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The Frog Prince

Anne Sexton

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Of frogs and men
2005-03-26
Added by: Lisa G.
I think this poem is about the long-standing tradition of men dominating women in society. Anne uses the old fairy tale about the frog prince to illustrate this, representing man with a frog. As everyone knows, in the fairy tale the frog retrieves the princessís lost ball and in return requires that she give him food, drink and a place beside her in bed. (In the same way, men are always trying to manipulate women into bed.) The princess has to give in, for the ball is extremely valuable to her.

Although she attempts to evade the terms of her agreement, the king, who is of course also male, forces her to comply. Thus, against her wishes the princess ends up in bed with the frog, and then when he becomes human she must marry him. And so the princess really has little say about the important affairs of her own life because the men and frogs have decided it all for her. Granted, the man she is going to marry is a handsome prince, but maybe handsome princes arenít her type.

Then the prince boards up the well so that nothing of the like can ever happen again, because of course now that the princess is his bride, he must control her life. She is now his possession just as the golden ball was hers. (I never did figure out who Mama Brundig was, though.)

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