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Beauty and the beast trope

Related: beauty - beast - folklore - tale - trope - monster - ugly

Films: Beauty and The Beast (1946) - V for Vendetta (2006)

Beauty and The Beast (1946) - Jean Cocteau, René Clément [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Beauty and the Beast is a traditional folktale (type 425C -- search for a lost husband -- in the Aarne-Thompson classification). The first published version of the fairy tale was a meandering rendition by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740. The best-known written version was an abridgement of M. Villeneuve's work published in 1756 by Mme Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, in Magasin des enfants, ou dialogues entre une sage gouvernante et plusieurs de ses élèves; an English translation appeared in 1757.

Similar tales include the Hellenistic romance Cupid and Psyche (1st century BCE), and Madame d'Aulnoy's Le Mouton (The Ram).

Plot summary
Beauty's father, caught in a storm, finds shelter in the Beast's palace. As he leaves, he plucks a rose to bring back to Beauty, offending his unseen host, who tells him he must now die. The father begs to be allowed to see his daughters again: the Beast says that if one of the man's daughters will return to suffer in his place, he may live. Beauty journeys to the Beast's castle, convinced she will be killed: instead, she is made mistress of the enchanted palace, and the Beast asks her to be his wife. She says she can be his friend, and will stay with him forever, but not as his wife, asking only to return to her home for a week to say farewell to her father. Her sisters entice her to stay beyond the allotted week, and she returns belatedly to the castle, finding the Beast lying near death from distress at her failure to return. She begs him to live, so that he may be her husband, and by this act the Beast is transformed into a handsome prince. Beauty's family comes to live with them at the palace... --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_and_the_Beast [Dec 2005]

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