Maiden and Monsters: Farytales on Film

Ref: C2225397

Every year more film versions of classic fairytales are released - we have a neverending appetite for these ancient tales. This course explores why these narratives still work for us today and how they have been updated for different audiences, with examples from a wide range of films such as "Company of Wolves", "The Wizard of Oz", "Shrek" and "The Red Shoes" and "Pretty Woman". We will also consider how different countries address these universal themes, sometimes in the most surprising ways. The course will also examine how the structural basis, psychological tropes and characters found in fairytales can be seen in films such as "Star Wars" and "Night of the Hunter" and to analyse the different gender roles present in these archetypal tales. As well as gaining a deeper understanding of how fairytales function, there will be an opportunities to learn how to "read" a film as a text and gain a deeper understanding of the ways film-makers transmit their ideas.

Course aim

This course explores why fairytale narratives still work for us today and how film-makers address these universal themes.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe how fairytales work pyschologically.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of gender roles in fairytales by explaining these
  • List some of the structures, ideas and tropes from fairytales that appear in a wide range of films.
  • Read a film as a text through the use of easy film analysis techniques and explain how this is done
  • Describe how film-makers effectively transmit their messages to a wide audience.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be encouraged to discuss your ideas and insights with the group. There will be some informal activities which will show the tutor how much progress has been made.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet

Maiden and Monsters: Farytales on Film

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This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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