Friday, 9 July 2010

Friday is for Fairytales: Beauty and the Beast

Friday is for Fairytales is a meme hosted by Irena (me) at This Miss loves to Read. Every Friday, you can choose a fairytale you love, or simply find interesting or haunting, and review it or simply say why you like it so much, or why it has captured your attention. Instead of a fairytale, you can choose a favourite fairytale character and describe him/her and tell us why you like them, or you can simply share an experience connected to a fairytale. Fairytales can be old and modern, written by a known author or anonymous, written down or passed on orally, short or in novel form (like re-writings of fairytales), international or typical for your country alone. In this case, present your country’s fairytale and we can all become acquainted with a new fairytale. So, make a post every Friday that is connected to the world of fairytales, be it a review, a character description or your own fairytale experience. Let’s celebrate fairytales and share our love for them.

MY POST IS ABOUT: “Beauty and the Beast” by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont

For the first Friday is for Fairytales post, I chose to explain why "Beauty and the Beast" is my favourite fairy-tale; so, basically, why I love it so much.

I’ve always been a fan of slightly sad romances that have a happy ending nonetheless. "Beauty and the Beast" is a perfect example of such a story: The Beast is an outcast because of his deformity and Belle is the girl that can save him. Things don’t look well in the beginning because she keeps rejecting his proposals, but in the end, however, love finds them both and the story has a happy ending. Love breaks the Beast’s curse, and the poignant thing about it is that Bella already loved him before he turned handsome again. So, not only is this story very beautiful, compelling and romantic, but it also conveys a moral. Beauty truly lies within. In a world where we’re obsessed with our looks, I think it’s important to remember that, after all, it doesn’t matter how you look, but how you behave and what’s in your heart. Sounds corny? It might, but corny or not, it’s absolutely true. And that is why I love this story so much.

Now, I wanted to point out something about the Beast. In the story, a fairy turned a handsome prince into a hideous monster because he didn’t give her shelter from the rain. To punish him for this rejection, she turned the cold-hearted handsome youth into an ugly beast. Now, there are many illustrations showing parts of the story, but in every one of them, the Beast actually looks like a forest beast. I, myself, never imagined him as a wolf or a boar. I never took the word beast that literally. Since this story was published in 1756, it always made sense to me that the prince was dubbed the Beast because he was severely deformed, not because he actually looked like an animal. 200 years ago, people avoided you for having a slightest mark on your face. Imagine what it must have been like for them to see a deformed person. I’m sure their imaginations ran absolutely wild, and I’m willing to bet deformed people were called monsters or beasts. So, yes, I still see the Beast as a very deformed man. I just can’t see him as an actual forest beast.

Last but not least, "The Beauty and the Beast" was kind of my prelude for The Phantom of the Opera, my favourite novel, as well as my favourite musical of all times. The similarities are very clear and it’s no wonder I fell in love with The Phantom of the Opera as well.

So, what did YOU choose to talk about on this Friday reserved for fairy-tales?


Sa Toya said...

I lurved reading this! Beauty and the Beast is one of my faves too and Phantom of the Opera...talking about being on my wave. My fave musical ever too!

I completely agree who you are is what really matters. I know some stunners hat are well in fact ugly because of the way they treat others.

I'm going to post mine now...will link it when I'm done :D

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I always thought of the beast as an animal (thanks to Disney!) rather than a deformed man but that makes so much sense! I also talked about my favorite fairy tale-Cinderella.