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by Archaeology Newsroom

The hero in distress and his cure. Magic treatments for magical diseases

The pursuits and/or the trials to which the hero in distress is submitted in order to complete his narrative course that usually leads to the happy ending of the magical fairy-tale constitute an integral component of the plot. Disease as trial or punishment, quite often combined with the search for the magical, as a rule, cure is a common narrative vehicle that always leads to the happy completion of the plot. Diseases in fairy-tales are incurable,they dominate the hero’s entire existence and inevitably lead to his being “socially” debarred. They range from psychic disorders, such as madness and depression, physical handicaps, such as blindness and infertility, irreparable injuries, such as amputation, to degenerative old-age symptoms and death, while in other instances they appear as magic malformations, such as the sprouting of horns or of a tree right from the heart. The remedies and treatment, besides the panacea of the water of immortality, vary. An effective physician with the use of a magic apple or herb, a proper magic ritual or a fit of laughter might work miracles on the hero in distress.