Page:The Grateful Dead.djvu/92

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CHAPTER V.


THE GRATEFUL DEAD AND THE RANSOMED WOMAN.


As has already been shown,[1] Simrock regarded as an essential feature of The Grateful Dead the release of a maiden from captivity by the hero. Stephens and Hippe[2] saw that such was not the case. The latter's treatment of the matter[3] leaves little to be desired as far as it goes, save that it implies a derivation of the compound The Grateful Dead+The Ransomed Woman from the compound treated in the last chapter—a view which I believe erroneous.

The Ransomed Woman appears as a separate tale or in combination with other themes than The Grateful Dead more than once. A prolonged study of the motive would probably yield a rich harvest of examples, though it is sufficient for the present purpose to refer to Hippe's article as establishing the existence of the form. His Wendish folk-tale[4] and Guter Gerhard, from the latter of which Simrock started his enquiry, are of themselves evidence enough.[5] Neither example has anything whatever to do with The Grateful Dead.[6] The characteristics

  1. See above, p. 1.
  2. See above, pp. 2 and 5.
  3. Pp. 170-175.
  4. P. 173.
  5. See also the school drama cited by Köhler, Germania III. 208 f. The elements of Der gute Gerhard, foreign to The Ransomed Woman, I have treated in the Publications of the Modern Lang, Ass. 1905, xx. 529-545.
  6. The same is true of the story related of St. Catharine, analyzed by Simrock, pp. 110-113, and cited by Hippe, p. 166, from Scala Celi, by