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Last Midnight - Meaning in context? 
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 6:59 pm
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
Wow. You must really like this theory to argue it for like three years. 0_0

In any case though if you think she was literally raped then how do you explain the ending? She throws all the beans on the ground giving them away, demands her mother punish her like she did before and make her ugly again, and then apparently due to the punishment dissapeared. Are you saying the witch just had sex with them all right there? Lol. You can't separate the acts.

The original story may have been about that I don't know and the story may be metaphorical but in the context of this show where things such as curses and magic beans that make beanstalks clearly literally exist it isn't such a stretch to think the witch is worked up about her literal beans. Like the wolf and red I can see the witches story being metaphorical but as far as the actual characters go the man didn't ACTUALLY rape her. In that case the witches ending no longer makes any sense. She shows in last midnight that the mothers curse was literally for losing the beans.

Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:01 pm
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
You answered your own question. The second act of this show has nothing to do with the original fairy tales. Furthermore, Sondheim wrote several different versions of that song before settling on Last Midnight.

In any case, the symbolism is right there. She names her daughter after a flower. What do flowers represent, in both this story as well as Little Red's? Virginity. She then locks her daughter in a phallic shaped tower, protecting her from men, in the hopes that she will never lose her virginity.

Why would the Witch be this obsessed with female virginity unless there was some sort of connection to her own? Please answer me, I'd love to know. Likewise, how was the Witch NOT 'safe behind walls' in her mother's garden if the Mysterious Man just simply stole some beans behind her back? She was in no danger. Even her mother's curse was not UNsafe. She was not injured. Her life was not threatened. HOW WAS SHE NOT SAFE, as she laments to a dead Rapunzel?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

P.S. As I've said prior, many productions, including the most recent Off Broadway revival starring Amy Adams and Donna Murphy, had the manifestation of the Witch's garden on her entire body. Clearly, I am not alone in my thinking. In fact, I would wager that not only would most Equity caliber dramaturgs agree with me, but most literary scholars of folklore and mythology.

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Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:44 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Last Midnight - Meaning in context?
wow what an interesting thread! i never ever thought of it like that but i must say i love JMan's interpretation. i, like most, took it literally and figured that the witch's mother had put her in charge of the beans and, as most fairy tales go, would be punished with 'age and beauty' if she didnt look after them.

stealing the baby was, i believe(d), because it was the babys fault that she lost the beans, since the bakers mother 'had developed an unnusual appetite', which is why MM went into the garden. and stealing a baby is a far greater evil deed than turning someone into stone, or a dog, or a chair (ALTHOUGH she does stutter in chair, is she having difficulty bringing up repressed memories?! HMMMM)

and yes, towers are PHALLIC images, ask any Freudian about it; lakes are female symbols of love and things like trains entering tunnels are symbols of sex. why the witch locked her up? again i assumed it was just because she didnt want anyone to see her because it is her fault that she is old and ugly.

but WOW i love the rape theory, like seriously wow

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Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:19 pm
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