The Sleeping Beauty is the most recent folk-tale avatar of the very old mythological motive of the death and resurrection of a god. The princess is named Aurore, which is latin for dawn. Her one-hundred year sleep is a symbol for (all at once) night, winter and death, and like Mithra, Dionysus, Jesus or Osiris, or any other god whose resurrection is celebrated periodically, her awakening is a symbol for the hope that daylight, spring and life will occur again.
The goddess Dawn, in Homeric literature, is always qualified as rosy-fingered, ῥοδο-δάκτυλος Ἠώς. Is it thus only by chance that the Sleeping Beauty is, under the terms of the malediction, to be wounded at her finger by a spindle?
(Illustration: engraving by Gustave Doré)