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Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk

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Published on Dec 12, 2011

Jack and the Beanstalk is a folktale said by English historian Francis Palgrave to be an oral legend that arrived in England with the Vikings. The tale is closely associated with the tale of Jack the Giant-killer. It is known under a number of versions. Benjamin Tabart's moralized version of 1807[1] is the first appearance in print, but "Felix Summerly" (Henry Cole) popularized it in The Home Treasury (1842),[2] and Joseph Jacobs rewrote it in English Fairy Tales (1890).[3] Jacobs's version is most commonly reprinted today and is believed to more closely adhere to the oral versions than Tabart's, because it lacks the moralizing of that version.[4]
In the Jacobs version of the story Jack is a young lad living with his widowed mother. Their only means of income is a cow. When this cow stops giving milk one morning, Jack is sent to the market to sell it. On the way to the market he meets an old man who offers to give him "magic" beans in exchange for the cow.
Jack takes the beans but when he arrives home with no money, his mother gets angry and throws the beans out the window and sends Jack to bed without supper.
As Jack sleeps, the beans grow into a gigantic beanstalk. Jack climbs the bean stalk and arrives in a land high up in the sky where he follows a road to a house, which is the home of an ogre. He enters the house and asks the ogre's wife for food. She gives him food, but the ogre returns and senses that a human is nearby:
Fee-fi-fo-fum!
I smell the blood of an Englishman?
Be he 'live, or be he dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread.

The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word (coined 1297) commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes (Greek "γίγαντες"[1]) of Greek mythology.
In various Indo-European mythologies, gigantic peoples are featured as primeval creatures associated with chaos and the wild nature, and they are frequently in conflict with the gods, be they Olympian, Nartian, Hindu or Norse.
There are also accounts of giants in the Old Testament, most famously Goliath. Attributed to them are extraordinary strength and physical proportions.
Fairy tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk have formed our modern perception of giants as stupid and violent monsters, frequently said to eat humans, and especially children. However, in some more recent portrayals, like those of Roald Dahl, some giants are both intelligent and friendly like from Gulliver's Travels.

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