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Fairy Tales

A Missouri Southern State University subject guide on fairy tales.

The Princess and the Pea

Elements of the Story

As explained in the 'Conventions of fairy tales' section, a fairy story always includes a number of important elements.

When reading through this section, keep in mind the Hans Christian Andersen version of the story as told here -


In the story of Princess and the Pea the elements include: 


In the Princess and the Pea story the good character is the princess character.

Image result for princess and the pea

(Source of picture: Emma Watson)


Do you think there is a bad character in this story?  Do you think the queen is a baddy?

(Source of picture: Fried-Eye)


Can you think of any supporting characters in this story?


Do you think there is any magic in this story?



A fairy tale usually includes an obstacle or task which the characters must tackle with to reach their happy ending.  In this story the test is whether the princess can sleep in the bed with the pea.

The Princess And The Pea

"The Princess And The Pea" by Betty Broadbent is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


The Princess passes the test set by the queen so the prince and princess are able to marry and they live happily ever after...




History of The Princess and the Pea

The SurLaLune website includes lots of information about The Princess and the Pea, including details of the history of the story.


Princess and the Pea and similar stories

This fairy tale website, compiled by the University of Pittsburgh, includes Hans Christian Andersen's version of the Princess and the Pea.

You can also find a number of fairy tales which are similar to the Princess and the Pea story.

The Story of The Princess and the Pea

You can read Hans Christian Andersen's version of The Princess and the Pea on the SurLaLune website.

"Once Upon a Mattress"

'Once Upon a Mattress' is a Broadway musical based on the story of The Princess and the Pea.

Here's a clip from that musical:

The Missouri Southern State University Theatre department also put on this production in 1972.

Here's an image from that performance:

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