Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday Tales: Sleeping Beauty

I'm trying to keep today's Tuesday Tales short. That is unfortunate because I could probably fill two pages talking about Sleeping Beauty, but I doubt anyone wants to read a two page blog post. It has had many different forms over several hundred years, but most people are either familiar with the Grimms version called Little Briar Rose, or Disney's 1959 animated version.

The basic story goes that a princess was blessed by fairies at her christening. One fairy was not invited and so she cursed the girl to prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and would die. The last fairy somewhat is able to reverse the curse, rescinding the death so that the child would sleep for 100 years instead.

Even with the entire kingdom working to destroy all spinning wheels, the girl still falls prey to the curse as a teenager, thanks to that evil fairy. Everyone in the kingdom fell asleep. 100 years passed and a handsome prince found the princess and fell in love. He broke the curse with a kiss and they lived happily ever after. Or did they? Disney's version is slightly different, following Briar Rose as the good fairies spirit her away to live a protected life with them away from the castle. She meets her good prince and falls in love, so the fairies take her home where she still ends up pricking her finger on the spindle. Her prince is kidnapped by the evil fairy and has to battle his way out of a dungeon to rescue his beautiful bride. Then, they live happily ever after in the Disney version.

Disney left out the second part of the story though. Part two tells of the Prince's evil mother who is an Ogre heritage. Beauty/Briar Rose/Aurora gives birth to two children and is kept secret until the Prince claims his throne and becomes King. When he goes off to the war, his mother sends the woman and her children off in the woods. The Queen attempts to kill the children and consume them but is tricked by a humane cook. When she discovers the trick, she fills a tub with vipers and other venomous creatures to kill the woman. The King returns in time and the old Queen jumps into the tub. THEN, they lived happily ever after.

Of course, that is only two versions of the story. The earliest form of the story was about death, rape, murder, and intrigue. It was much darker than many realize. Although, I guess a lot of fairy tales are darker in their original forms that the Disney versions we have gotten over the past 60 or so years. My favorite version is Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, but erotica isn't for everyone. Do you have a favorite version?


Booksteve said...

A couple more books I highly recommend:

THE DISNEY VERSION--Goes into detail about the changes Disney made to the classic fairy tales.

THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT--a serious study of fairy tales and WHY the originals were as violent and bizarre as they originally were.

Not sure if either is in print as they date back to at least the early seventies but the Public Library or Amazon should be able to get you copies.

Booksteve said...

I really kind of hated the first of the Anne Rice books, too, btw. Never read the other two because of that. Can't stand her writing style. Over the years they've been recommended to me endlessly, though...and every single time by women from ages 18-50! Weird.

Booksteve said...

Always wanted to find the original audio tape versions of the Anne Rice SB books though as they were read by Elizabeth (BEWITCHED) Montgomery. When she died, they re-recorded them with someone else, apparently missing the fact that hearing Samantha talk dirty was a selling point! ;P