Vocab at the Movies: Sleeping Beauty

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maleficentIn Disney’s 1959 film Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora’s main nemesis is the evil Maleficent, whose imprecation is the impetus for the film’s plot.

Maleficent, of course, is an adjective meaning evil, malicious, and a near-synonym of malevolent. Angry at having not been invited to baby Aurora’s christening, Maleficent curses Aurora — that is, places a malediction on her — to “prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die” on her sixteenth birthday.

Of course, it all works out fine when Aurora’s inamorato defeats Maleficent, with the help of some beneficent fairies.

Maleficent’s pet raven is named Diablo. Diablo is the Spanish word for devil, and is of course related to the word diabolical.

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