Sleeping Beauties: An Evolution

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We have often seen numerous folktales that appear to be similar among different cultures. Often at times, the characters or locations change to accommodate the surrounding culture, but the message or moral of the story stays the same. In the case of the story, Sleeping Beauty, we notice that the earlier versions of the story are more crude and “adult” and as time passed on, the story evolved to become more suitable for a younger audience. Sleeping Beauty became a story of “rape, adultery, sexual rivalry, and attempted cannibalism” (Hallett, 1) to the clean and innocent Disney version we know today. The three versions of Sleeping Beauty that I will compare are Sole, Luna, E Talia (Sun, Moon, And Talia) by Giambattista Basile, The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood by Charles Perrault, and Brier Rose by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.
Sole, Luna, E Talia (Sun, Moon, And Talia) by Giambattista Basile tells the story of the princess, Talia who was cursed into a deep sleep, and raped by a King and awaken after giving birth to twins. This version is very shocking and repulsive because the King, impregnates the Sleeping Beauty character as she’s sleeping, and then leaves her. She awakens not at the kiss of the Prince, but at the birth of her twin children. The story also deals with the Queen (the King’s wife), whose jealous rage forced her to get revenge on her husband for cheating on her by making the cook kill the two children and serve them to the King to eat.
Taboo is a social and often sacred prohibition put upon certain things, people, or acts, which render them untouchable or unmentionable. (Goding, 214) In this version of Sleeping Beauty, there are many examples of taboo such as adultery, rape, and an attempt at cannibalism. These acts are ...

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...ng, Anne. Storytelling: Reflecting on Oral Narratives and Cultures. San Diego, CA: Cognella, 2013. Print.

• Lafferty, Anne. "Folk and Fairy Tales. By Martin Hallett and Barbara Karasek, Eds. Ethnologies 24.2 (2002): 261. Print.

• Sleeping Beauty. Perf. Mary Costa, Eleanor Audley, Barbara Luddy, Taylor Holmes, Bill Shirley, Verna Felton, Barbara Jo Allen, and Bill Thompson. Walt Disney, 1959. Pilhofer, Frank. “Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.” Disney Scripts.

• Willard, Tracey. "Maternal Cannibalism: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Juniper Tree, & The Virgin Mary's Child." Maternal Cannibalism: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Juniper Tree, & The Virgin Mary's Child. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2014.

• Willard, Tracey. "Tales at the Borders: Fairy Tales and Maternal Cannibalism." Tales at the Borders: Fairy Tales and Maternal Cannibalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2014.
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