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The King is a character in Giambattisba Basile's fairy tale entitled Sun, Moon, and Talia. This story would later become the basis behind another fairy tale entitled Sleeping Beauty.


After Talia had pricked her finger on the spinning flax of a spindle, her father placed his beloved daughter in one of his estates. Sometime later, an unnamed king arrived to the house and knocked on the door. When no response was given, the King let himself in, and he raped Talia while she was still asleep. After he had raped her, he left the house, and returned to his kingdom.

While still in her deep sleep, Talia gave birth to twins, one a boy, and the other a girl. Talia is only woken up when one of the twins mistook the spinning flax for its mother's breasts, and began to suck on it. The King later arrived to the house, and discovered that Talia was no longer sleeping. Talia learned that the King was already married to another woman, and the King leaves her once again.

When the Queen learns of Talia and the two children, the Queen orders Talia's children to be cooked alive and served up to her husband. The Cook hid the two children, and cooked two lambs instead. The Queen then tried to order Talia to be set on fire, but she was thrown into the fire instead. The Queen is then executed, and the King and Talia live happily ever after, even after he had defiled her without her permission.

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