The Sleeper Has Awakened

The Sleeper Has Awakened

I’ve seen this phrase in a variety of different contexts over the years. Where did it originate?

Not sure if its the first use of it, but it is in Frank Herbert’s Dune.

I don’t know where it ORIGINALLY came from, but I do know it’s quite an important statement in Frank Herbert’s book Dune.
The main character says it in both book and film when his eyes are opened and he sees his purpose.

Here is the Context in Dune

** Duke**: “Without change,
something sleeps inside us,
and seldom awakens.
The sleeper must awaken.”

Paul: Father, the sleeper has awakened.

I also am not sure if this is the ORIGINAL cite, but there is an excellent book by none other than H.G. Wells by that very name. It was also an expression in the book for something that would either never happen or would only happen a long long time from ‘now’. The story involves a man who experiments with some new science and keeps himself awake for some ridiculous period of time, then drops into a coma afterwards. Kept alive for several hundred years, on being awakened, he finds his personal estate amounts to most of the world. A bit dated, but a good read. IIRC

Not being a SF fan, I am more familiar with the phrase “…waking a sleeping giant.” That phrase is most often used to describe Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. I think it is often attributed to General (?) Yamimoto (?), but it may not have actually originated with him.

Sorry about the ?'s. WWII history is not my specialty.

Further back in history is the Bach cantata No. 140, Sleepers Awake! written in 1731. Bach carelessly omitted writing in English, however.

I’ve heard it said twice on the anime series Dragon Ball Z, to describe a fantastical transformation resulting in a tremendous increase in power. I’m not sure, but the translators probably inserted it in place of an analogous Japanese phrase. I doubt the Japanese writers knew of that particular phrase.

The phrase “wake a sleeping giant” pre-dates Yamamoto. Napoleon Bonaparte is alleged to have said, “China is a sleeping giant. Let her lie!”