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Last Midnight - Meaning in context? 
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Tony Winner
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I have it on my iPod and will DEFINITELY have to watch it again sometime soon. I'm reading the book for the second time, too. :lol:


Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:42 pm
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Jman383 wrote:
TheWitch wrote:
Jman383 wrote:
TheWitch wrote:
If there was any funny business going on at all, it would make more sense that the Witch would have been the one to instigate it.


Who's to say that she didn't?


Who is to say. That's left to your personal interpretation if you're really that desperate. However, it was not the other way around. And it was definitely not physical sexual rape committed by the Baker's father against the Witch . Punto final.


No, sweety. You're very wrong. There's very obvious clues in the music and the fairytale itself that it was in fact rape. Shall I explain?

First of all, if we're going to get technical with literary terms, I will first point out the meaning of the word "metaphor". Sondheim is genius at it, because he uses a few metaphors, and tricking you into thinking "rape" is one of them. It's not. It's very literal. You see, the Witch's garden is literally a metaphor for her body. That's why that picture above is BRILLIANT, because it's a literal translation of the metaphor. Her beans, on the other hand, are a metaphor for her virginity, which her mother warned her never to lose.

So, the MM stole the Witch's virginity, and her mother was PISSED at the Witch, b/c not only did she do the one thing she told her not to, but she probably thought the Witch did it willingly. So, what was her punishment? She turned her into a HIDEOUS creature. Why? So no man would EVER touch her again. Then, what was the Witch's punishment for the MM? She took his child, something he robbed of her. By raping her, he took away her ability ever to have children, and, on top of that, because of him her mother made it so no man would ever WANT to have kids with her. So, she took what she believed to be rightfully hers.

From there, she locks Rapunzel in a tower, repeating her mother's own cycle of preventing her from experiencing a man's touch (hense why the tower is ironically shaped like a fallace), only THIS TIME, the Witch wanted to make absolutely SURE Rapunzel would be safe, so she went as far as locking her away. So, please, explain why the Witch would want to keep Rapunzel in a FALLACE shaped tower away from men if she had not had a traumatizing experience herself?

Furthermore, if we must look into song/lyric examples to prove this point, look at "Witch's Lament" for a just example.

In "Witch's Lament" the Witch says,

"This is the world I meant.
Couldn't you listen?
Couldn't you stay content,
Safe behind walls,
As I could not?"

Pray tell, my dear, if the Witch was NOT raped, what was she referring to? When was she ever "not safe" behind her mother's walls?

Just sayin'....


Jordan I will forever respect you for this.
It doesn't matter if Sondheim meant it or not, that fact that this is so creative, so well put-together, even historically accurate, is so impressive and understanding of what actors are supposed to do and know.
This is what theater is about. And you're brill.


Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:13 pm
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It's intelligent well though out debates like this that make me love mdn. One of the great things about ITW is how open to interpretation it is. Every person on here could get different things out of the song and pick up and learn new things from other posters. That's why I love this show so much.

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Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:38 am
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Aww thanks guys!!! :) <3

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Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:22 am
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
I know I'm entering this discussion super late, but I am so intrigued by your analysis, JMan. Seriously. That's fairly brilliant and something I've never even considered - and it's exactly like something I would normally come up with.

Now I can't stop thinking of that. Very, very smart.


Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
Also chiming in late, but two things struck me about this thread: first, that there were a couple good competing interpretations of a complex work loaded with metaphor, and second, that the actual discussion almost never happened due to the cocksure arrogance displayed in the interpretation thereof.*

Let me pose a semi-rhetorical question to illustrate my point: Did the Wolf and Little Red have sexual contact?

Point 1: Of course not. We get to see all of the interaction between Red and the Wolf, and that's not what happens.

Point 2: Of course they do. Look at "I Know Things Now," it's patently obvious -- it doesn't even make sense fully without that interpretation, and in fact, all of Little Red's character arc is a coming-of-age story centering around her awakening by the wolf.

I think those are both valid interpretations. On a meta-level, though, my take on it is ... no, not literally, but it's certainly metaphorical for that, and intended to be open to interpretation as such, which is what lends the interaction its depth.

Similary, I don't think that MM/Baker's Father is meant to have literally raped the Witch in the past. The beginning of the witch's tale doesn't really carry that interpretation in a literal sense, and the Witch certainly shows that the lens through which she views events isn't necessarily coincidental with that of a normal person.
However, it's certainly meant to be analagous to rape, and it written so it's able to be interpreted that way, and if you choose to take it as the "deeper" reality, that's open to you.

The most inaccurate thing said in the whole thread?

"You're very wrong."

*Not unique to this thread. While I generally like MdN, this attitude is on widespread display and is by far the most offputting thing on display here.

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Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:31 am
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
Rorgg wrote:
Also chiming in late, but two things struck me about this thread: first, that there were a couple good competing interpretations of a complex work loaded with metaphor, and second, that the actual discussion almost never happened due to the cocksure arrogance displayed in the interpretation thereof.*

Let me pose a semi-rhetorical question to illustrate my point: Did the Wolf and Little Red have sexual contact?

Point 1: Of course not. We get to see all of the interaction between Red and the Wolf, and that's not what happens.

Point 2: Of course they do. Look at "I Know Things Now," it's patently obvious -- it doesn't even make sense fully without that interpretation, and in fact, all of Little Red's character arc is a coming-of-age story centering around her awakening by the wolf.

I think those are both valid interpretations. On a meta-level, though, my take on it is ... no, not literally, but it's certainly metaphorical for that, and intended to be open to interpretation as such, which is what lends the interaction its depth.

Similary, I don't think that MM/Baker's Father is meant to have literally raped the Witch in the past. The beginning of the witch's tale doesn't really carry that interpretation in a literal sense, and the Witch certainly shows that the lens through which she views events isn't necessarily coincidental with that of a normal person.
However, it's certainly meant to be analagous to rape, and it written so it's able to be interpreted that way, and if you choose to take it as the "deeper" reality, that's open to you.

The most inaccurate thing said in the whole thread?

"You're very wrong."

*Not unique to this thread. While I generally like MdN, this attitude is on widespread display and is by far the most offputting thing on display here.


Well said :clap: :clap:

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:38 am
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
If he tried to rape her, couldn't she have just turned him into a newt or something?


Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:44 pm
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
She wanted to have sex with him. She blatantly says, "I should have laid a spell on him right there! Should have turned him into a stone! A dog! A chair! A snake! But I let him have the rampion..." She sexually provoked him, and he took advantage of her. And honestly, the story makes no bit of sense if it's actually about vegetables. So, he takes her favorite herb and she suddenly decides she wants his child? That doesn't make a bit of sense, unless the child has meaning to her. If he raped her and made her unable to have children (which is an often outcome of rape), it would only make sense she'd want his child for her own. Sure, you could say that to her, her favorite vegetable is the equivalent of his baby. But she could always grow more rampion, as she says, she has "lots to spare". I mean, I'm trying to see it from both sides, but I think the stronger, more emotional and thoughtful place for the actor to go, is that she was robbed of something that day. Her beauty and her looks (which happens AFTER she asks for the child), and something else. If it was a vegetable. Fine, it was a vegetable. The only person it matters to is the actress playing the role.

But again, after reading this much, much later, I still stand by MY question. If she was not in fact raped by the MM, what event is she referring to when she says "Couldn't you stay content safe behind walls, as I could not?"

She was fully protected by her mother in her garden, where she was young and innoent. What made her unsafe if not the world right next door? Him taking her (literal) beans does not qualify as danger.

Also, the entire show is about the way mankind repeats itself. Every character is either fulfilling the cycle of life, or trying to go against it. The Witch fulfilled the cycle by becoming the overprotective mother to Rapunzel as hers was with her. Another example, with a different outcome, is The Baker going against the cycle of his own father, and not abandoning his family. This being the case, what would motivate the Witch to keep Rapunzel away from men (and yes, history and literature proves that it is men she is being hidden from by the shape of the tower)?? She must have had a scarring experience. All I'm sayin'.

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Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
You make a very persuasive point.

I think I'll wait until "Look, I Made a Hat" comes out. See what Sondheim himself says. If he says that it was indeed rape, then I'll completely agree.


Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:11 am
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Post Re:
Jman383 wrote:
TheWitch wrote:
She couldn't stay content behind walls. Good Lord....


Even if that is the case, you're still missing the point. The witch wasn't HAPPY behind walls. WHY WASN'T SHE HAPPY? She was beautiful, she had a thriving literal garden according to you. She actually had FREEDOM compared to Rapunzel. Please, explain why she wasn't happy, because I'd love to hear your explanation. I will have you know, however, the actual reason is the same as why Rapunzel wasn't happy. SHE DIDN'T HAVE A MAN, and was forbidden to by her own mother. Don't you get that one of the MAIN themes to this show is repeating the cycle of your parents?

TheWitch wrote:
And you can call me sweetie, hunny, cupcake, sugar and anything you want but you are still missing something HUGE. SHE'S A WITCH! She could have turned his penis into a slug, a chair, a brick etc with a wink before he got it any where near her. Please explain that. You are grasping at straws and trying, unsuccessfully, to go waaay too deep into things, darling sugar pie cherry sprinkles.


Oh I will babykins, because you clearly have no regard for the original fairytale what so ever. That is how it is WRITTEN, you can take it or leave it, I don't care, but that's how the story is designed. As for her powers, she clearly states in the Prologue that she WANTED him taking from her garden. She COULD have turned him into a stone, a dog a chair etc. But she LET him have her, she wanted him. Good lord.



In the original fairytale there was nothing about beans, or the Witch being turned ugly, or anything else related to that. Have you even read it?

And my interpretation of her saying "Robbing me, raping me!" was her being melodramatic- so she would seem like more of a victim than The Baker's father. Like, rob was not a strong enough word, so she quickly amended it into "rape". And, if that's wrong, I would guess that all that rape meant was 'taking advantage of me' but not in a sexual way, not sexually taking advantage of her. As the online dictionary says:

–rape
6.
to force to have sexual intercourse.
7.
to plunder (a place); despoil.
8.
to seize, take, or carry off by force.


P.S. what's all this about a phallus-shaped (I'm sure you meant to say 'phallus', not 'fallace') tower? I thought it looked distinctly like a castle Chess piece. I'd be interested in seeing any pictures of penile towers that you can use to convince us otherwise. It seems to me like you're playing the Perverted Game- taking anything you see or anything anyone says and put it into a sexual context. It's a popular game at my Junior High School.

Couldn't all the things the witch does just be blamed on the fact that she's evil...?

EDIT- One more thing I want to point out- losing magic beans that can grow to enormous heights and release giants into the kingdom does indeed qualify as danger. And Act One and Act Two are part of the same show- why does it matter what events happened in which act? Like I said above, nothing about the witch was mentioned in the original fairytale other than she was wicked and had a garden. No beans, no curse on a baker, no ugly spell... those were added in the musical.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:56 am
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Post Re:
The beans have to at least partially be literal because the Baker finds them in his father's pocket.


Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:14 pm
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