Good day to you, Champions! Here’s the final Sleeping Beauty freebie: The Third Knight. (As in the third Legendary Knight Briar knights….buwahah) I hope you all enjoy it! I had the most fun with this short, so I’m reeeally hoping it makes you guys laugh, too!
Today we’re going to dig into the morals and themes presented in Sleeping Beauty.
Sleeping Beauty was one of the few fairy tales that made me pause and actually wonder what on earth anyone could find instructive/helpful about it. (I say that with all my love, because really, have you entertained any fairies recently?) Thankfully Perrault–who as you might remember the Brothers Grimm’s story was an orally shared version of his tale–spells out the moral at the end of the book.
Perrault says the moral is–I kid you not–be patient in waiting for love. I was actually surprised at the sound logic behind that, and the way he phrases it is actually quite humorous. See for yourself!
“Many a girl has waited long
For a husband brave or strong;
But I’m sure I never met
Any sort of woman yet
Who could wait a hundred years,
Free from fretting, free from fears.
Now, our story seems to show
That a century or so,
Late or early, matters not;
True love comes by fairy-lot.
Some old folk will even say
It grows better by delay.
Yet this good advice, I fear,
Helps us neither there nor here.
Though philosophers may prate
How much wiser ’tis to wait,
Maids will be a sighing still —
Young blood must when young blood will!”
For those who are curious, yes, Perrault wrote this in his French retelling. The website I found it at said the translation of the moral (because it was omitted by earlier translations) comes from Perrault’s Fairy Tales, translated by S. R. Littlewood (London: Herbert and Daniel, 1912).
Though it might seem odd, this is really a moral I could get behind, and that’s partially why I made Briar and Isaia childhood friends and their relationship so long in developing. But while patience in love is the moral, there are still other bits of symbolism and themes in the story that deserve a closer look.
I briefly mentioned it previously, but when the king proclaimed that all spinning wheels should be destroyed and anyone caught owning/using one would be put to death, it was an inspiredly-stupid idea. This fairy tale takes place in a time where the only way for the general populace to produce thread/fabrics, was to spin it. By destroying all the spinning wheels in the kingdom, he was robbing his people of a way to clothe themselves–not to mention I imagine he put a ton of people out of business. (Think about it–not just spinners and weavers, but farmers who owned sheep would now have to take the wool to a neighboring kingdom so it could be put to use! The same goes for flax farmers.)
Furthermore, it would greatly impact the kingdom’s economy. Prices on fabrics would hike up drastically because everything would have to be imported, and while other countries would profit the people would suffer.
But that’s only if people actually obeyed the king. We know they didn’t because the princess pricks her finger on a spindle, so there’s still some machines around. The King’s order is clearly too bull-headed and impossible that the people cannot follow it. It’s very similar to the “turning-straw-to-gold” bit of Rumpelstiltskin. (Which, as you might recall, is extra impossible because straw can’t be used in spinning or for anything, so the king was telling the girl to make something from nothing.)
I feel like the King’s stubborn actions are a second moral. It shows that you can make unreasonable demands based off fear and terror, and what you fear may still come to pass. In fact, reading about the king’s proclamation is what inspired me to have Briar set off the curse on her own free will. Briar’s family–like the king from the original–are filled with fear, and they make poor decisions as a result. Briar, however, acknowledges her fear and steps forward to face her curse anyway. If Isaia hadn’t been so stubborn, her idea to set off the curse would have been smashing, and in the end she’s the hero–not because she fought but because she stirred the Magic Knights and was determined to face Carabosso if no one else would.
And that’s all for today. I hope you enjoy the final extra, Champions!