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Humanities 2016, 5(2), 33;

Between Earth and Sky: Transcendence, Reality, and the Fairy Tale in Pan’s Labyrinth

Department of English, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 870302 Tempe, AZ 85287-0302, USA
Academic Editor: Claudia Schwabe
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 13 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fairy Tale and its Uses in Contemporary New Media and Popular Culture)
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Though it is now a decade since its release, Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) remains a work of filmic art which plays upon our deep-rooted and mercurial relationship with fairy tales and folklore. By turns beautiful and grotesque, Pan’s Labyrinth is a complex portrait of the clash between Ofelia’s fairy tale world and that of the brutal adults around her. This article will provide an analysis of the juxtaposition of the film’s imagery of closed/open circles, their respective realms, and how Ofelia moves between the two. I will argue that these aspects create an unusual relationship between the fairy tale universe and the physical one, characterized by simultaneous displacement and interdependency. Ofelia acts as a mediatrix of these spheres, conforming to neither the imposed rules of her historical reality nor the expected structural rules of fairy tales, and this refusal ultimately allows her transcendence from the circumscribed realm of the liminal into Victor Turner’s “liminoid” space, escaping the trap of binarism. View Full-Text
Keywords: fairy tales; liminoid; Pan’s Labyrinth; Guillermo del Toro; film fairy tales; liminoid; Pan’s Labyrinth; Guillermo del Toro; film
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Blitch, S. Between Earth and Sky: Transcendence, Reality, and the Fairy Tale in Pan’s Labyrinth. Humanities 2016, 5, 33.

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