Bluebeard

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Bluebeard, nickname of the chevalier Raoul in a story by Charles Perrault. In the story Bluebeard's seventh wife, Fatima, yielding to curiosity, opens a locked door and discovers the slain bodies of her predecessors. She is saved from death by the timely arrival of her brothers, for whose coming her sister Anne has been watching from a tower. Breton tradition links Bluebeard with the seigneur de Retz, but the story occurs in the folklore of several countries.

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Bluebeard a character in a tale by Charles Perrault, who killed several wives in turn for disobeying his order to avoid a locked room which contained the bodies of his previous wives. His last wife, left in his castle on her own with her sister, explores and opens the fatal room, as Bluebead on returning discovers; in the nick of time, she is rescued by her brothers, who arrive and kill Bluebeard.

His name is often used allusively to refer to the uncontrollable curiosity which has brought his earlier wives to their death.


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Bluebeard's Castle ( Bartók). See Duke Bluebeard's Castle.