Sleeping Beauty Analysis

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The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, by Charles Perrault, has a clear Christian theme. This is because it was written in France during the late seventeenth century for the enjoyment of royalty. The readers would undoubtedly be Catholic, the religion of the royalty, so Charles Perrault wrote for that audience. The fairy tale begins with the princess being granted gifts from several fairies shortly after her birth. This is similar to the sacrament of baptism. Also, the prince and princess marry shortly after they meet, so as to ensure sexual abstinence beforehand.

The main character of the story is a passive woman. As follows the beliefs of the time, the sleeping beauty waits patiently, sleeping, for her prince to "save" her. There was clear patriarchal dominance present in the story, and this theme continues from the moment when the prince saves her and their two children from being eaten at the end of the tale. All of this is summed up by the poem after the story finishes that explains the moral, that women must wait for the right man to "save" them and be their prince.

It is noted in the story that the queen, the prince's mother, comes from ogre descent. She attempts to eat both of her grandchildren separately, and later the princess, but is fooled by the steward. When she becomes aware of these heinous acts, she becomes furious and makes a pot to cook them all in. Right then, however, the prince rides up and saves his wife and children. The queen then dives into her own pot and is subsequently killed. This is a textbook example of the evil character getting what she deserved in the end.

The author referred to society a lot in this story. An example at the start of the story is how he tells us, "They travelled all over the world taking the waters, they made vows and pilgrimages, but all to no avail." Here, he is telling the reader the extent to which the King and Queen go to in order to have a child that an average couple probably could not do,...
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