BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (French : LA BELLE ET LA BêTE) is a traditional
fairy tale written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de
Villeneuve and published in 1740 in La Jeune Américaine et les contes
marins (The Young American and Marine Tales). Her lengthy version was
abridged, rewritten, and published first by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de
Beaumont in 1756 in Magasin des enfants (Children's Collection) and
Andrew Lang in the Blue
Fairy Book of his
Fairy Book series in
1889, to produce the version(s) most commonly retold. It was
influenced by some earlier stories, such as "
Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche ",
written by Lucius
Apuleius Madaurensi in
The Golden Ass in the 2nd
century AD, and "
The Pig King ". an Italian fairytale published by
Giovanni Francesco Straparola in
The Facetious Nights of Straparola .
Variants of the tale are known across Europe. In France, for
example, Zémire and Azor is an operatic version of the story, written
by Marmontel and composed by
Grétry in 1771, which had enormous
success well into the 19th century; it is based on the second version
of the tale. Amour pour amour (Love for love), by Nivelle de la
Chaussée, is a 1742 play based on de Villeneuve's version. According
to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon , the story
originated around 4,000 years ago.
* 1 Plot
* 2 Villeneuve\'s version
* 3 Commentary
* 4 Modern uses and adaptations
* 4.1 Literature
* 4.2 Film
* 4.3 Television
* 4.4 Theatre
* 4.5 Other
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
A widower merchant lives in a mansion with his six children, three
sons and three daughters. All his daughters are very beautiful, but
the youngest, Beauty, is the most lovely, as well as kind, well-read,
and pure of heart; while the two elder sisters, in contrast, are
wicked, selfish, vain, and spoiled. They secretly taunt
treat her more like a servant than a sister. The merchant eventually
loses all of his wealth in a tempest at sea which sinks most of his
merchant fleet. He and his children are consequently forced to live in
a small farmhouse and work for their living.
Some years later, the merchant hears that one of the trade ships he
had sent has arrived back in port, having escaped the destruction of
its compatriots. Before leaving, he asks his children if they wish for
him to bring any gifts back for them. The sons ask for weaponry and
horses to hunt with, whereas his oldest daughters ask for clothing,
jewels, and the finest dresses possible as they think his wealth has
Beauty is satisfied with the promise of a rose as none grow
in their part of the country. The merchant, to his dismay, finds that
his ship's cargo has been seized to pay his debts, leaving him
penniless and unable to buy his children's presents.
During his return, the merchant becomes lost during a storm. Seeking
shelter, he enters a dazzling palace. A hidden figure opens the giant
doors and silently invites him in. The merchant finds tables inside
laden with food and drink, which seem to have been left for him by the
palace's invisible owner. The merchant accepts this gift and spends
the night there. The next morning, as the merchant is about to leave,
he sees a rose garden and recalls that
Beauty had desired a rose. Upon
picking the loveliest rose he can find, the merchant is confronted by
a hideous "Beast" which tells him that for taking his most precious
possession after accepting his hospitality, the merchant must die. The
merchant begs to be set free, arguing that he had only picked the rose
as a gift for his youngest daughter. The Beast agrees to let him give
the rose to Beauty, but only if the merchant or one of his daughters
Beauty dines with the Beast in an illustration by
Anne Anderson .
The merchant is upset but accepts this condition. The Beast sends him
on his way, with wealth, jewels and fine clothes for his sons and
daughters, and stresses that
Beauty must never know about his deal.
The merchant, upon arriving home, tries to hide the secret from
Beauty, but she pries it from him. Her brothers say they will go to
the castle and fight the Beast, but the merchant dissuades them,
saying they will stand no chance against the monster.
agrees to go to the Beast's castle. The Beast receives her graciously
and informs her that she is now mistress of the castle, and he is her
servant. He gives her lavish clothing and food and carries on lengthy
conversations with her. Every night, the Beast asks
Beauty to marry
him, only to be refused each time. After each refusal,
of a handsome prince who pleads with her to answer why she keeps
refusing him, to which she replies that she cannot marry the Beast
because she loves him only as a friend.
Beauty does not make the
connection between the handsome prince and the Beast and becomes
convinced that the Beast is holding the prince captive somewhere in
the castle. She searches and discovers multiple enchanted rooms, but
never the prince from her dreams.
For several months,
Beauty lives a life of luxury at the Beast's
palace, having every whim catered to by invisible servants, with no
end of riches to amuse her and an endless supply of exquisite finery
to wear. Eventually, she becomes homesick and begs the Beast to allow
her to go see her family. He allows it on the condition that she
returns exactly a week later.
Beauty agrees to this and sets off for
home with an enchanted mirror and ring. The mirror allows her to see
what is going on back at the Beast's castle, and the ring allows her
to return to the castle in an instant when turned three times around
her finger. Her older sisters are surprised to find her well fed and
dressed in finery.
Beauty tries to share the magnificent gowns and
jewels the Beast gave her with her sisters, but they turn into rags at
her sisters' touch, and are restored to their splendour when returned
to Beauty, as the Beast meant them only for her. Her sisters are
envious when they hear of her happy life at the castle, and, hearing
that she must return to the Beast on a certain day, beg her to stay
another day, even putting onion in their eyes to make it appear as
though they are weeping. They hope that the Beast will be angry with
Beauty for breaking her promise and eat her alive. Beauty's heart is
moved by her sisters' false show of love, and she agrees to stay.
Warwick Goble .
Beauty begins to feel guilty about breaking her promise to the Beast
and uses the mirror to see him back at the castle. She is horrified to
discover that the Beast is lying half-dead from heartbreak near the
rose bushes from which her father plucked the rose, and she
immediately uses the ring to return to the Beast.
Beauty weeps over the Beast, saying that she loves him. When her
tears strike him, the Beast is transformed into the handsome prince
from Beauty's dreams. The Prince informs her that long ago a fairy
turned him into a hideous beast after he refused to let her in from
the rain and that only by finding true love, despite his ugliness,
could the curse be broken. He and
Beauty are married and they live
happily ever after together.
Villeneuve's original tale includes several elements that Beaumont's
omits. Chiefly, the backstory of both
Beauty and the Beast is given.
The Beast was a prince who lost his father at a young age, and whose
mother had to wage war to defend his kingdom. The queen left him in
care of an evil fairy, who tried to seduce him when he became an
adult; when he refused, she transformed him into a beast. Beauty's
story reveals that she is not really a merchant's daughter but the
offspring of a king and a good fairy. A wicked fairy had tried to
Beauty so she could marry her father the king, and
put in the place of the merchant's dead daughter to protect her.
Villeneuve also gave the castle elaborate magic, which obscured the
more vital pieces of it. Beaumont greatly pared down the cast of
characters and simplified the tale to an almost archetypal simplicity.
Petrus Gonsalvus (c. 1580)
Tatar (2017) compares the tale to the theme of "animal brides and
grooms" found in folklore throughout the world, pointing out that the
French tale was specifically intended for the preparation of young
girls in 18th century France for arranged marriages . The urban
opening is unusual in fairy tales, as is the social class of the
characters, neither royal nor peasants. It may reflect the social
changes occurring at the time of its first writing.
Hamburger (2015) points out that the design of the Beast in the 1946
film adaptation by
Jean Cocteau was inspired by the portrait of Petrus
Gonsalvus , a native of
Tenerife who suffered from hypertrichosis ,
causing an abnormal growth of hair on his face and other parts, and
who came under the protection of the French king and married a
beautiful Parisian woman named Catherine.
MODERN USES AND ADAPTATIONS
The tale has been notably adapted for screen, stage, prose, and
television over the years.
The Pig King , by
Giovanni Francesco Straparola , an Italian
fairytale published in
The Facetious Nights of Straparola .
The Scarlet Flower , a Russian fairy tale published in 1858 by
Sergey Aksakov .
Beauty and the Beast ... The Story Retold.
Laura E. Richards .
London: Blickie the Beast, a catlike telepathic alien, is never given
a name that can be written or spoken in any human language.
Fashion Beast , a 1985 screenplay by
Alan Moore , was adapted into
a graphic novel in 2012.
* In The Last Wish (1993) by
Andrzej Sapkowski , the story "A Grain
of Truth" is very similar to "
Beauty and the Beast", though the beast
enjoys being a beast and the daughters of various merchants willingly
live with him in exchange for money.
Lord of Scoundrels (1995) by
Loretta Chase , a
Regency romance and
Beauty and the Beast
The Fire Rose (1995) by
Mercedes Lackey , part of the Elementals
The Quantum Rose by
Catherine Asaro is another science fiction
retelling of "
Beauty and the Beast". It won the 2002 Nebula Award for
Best Novel and the 2001 Affaire de Coeur Award for Best Science
Fiction Novel. The first third of the novel appeared as a three-part
serialization in Analog magazine in the 1999 May, June, and
Tor Books published the full novel in 2000.
Beastly , written in 2007 by
Alex Flinn , sets the story in
* A French version entitled La Belle et la Bête was made in 1946,
Jean Cocteau , starring
Jean Marais as the Beast and
Josette Day as the Beauty. This version adds a subplot involving
Belle's suitor Avenant, also played by Marais.
* A 1952 animated feature film,
The Scarlet Flower , based upon
Aksakov's aforementioned tale, was directed by
Lev Atamanov and
produced at the
Soyuzmultfilm . It was restored at the Gorky Film
Studio in 1987, and is now widely available on several video and DVD
editions in Russia (an English-subtitled version has not been
* A 1962 version directed by Edward L. Cahn , starring Joyce Taylor
Mark Damon , had the Beast as a prince who transformed into a
werewolf at night, with makeup by Universal 's Jack Pierce .
* In 1987, The Cannon Group and
Golan-Globus Productions released
Beauty and the Beast , a musical live-action version, directed by
Eugene Marner, starring John Savage as Beast, and
Rebecca De Mornay as
Beauty, with original music by Lori McKelvey. It was released on VHS
in 1988 by Cannon Video, and on DVD in 2005 by MGM Home Entertainment
* In 1991, Walt Disney Feature Animation produced a musical animated
Beauty and the Beast , directed by
Kirk Wise and Gary
Trousdale , with a screenplay by
Linda Woolverton , and songs by Alan
Howard Ashman . Like the 1946 version, the Disney version
Beauty "Belle" and gives her a handsome suitor (here named
Gaston ) who eventually plots to kill the Beast. The Beast is
depicted to having the head structure and horns of a bison , the jaws,
teeth, and mane of a lion , the eyebrow of a gorilla , the tusks of a
wild boar , the arms and body of a bear , and the hind legs and tail
of a wolf .
* Children's film producer Diane Eskenazi produced
Beauty and the
Beast , directed by Masakazu Higuchi and Chinami Namba, for Golden
Films in 1993. The film, which relied on moderate animation techniques
but was mostly faithful to the original tale, featured classical
compositions as opposed to an original soundtrack, featuring the works
of many well-known popular composers. This film's version of the
Beast has the body of a gorilla, the mane of a lion, the snout and
tusks of a common warthog , and the tail of a bull.
* The theme of the music video "I\'d Do Anything for Love (But I
Won\'t Do That) " by
Meat Loaf , released in 1993, is adapted from
Beauty and the Beast.
* A 2005 Viking period film directed by David Lister was alternately
Beauty and the Beast and Blood of Beasts .
* A dark version of the fairy tale updated to modern times,
director Robert Beaucage's 2008 film Spike , was described (at its
premiere at the
Edinburgh International Film Festival where it was
chosen as part of the Best of the Fest) as "
Angela Carter rewriting
La Belle et la Bête as an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ".
* Another modern take is
Alex Pettyfer as the beast
(named Kyle) and
Vanessa Hudgens as the love interest (named Lindy).
Daniel Barnz it is based on the book
Beauty and the Beast , a French-German film, released in 2014.
Beauty and the Beast , a Disney live-action remake of the 1991
animated film, starring
Emma Watson and
Dan Stevens , was released on
March 17, 2017.
George C. Scott appeared as the Beast in a made-for-TV rendition
in 1976, with his second wife, Patricia "Trish" Van Devere ,
co-starring alongside him as Belle in the film, which aired as part of
Hallmark Hall of Fame . Scott was nominated for an Emmy for his
* In 1984,
Shelley Duvall 's
Faerie Tale Theatre aired "
the Beast ", starring
Klaus Kinski and
Susan Sarandon . The script,
sets, makeup, and costumes were based on the 1946 film.
Beauty and the Beast , a television series which owed as much to
detective shows and fantasy fiction as to the fairy tale, was
originally broadcast from 1987 to 1989. This was centered around the
relationship between Catherine (played by
Linda Hamilton ), an
attorney who lived in New York City, and Vincent (played by Ron
Perlman ), a gentle but lion-faced "beast" who dwells in the tunnels
beneath the city.
Wendy Pini created two issues of a comic-book
adaptation of the TV series. The series was cancelled when ratings
fell after Hamilton decided to leave the show at the end of the second
Beauty and the Beast was featured in Grimm\'s
Fairy Tale Classics
. In this version, the Beast had an ogre-like appearance and appeared
at the Merchant's house when his time to give him
Beauty came. Outside
Beauty breaking the spell on the Beast enough to turn him back into
a prince, the two of them sent birds to carry messages of their
marriage. The narrator commented that he learned of this story because
"a little birdie told" him.
* A version of "
Beauty and the Beast" was featured in Happily Ever
Fairy Tales for Every Child . The story is set in Africa and
features the voices of
Vanessa L. Williams as the Beauty, Gregory
Hines as the Beast,
Debbie Allen as Precious,
Terrence C. Carson as
Tree , and
Paul Winfield as the Father.
* A loose adaption of the story was featured in the animated series
Stories from My Childhood. The voice cast included
Amy Irving as the
Tim Curry as the Beast and
Robert Loggia as the Beauty's
Beauty & the Beast (2012) is a reworking of the 1987 TV series
with Jay Ryan and
Kristin Kreuk reprising the roles that Perlman and
Hamilton, respectively, had originated in that production.
* A variation of the story was incorporated into an episode of the
ABC TV series Once Upon a Time entitled "Skin Deep ", in which
Beauty/Belle is played by
Emilie de Ravin and the Beast is
Rumpelstiltskin (played by
Robert Carlyle ).
* While Belle had appeared in
Sofia the First , the Beast wasn't
featured. Instead, a variation of the story is used in the episode
Beauty is the Beast" where Princess Charlotte of Isleworth (voiced by
Megan Hilty ) was turned into a Beast by the powerful enchantress
Zinessa (voiced by Meredith Roberts Quill) because she was rude and
insensitive to Zinessa's friend Morris the
Goblin (voiced by Andrew
Rannells ). The description of her Beast form is a cross between a
human and a wild boar with a wolf-like tail. Once Princess Charlotte
vouched for Morris the
Goblin upon the royal guards arresting him and
became friends with him in front of her parents King Philip and Queen
Everly (voiced by Fritz Sperburg and
Jamie Denbo ) upon being
encouraged by Sofia, the spell on Princess Charlotte was broken and
Zinessa left in cat form while quoting to Princess Charlotte "well
done." After thanking Sofia who was transported back to Enchancia,
Princess Charlotte invited Morris to the Summer Ball.
* In 1994,
Philip Glass wrote an opera, La Belle et la Bête, based
on Cocteau's film. Glass's composition follows the film scene by
scene, effectively providing a new original soundtrack for the movie.
* The Disney film was adapted for the stage as
Beauty and the Beast
Linda Woolverton and
Alan Menken , who had worked on the film.
Howard Ashman , the original lyricist, had died, and additional lyrics
were written by
Tim Rice .
* In 2011, a new ballet adaptation of
Beauty and the Beast was
created by choreographer David Nixon for
Northern Ballet . Works by
several composers, including
Poulenc , were used for the
* A hidden object game , Mystery Legends:
Beauty and the Beast, was
released in 2012.
* The narrative of the
Sierra Entertainment adventure game King\'s
Quest VI follows several fairy tales, and
Beauty and the Beast is the
focus of one multiple part quest.
Stevie Nicks recorded a song based on the fairy tale for her 1983
solo album, The Wild Heart .
* Real Life based the video for their signature hit "Send Me an
Angel " on the fairy story.
* Disco producer
Alec R. Costandinos released a twelve inch by his
side project Love -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
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Beauty and the Beast, Old and New". The
Journal of Mythic Arts. The Endicott Studio.
* ^ Stouff, Jean. "La Belle et la Bête". Biblioweb.
* ^ Harrison, "Cupid and Psyche", Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient
Greece and Rome',' p. 339.
* ^ Heidi Anne Heiner, "Tales Similar to
Beauty and the Beast"
* ^ Thomas, Downing. Aesthetics of Opera in the Ancien Régime,
1647–1785. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002.
* ^ BBC. "
Fairy tale origins thousands of years old, researchers
BBC News . Retrieved 20 January 2016.
* ^ Betsy Hearne,
Beauty and the Beast: Visions and Revisions of An
Old Tale, p 22–23 ISBN 0-226-32239-4
* ^ A B Betsy Hearne,
Beauty and the Beast: Visions and Revisions
of An Old Tale, p 25 ISBN 0-226-32239-4
* ^ Tatar, Maria (March 7, 2017).
Beauty and the Beast: Classic
Tales of Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World. Random House
Penguin. ISBN 9780143111696 .
* ^ Gilbert, Sophie (March 31, 2017). "The Dark Morality of
Fairy-Tale Animal Brides". The Atlantic. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
"Maria Tatar points the story of
Beauty and the Beast was meant for
girls who would likely have their marriages arranged".
* ^ Maria Tatar, p 45, The Annotated Classic
Fairy Tales, ISBN
* ^ Andreas Hamburger in: Andreas Hamburger (ed.) Women and Images
of Men in Cinema: Gender Construction in La Belle et La Bete by Jean
Cocteauchapter 3 (2015). see also: "La Bella y la Bestia": Una
historia real inspirada por un hombre de carne y hueso (difundir.org
* ^ Crunelle-Vanrigh, Anny. "The Logic of the Same and Différance:
'The Courtship of Mr. Lyon'". In Roemer, Danielle Marie, and
Bacchilega, Cristina, eds. (2001).
Angela Carter and the
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* ^ Wherry, Maryan (2015). "More than a Love Story: The
Complexities of the Popular Romance". In Berberich, Christine. The
Bloomsbury Introduction to Popular Fiction. Bloomsbury. p. 55. ISBN
* ^ David J. Hogan (1986). Dark Romance: Sexuality In the Horror
Film. Jefferson, North Carolina:
McFarland & Company . p. 90. ISBN
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Beauty and the
Beast". The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester. Archived
from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
Janet Maslin (13 November 1991). "Disney\'s \'
Beauty and the
Beast\' Updated In Form and Content". The New York Times. Retrieved
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Beauty and the Beast". Movie Review Film. Retrieved
* ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GNhdQRbXhc
* ^ Maslin, Janet. "
Beauty and the Beast: Overview". The New York
Times. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
* ^ Jason Buchanan. "Spike".
All Movie Guide . Retrieved
Calum Waddell . "Spike". Total Sci-Fi . Retrieved 2010-04-21.
* ^ "
Beauty & the Beast + Blood and Guts = Spike". HorrorMovies.ca.
11 January 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
* ^ "Festival Highlights: 2008 Edinburgh International Film
Festival". Variety. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
* ^ "Best of the Fest Programme at Edinburgh International Film
Festival". The List . 25 June 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
* ^ Robert Hope. "Spike".
Edinburgh International Film Festival .
* ^ Larry Carroll (30 March 2010). "
Vanessa Hudgens And Alex
Pettyfer Get \'Intense\' In \'Beastly\'". MTV. Archived from the
original on 5 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
* ^ "
Beauty and the Beast (2017)". Retrieved 2017-03-06.
* ^ "Alternate Versions for La Belle et la Bête". IMDb . Archived
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* ^ Tale as Old as Time: The Making of
Beauty and the Beast. . Walt
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* ^ Thompson, Laura (19 December 2011). "
Beauty and the Beast,
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* ^ Mystery Legends: