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Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:11 pm
by JuniperBerry
Perfect timing. I was just reading The Edda, Volume 2 The Heroic Mythology of the North, Popular Studies in Mythology, Romance, and Folklore, No. 13 by Faraday last night and she brought up the connection between the Volsung Saga and Sleeping Beauty. (And, really, it make's sense that SB, based off of Grimm's fairytales, would have it's origins in Germanic folk-lore and mythology.)

The Volsung saga has the hero, Sigurd, kill a dragon and become owner of the treasure. This sets the curse and his fate in motion and next he crosses the ring of fire to awaken the sleeping Valkyrie Brynhild that Odin has condemned to an endless sleep. In SB, the ring of fire is replaced by a thicket of roses, and the tragic ending is replaced with "Happily ever after". Even the spindle on which Sleeping Beauty pricks herself relates to Germanic mythology, as the spindle was an important aspect of germanic sorcery and myth. The three fairy god-mothers are easily the three Norns, and it was a belief in early Germanic people that a Norn would arrive at the birth of a child to either bestow a curse or a blessing on the newborn. In SB we see three Norns, rather than one, bestowing blessings and then also the appearance of the evil witch to bestow a curse.

One of the main aspects of the Volsung saga was to show the role that fate and the gods play in a man's life and how a man still has choices and free will. It also shows the nature of Odin as a god, and how he interacts with his worshippers and the role he plays in their life. The saga stretches all the way back to how the treasure was cursed, and forward to the descendants of Sigurd, Gudrun, and Brynhild and how they shaped a noble family of Germany.

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:56 pm
by Traumwandlerin
I always thought the sleeping beauty was about puberty. The sting with the needle symbolizes the first blood and the sleeping the terror and fear that occured after this event. The thick roses could even symbolizes the growing pubic hair. I'm not an expert in fairytales, but I always thought that in the original version the sleeping beauty wasn't kissed to life but actually got raped in the end (or f*cked back to life and it's just me that considers f*cking with a sleeping women is rape and I just didn't get the symbol ^^). So it's the process of growing into womenhood. The first menstruation and the first sex.

And the version I know haven't 3 god-mothers but 13. The last one got uninvited, got mad and therefore cursed the sleeping beauty that on her 13th birthday something tragic will happen. But this is the age when the first menstruation occures, so all these things fit perfectly. Still you could find out more about the roles of the god-mother. All 12 had a special gift and this surely symbolizes something, but I would go more into the interpretation of growing as a women. Also maybe you should consider in this interpretation how life was as a women in this era to get the meanings of the gifts.

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:08 pm
by JuniperBerry
Traumwandlerin wrote:I always thought the sleeping beauty was about puberty. The sting with the needle symbolizes the first blood and the sleeping the terror and fear that occured after this event. The thick roses could even symbolizes the growing pubic hair. I'm not an expert in fairytales, but I always thought that in the original version the sleeping beauty wasn't kissed to life but actually got raped in the end (or f*cked back to life and it's just me that considers f*cking with a sleeping women is rape and I just didn't get the symbol ^^). So it's the process of growing into womenhood. The first menstruation and the first sex.



There was a french writer, Perlaut?, who wrote a version before Grimm's. Most of my comparison was done on the latest Walt Disney version of Sleeping Beauty. In the early French retelling, Sleeping Beauty is raped after being cursed with endless sleep, bears two children, and feeds them to her rapist. I see this as an absorption of both Gudrun and Brynhild. Gudrun was also married to Sigurd, after a spell was cast on him. After Sigurd and Brynhild die, Gudrun is forced to marry Atli, and later on she kills the two sons she has with him and feeds him their hearts. So, it may represent puberty to some, but the initial telling was not in that vein.

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:40 pm
by Traumwandlerin
Yeah, I was referring to the french version. I don't like the soft Disney Versions at all. Even though the Grimms versions are also softer, but those were the ones I've known since childhood.

But anyhow, what does your interpretation means? Or is it just a comparison to another myth, out of fun? I don't know the myths you referred to, at least not to what they could mean ^^

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:25 pm
by JuniperBerry
Well, it's value isn't really in interpretive mythology, but more in reconstructinist heroic folk-lore. It gives a recontructionist a great glimpse at the life, worship, and world-view of our ancestors. As the origin of Sleeping Beauty, I find it interesting, as well.

The curse of the dragon's treasure is a great look at the relationship between man, dwarf and gods. The killing of Sigurd's father by Odin shows us the way the gods interacted in our life. The orphan Sigurd, and his place in the courts shows us the social caste of the heathens. Brynhild shows us the mystical nature of the runes, while Gudrun's mother and her sorcery show us the importance of Oath-keeping. Gudrun's vengeance on her family and her unwanted husband shows us the importance of kin, and the warrior mindset. This is all very simple, of course. Chapters, books even, have been devoted to the study of the Volsung saga.

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:08 am
by Traumwandlerin
Hehe, if I read ,myths, I can't appreciate just their beauty or their historical information, I need to know what they mean to me. I'm more interpretional. But than again, I'm also not interested in myths ^^

Sleeping beauty is called "Dornröschen" in German, wich means "Thick roses". Just an additional information, I like this name much more :)

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:37 am
by Fayneixx
This was always one of my favorites, even before disney went into it, although I love the disney songs, and something I don't get....you're walking through the woods. You see a million roses and thorns barring a castle door, an dyou think oh, I'll go cut through it. You wander through the castle, seeing people who are all asleep, then when you get to the end, you see a girl in a bed (who moved her from the wheel by the way?) and you think OMFG I totally need to go kiss that dead broad!

Makes sense? Twilight, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty are all based around necrophelia apparently newangel goodnevil

Great, I just ruined it for myself ::darkmood::

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:51 am
by JuniperBerry
Sigurd had his future told to him before he set out on his quest. He was warned about finding Brunhild, marrying Gudrun, and the curse. (Some scholars say it was Odin in disguise who warned him). So I'm 99.9% sure that he didn't just stumble upon Brynhild, but went to find her specifically. I feel like I'm going to make the story more confusing, because I just gave a simple run down above and it's really quiet more complicated than that but, the ring of fire that he went through was afterwards. Initially, Brynhild was in a deep sleep on a mountain top. Sigurd found her and cut her armour off (she was a shieldmaiden- a warrior). He didn't kiss her or sleep with her before she was awake. Sources aren't clear on whether Sigurd slept with her at all. In some versions of the lore, he slept with her after she awoke and taught him in the runes and later they had a daughter, in others sources her virginity remained intact. After he wakes her up, he leaves her to seek out his destiny promising to return and take her as wife. She lives in her fathers castle, surrounded by a ring of fire, and only the strongest and bravest of men can pass through (she knows this will be Sigurd when he returns for her). Instead, Gudrun's mother gives Sigurd a potion to forget Brynhild and he marries her daughter (Gudrun). Then, Gudrun's brother Gunnar wishes to marry Brynhild so he and Sigurd ride to the castle, where Gunnar fails to pass through the ring of fire. Changing shapes, Sigurd passes through the flame in Gunnar's form and win's Brynhild's hand. Here is where some lore states that Sigurd, still unaware of whom Bynhild is, keeps a sword between them in bed, leaving her virginity intact, for three days.

Brynhild marries Gunnar, confused by Sigurd's change in heart but believeing Gunnar is a worthier husband since he passed through the fire. Later, Gudrun slips that it was Sigurd in Gundar's form who passed through the fire and Brynhild is enraged. She has Sigurd killed by Gunnar and his brothers, even though he now remembers his love for Brynhild, then kills herself and they burn together on the funeral pyre.

Re: Sleeping Beauty

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:01 pm
by JuniperBerry
Here is Brynhild and Odin as he puts her to sleep:

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Brynhild:

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Brynhild:

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Brynhild and Sigurd:

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Brynhild and Gudrun (Brynhild is brunette in this painting):

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Gudrun and Sigurd:

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Sigurd's Death:

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