Sleeping Beauty and Cannibalism

After reading the three different versions of Sleeping Beauty (Basile, Perrault, and Grimm), I found there to be more similarities between Basile and Perrault’s stories than with Grimm’s.

Ness summed up the three stories beautifully in her article on cannibalism and other gruesome acts in Sleeping Beauty. Basile and Perrault both include cannibalistic intent of the Queen (first the prince’s wife, then the prince’s Ogre mother) to eat Sleeping Beauty’s children, and then in Basile’s version a fire for Sleeping Beauty to be killed in and a vat of demon creatures in Perrault’s.

Grimm’s tale does not feature any cannibalism or rape. Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger on a spindle and falls asleep (similar to the other tales), but she does not get pregnant and have children, therefore removing the cannibalism plot. The prince simply kisses Sleeping Beauty rather than raping her while she’s unconscious, seen in Basile’s version of the tale. The themes in Grimm’s version are much more light hearted than that of Basile or Perrault. Grimm’s version is the one that was developed into the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty and is the version we are most familiar with in the U.S.

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