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THE SLEEPING BEAUTY. Once upon a time there was a king and queen who for a very long time had no children, and when at length a little daughter was born. The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. Charles Perrault. Once upon a time there lived a king and queen who were grieved, more grieved than words can tell. Sleeping Beauty - Brothers Grimm. A king and queen once upon a time reigned in a country a great way off, where there were in those days fairies. Now this king .

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SLEEPING BEAUTY vited. She had left the kingdom fifty years be- fore and had not been seen or heard of until this day. The king at once ordered that a plate. At last, however, the Queen had a daughter. There was a very fine christening; and the Prin- cess had for her godmothers all the fairies they could find in the. GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES. THE SLEEPING BEAUTY. Jacob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm. Grimm, Jacob () and Wilhelm () - .

Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. The History of the Sleeping Beauty: Part I. Nancy Partridge. Containing universal themes of beauty, prophecy, loss, and the awakening of desire, it has captured our collective imagination for centuries.

The origins of fairy tale are tangled and obscure, but it is obvious that readership changes, as time goes on. Narrative is an act of communication between author and reader — with a number of transitional mental constructs that spring up from the act of reading. For it has been seen that narrative is twofold: You cannot have one without the other.

It is as if the narrative itself is a kind of bridge that, once crossed, lands us into a kind of world — one that we construct as we engage with the text. This necessarily springs from the world of the real reader. Since the real reader is going to change through time — and bring to that relationship a new understanding, a new cultural paradigm — then the implied reader is also going to change.

It is important to remember that encounter of two different languages happens at a specific historical time and place. These horizons create a series of expectations that are met, which cause pleasure and satisfaction, or not met, which cause distress and a kind of negotiation on the part of the reader. In the same way, when the infant Beauty is cursed by the evil fairy to die after pricking her finger on a spindle, the last fairy is left to re-negotiate: Thus in this paper I ask not so much who has written or re-told Sleeping Beauty, but who has read it, and bargained with it, and how has this kept the story alive?

In all narratives there are certain important moments upon which hinges the whole piece; these are accompanied by an underlying motivating emotional force which powers the movement, from which all the rest flows, like the source of a river. These spots feel almost sacred in their purity, and their currents travel beneath the surface of the story, imbuing it with life. Such moments are not always joyful; it is often a painful truth that gives the underlying integrity necessary for a story to endure.

As the versions of Sleeping Beauty evolved, certain vital and essential plot elements remained intact: These are the king and queen, the princess, an old or wise man or woman who prophesies or curses, a chosen prince, his steward, and an ogre who is either a mother or a wife.

The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood

In the following pages as I summarize the aforementioned versions of The Sleeping Beauty, I hope to capture the unique culturally specific features of each one. From this we will be able to see the progression of the tale as these features rebound from one culture to another. There are other, interesting connections.

Charles Perrault was evidently an ardent patron of the Biblioteque orientale, a work of Antoine Galland, the first European translator of the Nights, and he and Galland used the same publisher. As the Nights stories were introduced in Europe, they were read and discussed among the educated aristocracy, who loved them and thereby apparently developed a passion for oriental stories.

The existence of flax and spinning in the Arab world checks out, historically. A Companion, pg.

This love at first sight is intrinsic to almost all the Nights tales, and is a widely respected cultural phenomenon. Ten years old is younger than the teenage princess in later European versions of the story, but in traditional Arabic culture, that is not too young to marry.

In Labor in the Medieval Islamic World, weavers and spinners of flax are listed as being active in Basra, Iraq, in the 10th century. The Middle East is dry and very, very hot, and gardens were a luxury, meant for the wealthy.

This would make the girl extremely desirable to the listening crowd. In addition, gardens are prevalent in the Islamic vision of Paradise, which is always set in a garden with many fountains. Weeping at her beauty, he kisses her hand and notices the sliver of flax, which he gently dislodges — and wakes the girl up. Immediately they get back into bed and stay together for forty days and forty nights.

Very Nights. This suggests that the audience for this tale would be men, since it would not do for women or children to be hearing such inappropriate details. This separation and longing for the beloved has its roots in the mystical love poetry of 10th century Persia. Originally the beloved was the Divine Beloved, with whom the soul eternally seeks union. So here again the Nights is a mix of the spiritual and the earthly, and the relationship between Sittukhan and the Prince is one which the audience could relate to, through their poetry and their tradition.

Her plan is to trick the prince, perhaps to punish him. The prince of course falls madly in love with this new girl, which is very funny, and asks his mother to bring her gifts and beg the girl to marry him.

Here the plot parallels the story of Ala-al-din, whom we know as Aladdin. It must have been customary for mothers to do this for their sons. At this point the audience would have been mentally negotiating like mad, with those who favored the prince hoping that he would win the girl, and those fathers who perhaps had daughters hoping she would refuse him, the cur.

Perhaps the way of young men was so taken for granted that no one would think twice about his predicament, but the humor is there all the same. Mysteriously, Sittukhan-as-the-new-princess says she will only marry the boy if he pretends to be dead, which he agrees to do. So here we have both the girl and the prince feigning death, with two sets of parents grieving, which evokes the motif of parental loss, as offspring leave childhood behind.

On a narratological note, one can find rudimentary traces of the implied author or narrator even in an essentially oral tale such as this one.

Random House, , p. Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood Princeton: Princeton University Press, , p. After years of happy marriage and children, she faces being eaten by her jealous ogress mother-in-law while her husband is away.

Fortunately, they do all live happily ever after and the ogress gets eaten herself.

This story again, much like 'Cinderella', demonstrates the moral contrast between the old and ugly, and the young and beautiful. The older female characters here are demonized and shown to be outcasts, while the beautiful remain virtuous and kind. The beauty and the beast trope does not always employ male and female figures; in fact, more often than not, the ugly and beautiful characters are both female, and often demonstrate the instability of the old and new female roles: In stories where this is the case, the beastly female characters are usually punished, rather than transformed or saved at the end of the story.

The moral in these types of stories is that good behaviour, here reflected in beauty, is rewarded and ugly behaviour is punished. The story opens with the description: The use of stock association, or how an image or feeling is produced from an established signifier, is particularly important to this type of literature, particularly for children, as descriptions of emotion are elementary, and so the character is developed almost entirely through the aesthetic.

This quite often falls into the categories of beautiful is good, and ugly is bad. Already we know Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and Sleeping Beauty are good, and the beast, ogress and big hairy wolf are bad, but why show this through anything more than their behaviour?

Although the connection between beauty and virtue is born of social convention, and there is always a sense that beauty is in the eye of the beholder most of these descriptions are simply 'most beautiful' after all , the frequent association of fair skin with beauty is not entirely free from subjective associations.

Pote, , p. The next two examples are stories where a single character takes the form of both beauty and deformity. The mother's wish, having chosen beauty for her daughter, is granted. When she is grown, Florisa is chosen by the King from 'thirty rural beauties' to marry the Prince.

The story then falls from the traditional happy beauty to the pitfalls of jealousy and punishment. Chronipota, the mother-in-law, grows jealous of Florisa and frames her for inconstancy. The Prince locks her up in a tower and here she 'reflect[s] on her once happy state of life, her humble birth, and all her harmless rural entertainments' p.

When the fairy returns to save Florisa, she asks 'Are you willing to resign your beauty which has prov'd your ruin' p. After accepting, the fairy changes Florisa's face: The story informs us that Florisa was 'very well contented to return to her former station, to be deform'd, and live in obscurity in the country, where all her business was to tend her sheep' p.

The moral of the story, although brought about by an ugly mother-in-law, is that beauty does not automatically make happiness, and that humility is often the best quality in a woman.

(PDF) The History of the Sleeping Beauty: Part I | Nancy Partridge -

As a twist in the traditional beauty-and-the-beast tale it is on the day Minet Bleu is beautiful, and Louvette is ugly that the two fall in love and break the curse. After Louvette rescues the prince from a poisonous arrow, the story begins its moral conclusion: Where there is tenderness, generosity, and goodness, there is no deformity: Cooper, , pp. This 'Happy error' in turn 'produced a reality' and 'her deformity vanished [as] she sparked with all the beauties of her youth[.

The same can be said for Beaumont's beast and Perrault's similar character Riquet a la Houpe, as to whether their transformed beauty is truly physical, or the visual transformation of love and goodness.

Throughout this paper the various faces of beauty and ugliness have been considered in the way they are used to express character in moralistic stories. The contrast between courtly and country life has also aided the expression of idealised behaviour and situation, particularly for young girls. The common factor in these examples, romanticised as it is, is the suggestion that goodness, virtue and patience can make a person beautiful. But according to Maria Tatar [i]t is one of the lesser-known facts of folkloric life that women are rarely as virtuous as they are beautiful.

Cinderella and Snow White may combine good behavior with good looks, but they are exceptional in that respect. The stories that critique beauty are more often the result of a jealous third party, rather than the beauty's own sense of superiority. It would perhaps be more appropriate, considering the previous examples and the cultural context, to divide beauty and ugliness into these categories: Those characters that fall into the ugly and good category, for example the beast in 'Beauty and the Beast', Louvette, and Perrault's Riquet a la Houpe, are more often than not transformed or rewarded with beauty at the end of the story.

Tatar's claim, if correct, would take away from the most profound moral in these texts: This in turn supports Lewis Seifert's idea that these tales were written not only for children, and mostly girls at that, but for young women also.

As most of these fairy tales were aimed at the French bourgeoisie, the warnings of pride and vanity are given specific cultural weight in France, but are not without significance to English culture.

Despite the delay in translation, French fairy tales found a demand in the English literary market, particularly in the moral education of children and young girls. The advantages of these moral fairy tale stories can be, and have been, adapted and understood at all social and cultural levels, offering romantic notions of future happiness, guidance for good behaviour, warnings of sexual encounters and, perhaps the most important lesson of all, humility.

The use of the aesthetic in these stories to demonstrate these moral values not only demonstrates the cultural social shifts and pseudo-scientific beliefs that the body is indicative of the mind that were circulating at the time, but also the ways one interprets and judges the physical body through association: As a literary genre aimed particularly at impressionable young girls, the aesthetic here is employed to suggest that virtue, wit and patience will make an individual beautiful, not the other way around.

Related Papers. By Margaret Kenna.

The magic of a genre: By Claudia Weber. Fairy Tales- Psychological Impact and Evolution. By Bettina Boca. By Anita grigoryan. Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre.

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