The Crown and Rapunzel's Virginity
For the beginning of Tangled
, we have a pretty standard MacGuffin
in the crown that Flynn steals from the castle with the Stabbington twins. The theft of it and his subsequent escape from the palace guards are the reason why Flynn stumbles upon Rapunzel. Rapunzel uses the crown to force Flynn to escort her to the palace. Not to mention that Flynnís betrayal of the Stabbingtons so that he could escape and have the crown to himself is the reason why they hate him. When Mother sees the crown later and deduces that Flynn is with Rapunzel, it stops being a MacGuffin
, but until then it functions as a fairly average one. However the crown is not simply a MacGuffin
; it is a symbol for Rapunzelís virginity.
First, it is important to know that technically Rapunzel has had the crown since birth. After all, as the daughter of the king and queen, the princessís crown is hers by birthright. It is something that she wholly owns. However, she didnít always know it was hers because she was kidnapped. She only begins to figure this out later when she goes out into the world and learns more about it and herself. This is not unlike a girlís virginity. It is something she is born with and that she owns. However, many girls donít know what it is until they are older and begin to learn about their bodies and the world around them.
Second, consider Mother Gothelís words to Rapunzel once she finds Rapunzel the first time. Mother Gothel tells Rapunzel that as a mother, she knows that once Rapunzel gives Flynn the crown he will not want to be with her anymore. She says that Flynn doesnít really like her and that he is only sticking around, waiting for Rapunzel to give him the crown; once he has it, he will leave her. If you replace crown with virginity, you get the same advice that nearly every mother tells her daughter(s). Mothers tend to warn their daughters to save themselves for the one they love and warn them of those that will just use them until they get what they want, i.e. sex.
Third, there is the fact that in the original Grimm version of this story, Rapunzel does give her prince her virginity, leading to a teen pregnancy. This idea of the crown being a symbol for virginity would make sense since by the end of the film, Rapunzel does end up giving Flynn the crown.
It would also make that scene that much more significant and heartbreaking. In this scene, Rapunzel tells Flynn that she was afraid, but now she wasnít and then gives him the crown. Then when Rapunzel thinks that Flynn took the crown and left, she is devastated to the point that she willingly goes back home with her manipulative and cruel ďmotherĒ. If we equate the crown with Rapunzelís virginity, then her giving it to Flynn becomes a sexual act: she is giving him her virginity. She is no longer scared because she trusts him. Then when she believes that he has left her, Rapunzelís devastation is now a product of the real life fear that many girls have: trusting a guy with her virginity and having him basically spit and trample all over that trust. Traumatizing, indeed.