Grimm Origins: An Investigation Behind the Fairy Tales #2

 

By: Neena O.

“Death stood behind him and said: ‘Follow me, the hour of your departure from this world has come.”

Originating from the German fairy tale “Die Boten des Todes,” “Death’s Messengers” is number 177 of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales. It is also the quote from the latest episode of NBC’s Grimm, and the first quote I’ll be discussing.

The tale is of a young man who comes across a terribly beaten Death and aids him. Death tells the man that even though he will not be able to spare him because all must die, he will however send messengers to warn him before he comes to claim his life. The man is grateful and goes on “and was cheerful and carefree, and lived one day at a time.” As time goes on the young man begins to age, get sick, and be deprived of sleep. However knowing that Death has promises to send messengers he brushes these things off and continues to live his life cheerfully. Then one day he is tapped on the shoulder and turns around to find Death standing behind him, and Death says, “”Follow me. The hour of your departure from this.” The man becomes upsets and questions if Death has broken his word to send messengers to warn him. Death tells the man, “Have I not sent you one messenger after another? Did not fever come and strike you, and shake you, and throw you down? Has not dizziness numbed your head? Has not gout pinched your limbs? Did your ears not buzz? Did toothache not bite into your cheeks? Did your eyes not darken? And furthermore, has not my own brother Sleep reminded you every night of me? During the night did you not lie there as if you were already dead?” Upon hearing this, the man resigns to his fate and goes without further fuss.

Source: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm177.html

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2 thoughts on “Grimm Origins: An Investigation Behind the Fairy Tales #2

  1. Samira says:

    I like this quote because it shows that even if you think that you can expect death you really can’t.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Death is the only thing in this world that is indeed certain. However, that is why I fell in love with the written word. When we die our words and our art from will linger in the minds and imaginations of those we leave behind.

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