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Beauty and the Beast

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This article focuses on the story, Beauty and the Beast. For the Beauty from the story, see
Belle (Enchanted Forest). For the Beast from the story, see Rumplestiltskin.
InfoboxBeauty
Beauty and the Beast
Background Information
Written By: Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Publication: 1740
Adaptation Information
Featured Episode:


"Beauty and the Beast", also known as La Belle et la Bête, is a fairytale featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It ws written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740.

Traditional Plot

Once upon a time, there was a wealthy merchant who lived the life of luxury with his three daughters. All three of them were beautiful, but only the youngest was named Beauty because of her loveliness and pureness of heart. Her two elder sisters, on the other hand, were wicked, selfish and vain.

One day, the merchant loses all of his riches due to a storm at sea, and his family are forced to live in poverty and work for their living. After many years of this lifestyle, he hears news that one of his ships escaped the storm and had arrived in port, and he decides to travel to the city to see if it has anything worthwhile left.

Before he travels, he asks his daughters what they would like in case he returns successfully. His two elder daughters ask for jewels and pretty dresses, but Beauty is satisfied with a rose, because roses didn't grow in their part of the land.

Once the merchant reaches the city, he discovers that his ship's cargo was seized to pay his debts, leaving him without any money to buy his daughters their gifts. On his way home, he becomes lost in a forest and finds shelter in a mysterious and ethereal palace. Inside, he sees tables laden with food and drink, which were supposedly left for him by the unseen owner. The merchant accepts this gift and spends the night there.

The next morning, on his way to go home, he sees a rose bush and remembers what Beauty's gift was supposed to be. When he picks the prettiest rose he can find, he is confronted by a hideous creature, which tells him that the merchant must die for taking his most precious possession after taking his hospitality.

The merchant pleads for his life and explains that the rose was supposed to be a gift for his youngest daughter, Beauty. The Beast allows him to go, but only if the merchant returns or his daughter goes to the palace instead. The merchant accepts this condition, even though he has no intention of returning.

The Beast sends him on his way, with jewels and beautiful dresses for his other two daughters, and reminds him that Beauty must return to the palace on her own. When the merchant arrives at the farmhouse, he tries to hide the Beast's condition from Beauty. However, she finds out about it eventually and sets off for the castle. When she arrives, the Beast greets her and tells her that she is the mistress of the castle and he her servant.

He gives her many lavish presents and has long conversations with her. Each night, at dinner, the Beast would ask Beauty to marry him, but she refuses his offer every night. After each refusal, Beauty dreams of a handsome prince pleading with her to accept his marriage proposal. However, she tells the prince that she cannot marry the Beast, because she loved him as a friend only.

Eventually, after many of these dream encounters with the prince, she becomes convinced that the Beast is holding him captive somewhere in the castle. She searches day and night for him and discovers many magical rooms, but she never finds the prince.

Beauty lives the life of luxury at the Beast's castle for many months; however, she becomes homesick and asks the Beast to allow her to leave the palace so that she could visit her family. The Beast agrees but asks her to return exactly a week later.

Beauty accepts these terms and sets off for home with two enchanted items: a ring, so that she could return to the palace as soon as she turns it around her finger three times; a mirror, so that she can see what is happening at the Beast's castle.

When she arrives, the elder sisters become jealous of her happy life and finery. As soon as they find out what day Beauty is supposed to return to the castle, they beg her to stay another day. They hoped that, with Beauty breaking her vow, the Beast would become so furious that he would eat her alive.

Beauty is moved by her sisters' begging, and she agrees to stay. However, she soon feels guilty for breaking her promise and uses the mirror to see how the Beast is faring. To her horror, she sees him lying by the rose bushes, heartbroken, and she uses the ring to return to him at once.

She finds the Beast half-dead and cries over him, proclaiming that she loves him. When her tears hit him, the Beast transforms into the handsome prince from her dreams. He informs Beauty that a fairy turned him into a hideous beast because he refused to let her seek shelter in his palace from the rain. His curse would be broken only by finding true love.

He and Beauty marry, and they live happily ever after.

Show Adaptations

  • Unlike the original Beauty and the Beast tale, the "beast" is not given a grotesque appearance as comeuppance from a fairy for his unkind ways, but rather seeks out to control a being known as the Dark One to compensate for his own cowardly ways. This goes badly when the man, Rumplestiltskin, kills the Dark One with a special blade that causes the being's powers to transfer onto him instead. From this, the powers of the Dark One corrupts both Rumplestiltskin's physical looks as well as the depths of his soul with an increasing desire to obtain more power and kill those who threaten to take it away.
  • In the original tale, the merchant stumbles upon a castle and is caught trying to steal a rose for his daughter, Beauty, which causes the beast to ask in return that either the man returns or he sends his daughter. Beauty goes in her father's place, but in the show adaption, Belle sacrifices herself to Rumplestiltskin in order to save the townspeople from ogres.
    • While Beauty's father is a merchant and forced by the beast to choose to return or send his daughter, Belle's father is a lord of a castle and begs for assistance in protecting his land and people from attacking ogres with Rumplestiltskin suggesting Belle become his servant as part of a deal, which she agrees to.
  • The elder sisters of Beauty are absent from the show adaption.
  • Many things are taken from the Disney film version of the tale, including the names of Belle, Gaston, and Maurice.
  • Rumplestiltskin's curse can only be broken by true love's kiss. However, Rumplestiltskin refuses to let go of his powers and his budding relationship with Belle is cut short when he kicks her out of his castle.

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