Sun, Moon and Talia: The Story of Sleeping Beauty
A princess doomed to sleep forever until true loves first kiss... that is how the story goes right? That assumption would be wrong. The classic story of Sleeping Beauty has been around for hundreds of years. The general idea of the story has remained unchanged but the "how" of the story has evolved over the last 300 years. From the original works of Giamattista Basile, The Brothers Grimm to Walt Disney, authors have slowly changed the tale for the public, allowing them to fall in love more easily with the cursed princess. In 1634 Giamattista Basile wrote the story of Sun, Moon and Talia, better known today as Sleeping Beauty. A princess not cursed but prophesized to die once flax pierced her skin. Her father, the king, hearing this decreed anything made of flax was to be destroyed. On the eve of Talia’s 15th birthday the family traveled to a country house. There a spinning wheel forgotten or placed maliciously was found by the curious princess. She pricked her finger and promptly “died”. Overcome with grief the king took his daughter to her deathbed. He locked up the castle and left never to return. This story coincides with the most current version that is known today, but this is barely the beginning of Giamattista’s tale. This prophesized “death”, Talia is under symbolized man’s sin. Something so beautiful and pure had to be taken to absolve man's sin, much like Jesus in the Bible. However, unlike Jesus she doesn’t die, she is cursed to sleep forever never growing older. With this meaning, sin is still here and will remain unchanging until the end of time. The tale of Talia now starts to change from the original works to what is now known, Sleeping Beauty. A long time later a new king is wandering through the woods with his hunting party when he comes across an overgrown castle. After scaling the castle wall and gaining entry he finds the “dead” princess and is overcome with lust and takes her. After he is spent he leaves the castle forgetting about the beautiful sleeping princess. Months go by and Talia’s body changes, her belly grows. Soon she has given birth to twins a boy and a girl, Sun and Moon. A kiss from her true love didn’t wake Talia; this differs from the kiss from the prince that wakes Briar Rose (Geronimi). This lewd act of taking a defenseless woman could be in theory, how man flirts with sin, using it as they see fit only to forget about the consequences of their actions. However, this was a different time and based in Italy; the king’s behavior in this matter may not have been completely out of the ordinary. The introduction of fairies enters the works of Basile around this time. They take care of the children as Talia remains asleep. They care for Sun and Moon by raising them to Talia’s teat. It is only a few months later that Sun, unable to find Talia’s nipple, begins to suck on her finger soon dislodging the piece of flax (or hemp) waking her. Talia now awake in her overgrown castle with to two infants at her side, is confused. Even in her confusion she still falls instantly in love with the twins and continues to mother them. As time goes on the fairies take care of the family, making sure they want for not. A child’s love woke Talia from her slumber or perhaps it was just a baby trying to eat. This part of the writing is in no way shared in its current counterpart. Talia falling instantly in love with her children was placed here to show the capacity of a mother’s love. As the saying goes “A mother will always know her child(ren).” Perhaps it can be said having children is a way to be closer to God and the only true way to be forgiven. Years pass and the king finally remembers his “sleeping beauty” in the woods. He returns to Talia’s castle to find her awake and, to his surprise, with twin toddlers. This is when he explains what happened to her years ago. Instead of Talia being furious she welcomes him into her life with open arms. She realizes...
Cited: Basile, Giambattista. “Sun, Moon, and Talia”.iastate.edu. Iowa State University. Nd.
n. pag. Web. September 09, 2011.
Sleeping Beauty. Dir. Clyde Geronimiet all. Narr. Marvin Miller.
Walt Disney Productions. 1959. DVD.
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