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Author Topic: Famous Curses from Fiction  (Read 21571 times)
gayars
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« Reply #15: September 16, 2007, 09:19:58 am »

I'm surprised that none of you mentioned the Harry Potter books!  They're chock full of curses and "black magic".  Cheesy Wink

Arvada Kadavra anybody?

I actually thought that myself, and was fixing to mention it, when I noticed you beat me to it!  Cheesy

Harry Potter, with his famous scar....

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« Reply #16: September 16, 2007, 01:02:02 pm »

Imperio! Edit that post and remove the "r" - it's Avada Kadavra! Cheesy

Sorry...I tend to read it as "Arvada" even.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #17: September 17, 2007, 04:33:15 am »

...In what other famous works (books, movies, art, opera, whatever) do curses figure prominently?

Pirates of the Caribbean, yo.
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« Reply #18: September 17, 2007, 01:32:51 pm »

...In what other famous works (books, movies, art, opera, whatever) do curses figure prominently?

Continuing with Potter, Voldemort cursed the Defense Against the Dark Arts position so that each teacher would only last one year.

In Charmed Grams cursed her engagement ring to turn its wearer into a 50's housewife (even turning her black and white).  It's inscribed with the words "To gain another is to lose oneself."
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« Reply #19: September 18, 2007, 02:09:11 am »


...In what other famous works (books, movies, art, opera, whatever) do curses figure prominently?


The Curse of Chalion.
The Mummy's Curse.
The Curse of the Viking Grave (I didn't read it so I don't know if it's a real curse, there.)

And of course, all the various incarnations of Sleeping Beauty.
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« Reply #20: September 18, 2007, 10:56:41 am »

The Curse of Chalion.
The Mummy's Curse.
The Curse of the Viking Grave (I didn't read it so I don't know if it's a real curse, there.)

And of course, all the various incarnations of Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty--of course! Thanks, Sefiru; it doesn't get more classic than that one. Do you remember exactly how that curse worked/was worded? I recall something about how if she ever pricked her finger with a needle, she would fall into sleep forever...or something like that. Or is that just in the Disneyfied version?

I'm not familiar enough with the Mummy movies (neither Karloff classic nor Brendan Frasier updates) to remember exactly how that curse supposedly worked.

And what's The Curse of Chalion?
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« Reply #21: September 18, 2007, 11:08:27 am »

I recall something about how if she ever pricked her finger with a needle, she would fall into sleep forever...or something like that. Or is that just in the Disneyfied version?

The original curse was that on her sixteenth birthday, she would prick her finger on a spindle and die.  The death was commuted to sleeping until true love's first kiss or something along those lines by the lone remaining fairy godmother who hadn't yet bestowed her magical gift upon the princess at the time of the curse.  That's how it goes in Disney, but IIRC that's not one of the things they changed...  of course it's been a long time since I looked at a non-Disney version, so I may be wrong.

Speaking of fairy-tale curses, though, there's Princess Fiona's princess-by-day/ogre-by-night curse in Shrek.
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« Reply #22: September 18, 2007, 11:31:45 am »

...In what other famous works (books, movies, art, opera, whatever) do curses figure prominently?

Do songs count?  My all time favorite curse, from "Nell Flaherty's Drake":

Quote
Bad luck to the robber, be he drunk or sober,
That murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake.

May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig,
May each hair in his wig be well thrashed with a flail;
May his turkey not hatch, may the rats eat his meal.
May every old fairy from Cork to Dunleary
Dip him smug and airy in river or lake,
That the eel and the trout, they may dine on the snout
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt,
May a ghost ever haunt him at dead of the night;
May his hens never lay, may his horse never neigh,
May his goat fly away like an old paper kite.
That the flies and the fleas may the wretch ever tease,
May the piercing March breeze make him shiver an shake;
May a lump of a stick raise the bumps fast and thick
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

(This was written in the 1800's, so I'm assuming public domain.  If there's copyright concerns, let me know and I'll just link to a page with the lyric.) 

Apparently, the drake is supposed to be "code" for Robert Emmett.  It's funnier if it's just a duck, though...
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« Reply #23: September 18, 2007, 11:37:23 am »

(This was written in the 1800's, so I'm assuming public domain.  If there's copyright concerns, let me know and I'll just link to a page with the lyric.) 

1800's should be OK.  If you're concerned about something like this, though, it's better to be safe than sorry.  Wink  But this one should be fine, as I understand it.
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« Reply #24: September 18, 2007, 12:04:59 pm »

Speaking of fairy-tale curses, though, there's Princess Fiona's princess-by-day/ogre-by-night curse in Shrek.

What about Eleanor (Ella) of Frell in Ella Enchanted?  She was given the 'gift' of obedience by a fairy godmother so that she had to obey anyone who gave her a direct command.  Fun movie, btw.
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« Reply #25: September 18, 2007, 12:09:16 pm »

The original curse was...

I should clarify this, because even I was confused when I reread it, and I wrote the post.  By "original" here I meant to refer to the curse before the fairy godmother messed with it, not "original" in the sense of how the story was originally told, given that (as I said later in the post) I'm not 100% sure I've got the latter as correct as I think I do.
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« Reply #26: September 18, 2007, 12:25:57 pm »

Speaking of fairy-tale curses, though, there's Princess Fiona's princess-by-day/ogre-by-night curse in Shrek.

That reminds me of the curse in the movie Ladyhawke--that Rutger Hauer's character would be a man by day and a wolf by night, and Isabeau, Michelle Pfeiffer's character, would be a hawk by day and a woman by night...a total eclipse of the sun being the only time the curse would lift and both could meet as humans.

(Which reminds me--departing momentarily from fiction--of the Curse of the Bambino on the Boston Red Sox, which was only broken on the night of a total lunar eclipse.)

I'm not sure if either work is sufficiently famous--not rising to the classic level of Sleeping Beauty or Tolkein--but hey.
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« Reply #27: September 18, 2007, 12:27:36 pm »

Do songs count?  My all time favorite curse, from "Nell Flaherty's Drake":

(This was written in the 1800's, so I'm assuming public domain.  If there's copyright concerns, let me know and I'll just link to a page with the lyric.) 

Apparently, the drake is supposed to be "code" for Robert Emmett.  It's funnier if it's just a duck, though...

Songs count. I'd never heard of this; thanks for posting it.
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« Reply #28: September 18, 2007, 12:41:15 pm »

That reminds me of the curse in the movie Ladyhawke--that Rutger Hauer's character would be a man by day and a wolf by night, and Isabeau, Michelle Pfeiffer's character, would be a hawk by day and a woman by night...a total eclipse of the sun being the only time the curse would lift and both could meet as humans.

Wow.  My brain must be baby-rotted indeed; I can't believe I didn't come up with that one, especially after coming up with another day/night one.

They're not Tolkien, but they're fairly well-known.  *shrug*
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« Reply #29: September 18, 2007, 12:47:36 pm »

Sleeping Beauty--of course! Thanks, Sefiru; it doesn't get more classic than that one. Do you remember exactly how that curse worked/was worded? I recall something about how if she ever pricked her finger with a needle, she would fall into sleep forever...or something like that. Or is that just in the Disneyfied version?


It depends on the version; there are several here:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0410.html

Only the Grimms have a kiss waking her -- and even then, it's because he came at the right time, after 100 years had passed.  The wall of thorns parted for him, as they hadn't for those who had tried earlier (the Grimms have the gruesome touch of the earlier princes dying in the thorns).  In Perrault, again, the prince walks in just as the 100 years are up; he doesn't even kiss her, just kneels down by her bed.

Basile's "Sun, Moon and Talia" is one of the earlier recorded versions, and it's funky.  Prince comes across sleeping Talia, rapes her -- which doesn't wake her up -- and goes on his way.  She eventually wakes when one of the children from this "union" sucks the fateful bit of flax from her finger.  There's also no actual curse in this version -- it's just a prophecy made by astrologers.

The Grimms' version, despite the macabre touches, is probably the most straightforwardly romantic, as it stops with the waking of Sleeping Beauty; the others continue with a conflict between SB and another woman connected to the prince (in Perrault, his mother, in Basile, his WIFE), who wants to have the children and SB killed and eaten.  The happy ending comes after the evil woman dies.
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