The story of King Thrushbeard starts out with the wedding of a shrew. This kings daughter turns down many suitors and mocks them but one she takes particular interest in mocking is King Thrushbeard. Eventually her father gets angry and gives her away to the next beggar that comes to the palace and with her new fiddler husband she travels to a far off land where she is tormented by her new spouse. Upon living in the new kingdom she finds out that she has no knowledge of how to do the most basic of tasks and is driven to tears and depression. Once she starts crying the fiddler husband sheds his disguise and is revealed to be King Thrushbeard. She learns not to take anything for granted and they become King and Queen.
The King’s Daughter/The Shrew:
The concept of the shrew was very popular in that time period. This was around the time that Shakespear had written “The Taming of the Shrew”. The shrew is characterized as a very blunt and uptight woman, a man eater. In this case it could possibly be due to her highly unusual attachment to royalty, and by association, her father. She is quite content with where she is so the thought of changing homes for the sake of anyone else but her is amusing and mockable to her. Like many tales of shrews she is severely and suddenly broken in by traveling long distances and living in meager conditions. She is shown the full glory of her original social standing through force rather than words. It is also good to note that it is a very basic and everlastion human thought or emotion to put someone in thier shoes to prove to them that they have no right to complain. Although this motive is rarely ever carried out in real life, it is in this story and that is what makes it so entertaining.