Bluebeard is the villain in a European folktale made famous by Charles Perrault in his tale Barbe bleue. According to the story, Bluebeard married several women, one after the other, and murdered each of them. He threw their bodies in a special room inside his castle. He married yet again and gave his new bride the keys to the castle, telling her that she might go anywhere in the castle except for that one room. While Bluebeard was away, however, his young wife's curiosity got the better of her and she opened the door to the forbidden room. There she discovered the remains of Bluebeard's previous wives. When Bluebeard returned, he realized that his wife had found out his secret and told her that she must prepare to die.

The story has several different endings. In one version, the young wife killed Bluebeard with his own sword. In another, her brothers came to her rescue and killed him. The theme of the story of Bluebeard—the penalty for being too curious—appears in the folktales of many countries.

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Tennille Astor
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Jul 8, 2012 @ 11:11 am
I beg to differ. It's her curiosity that snaps her out of her naivete and then she's able to summon up the cunning and courage to defeat her predator at the end.
Anne O'Nymous
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Mar 20, 2017 @ 10:10 am
I agree, Ms. Astor; blaming the outcome on curiosity may work (for some) in a mythic sense, but when we read it as women who live in the real world, where victims are blamed and (alleged) perpetrators are elected to high office, it becomes quite different. Survivors of violence are not responsible for the violent person's choices.

Had she not opened the door, she would still have been living with and at the whims of a murderer. He may not have felt it his right to kill her under those circumstances, but who knows what other charming power trips would have awaited her? Granted, that may have just been called a regular marriage by many, but I can't help but think that some people wanted something more like justice from such a partnership.

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