Few figures are as famous, mysterious, and influential as the Pied Piper, the notorious catcher of rats and children. With his magical music he was able to bewitch anyone and anything to follow him blindly, and he continues to influence the contemporary imagination. This book overviews the history of the Pied Piper legend and its lasting significance. Included are excerpts from numerous texts, along with examples of the Pied Piper in art, children's books, political cartoons, and popular culture. The volume also reviews scholarship on the Pied Piper and lists print and electronic resources. The most thorough work of its kind, this book is essential for high school students and general readers.
Rats! They fought the dogs and killed the cats, says Robert Browning in his beloved poem, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Few figures are as famous, enigmatic, and influential as the Pied Piper, the notorious catcher of rats and children, whose magical music could enchant anyone and anything to follow him to destruction. Written for high school students and general readers, this book surveys the origin and history of the Pied Piper legend and discusses its significance in literature, art, film, popular culture, and political criticism.
The volume begins by examining the origins of the Pied Piper legend in 13th-century Germany and the transmission of the folktale across the centuries. It then provides numerous examples of the Pied Piper legend, along with a generous selection of texts. The book surveys scholarship on the Pied Piper and discusses the presence of the the figure in contemporary culture around the world, often as a metaphor for political leaders who blindly lead their followers in times of war. An extensive bibliography concludes the volume. A large selection of illustrations demonstrates the pervasive influence of the Pied Piper across cultures. Students will value this book for its illumination of different cultural traditions and its relation of modern film, art, and everyday life to the Pied Piper.
"Mieder explores the folktale through its seven centuries of oral and written transmission and more recent appearances in such media as film, cartoons, and advertisements. Following the series format, he covers definition and classification, examples and texts, scholarship approaches, and modern contexts." - Reference & Research Book News