality and the flowers being Red's virginity.

_________________
ADELAIDE-GUYS AND DOLLS
ZANEETA SHINN- MUSIC MAN
CINDY LOU WHO- SUESSICAL
Mrs. Peterson- BYE BYE BIRDIE
Jessie Oakley- Annie Get Your Gun


Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:02 pm
Profile
Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:17 pm
Posts: 1
Post Sort Of Weird
if i remember this all takes place in the wood

because if it does put all the stuff you guys said about it. They do all that stuff in the woods and ik it does not making sense #-o


Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:24 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:33 pm
Posts: 1531
Location: A Dull Provincal Town
Post 
The point has come up I see, that Sondheim and Lapine probably did not intend for all this symbolism we find. However, the inspiration for this show, The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim does cover I think every point mentioned already. And since they both read the book to be inspired, I'd have to say that they were aware at the very least. Agreeing with it is quite another matter.

And for the record, I found it absolutely fascinating.


Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:07 pm
Profile
Off-Broadway Lead
Off-Broadway Lead

Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:17 pm
Posts: 227
Post Re:
mikey79097 wrote:
Only you can read your characters lines and discover what you think the line means and only you can try to portray that meaning to the best of your ability.


I think this is the key difference between studying this show as a piece (or multiple pieces) or literature and studying it as a script to be performed.

As actors, we have the responsibility and the privilege to decide for ourselves what is true for our characters. Maybe I, as Little Red, do just want to look at the flowers when I encounter a Wolf who makes sexual advances on me. Or maybe I, as Little Red, really am looking to explore my sexuality when I find a consenting male. Because the script is ambiguous about that, I get to make the decision myself based on my own personal understanding of the script and of the character and keeping in line with my other choices to create a consistent, full, and believable person. (Unless the director specifically wants it a certain way, in which case that is his/her right too). It is incredibly important to be aware of the different possible interpretations of the stories and to know the fairy tales in their original forms and social contexts because that definitely should have influence in the choices the actor makes, and that is all part of the research that goes into the character-creating process.

So determining whether Sondheim and Lapine did indeed intend every innuendo is not necessary from an actor's standpoint. They chose to use the words they did, leaving many things up to interpretation. That should be enough of an indication that there is no one right way to play the stories.

Again, this is all from the perspective of an actor. I find all the discussions of literary meaning and cross-referencing fascinating!

_________________
"Don't be complainin', learn how to smile. And if it's rainin', dance in the rain awhile. Put off your sorrow until tomorrow, go into your dance!"


Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:32 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.