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Mutinosa

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Mutine

Illustration of Mutinosa riding on her tiger.

Mutinosa (also known as Mutine or Furieuse) is an antagonist in "An Impossible Enchantment", a French fairy tale originally by the Comte de Caylus and appearing in "The Grey Fairy Book".

She is the mother of the protagonist Graziella, and ultimately the cause of the "impossible enchantment" given to her.

Etymology

Mutinosa and Mutine are derived from the French word mutin meaning "mischievous". Furieuse, the name that the fairies give her in the original version (due to her fierce anger), means "furious" in French.

Description

Mutinosa, a princess by birth, is described as beautiful, fierce, and constantly angry. Her parents try to keep her silent in the prospects of marrying her off, knowing that deep down she is a sharp-tongued harpy. She enjoys hunting with many fierce creatures, suggesting a sadistic attitude towards animals. She is also incredibly rude, as evident by tying up Placida to her horse and trying to have the horse ride away with her tied to it.

Role in the story

One day, while Mutinosa is hunting in the woods mounted on a tiger, a king sees her and falls in love with her. The king's equerry warns him that Mutinosa seems to be cruel, because she keeps so many vicious animals in her company, whom she torments. This fear is heightened when the equerry sees that great care is taken to prevent Mutinosa from speaking. The king is later able to have Mutinosa for a wife, and the first word he hears out of her mouth is "Yes".

Once the king is married. Mutinosa throws off all restraint and berates, nags, and insults everyone around her, including her husband. She later becomes known far and wide for her sharp tongue, and is later declared the worst queen in the world.

One day, while Mutinosa is out riding on her horse, she sees an old woman on the road. Mutinosa orders the woman to curtsy for her. The old woman does so, and Mutinosa tells her to curtsy deeper. When the woman says she is unable to, Mutinosa screams at her, insults her, and ties her to her horse. When she tries to ride away, the horse turns to bronze, and the old woman reveals herself to be the fairy Placida. Placida declares Mutinosa unworthy of her crown, reveals that she had taken the form of an old woman to test her, and summons other fairies. The queen of the fairies decides to punish Mutinosa by making her a slave. Mutinosa is bound to her punishment for life - unless she bears a child.

As it turns out, Mutinosa was pregnant at the time, and eventually gave birth to a daughter named Graziella (or Galantine depending on the version). Mutinosa is sent back to her husband. Due to her actions, Mutinosa's daughter is taken from her. Instead, Graziella is raised by the fairies and later shut up in a tower. Mutinosa never sees her daughter again. When Graziella returns to her kingdom as an adult, Mutinosa is dead, but her widowed husband is alive.

In the original version, Mutinosa's death is expanded on. She is revealed to have repressed her anger and rudeness, and this repression grew so great that it eventually consumed her, leading to her death.

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