Where did the idea of the ‘wicked stepmother’ come from?

The Evil Queen, the wicked stepmother in “Snow White,” disguises herself as a hag when she offers her stepdaughter a poison apple. (Image credit: Allstar Picture Library Limited/Alamy Stock Photo)

What springs to mind when you picture a fairy tale? Maybe Cinderella sweeping the hearth in tattered rags; Hansel and Gretel trailing bread crumbs through a dark forest; or Snow White, her face deathly pale, lying motionless within a glass coffin. 

These images are burned into our collective consciousness. But besides sharing similar folklore roots and being reimagined by Disney, they all feature the same villain: the wicked stepmother.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *