Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.
A Different Sort
Have you ever watched the movie, ''Beauty and the Beast?'' Or, have you read the story? You might be surprised to hear that the movie and the original version of ''Beauty and the Beast'', written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, are very different.
Think you know ''Beauty and the Beast''? Think again! We're going to focus on the original telling of the story in this lesson.
Summarizing ''Beauty and the Beast''
A merchant (or trader) has six daughters, six sons and a successful career. The youngest of his daughters is Bella, and she is very beautiful and kind. His older daughters, however, are spoiled and selfish.
One day, the merchant loses all his wealth and possessions, including his ships. His family is forced to live in a small farmhouse and do hard work to survive.
Several years go by, and the merchant receives word that one of his ships has made it back to port. He hurries to meet the ship, certain that the goods will restore his family's wealth. He asks each of his children what gifts they would like him to bring back. Bella asks only for a rose because she hasn't seen one in a long time.
The merchant sets out for the port, only to discover the goods on his ship have been divided among his former friends. They had believed the merchant to be dead.
The merchant turns to complete the long, hard trip home, as poor as when he started. Along the path, he encounters terrible weather and is overcome with exhaustion. It's then that he encounters a castle, where he makes his way inside to seek out food and warmth.
In the Castle
Once inside, the merchant finds everything he could ever hope for: a table with lots to eat and drink and a room with a roaring fire, where he lies down to take a nap. The next morning, the merchant still has not seen anyone on the castle grounds, so he explores a bit. He decides that the empty castle was meant for him and his children. So he decides to go home and bring the children back to live there.
As he's preparing to leave, he snips a rose from a bush for Bella. He is confronted by the Beast, who asks: ''Who told you that you might gather my roses? Wasn't it enough that I allowed you to be in my castle and was kind to you? This is the way you show your gratitude, by stealing my flowers!''
The merchant tells the Beast about his daughter who hoped for the rose. The Beast responds by telling him that he must be punished for stealing the rose, and he should return to the castle in two months with one of his daughters. The Beast adds that the daughter must agree to come willingly.
The next morning, the merchant sets off for home, with the rose for Bella and gifts from the castle for his other children. His children are happy to see him, but his daughters blame Bella for her request for the rose. His sons threaten to go kill the Beast. Bella, alone, decides to return to the castle with her father and fulfill the Beast's request.
Meeting the Beast
Bella and her father return to the castle and meet the Beast. He allows them to gather riches for Bella's siblings. But he warns the merchant: ''...remember that you must never expect to see my castle again.''
The next morning, Bella asks the Beast how she can make him happy. ''Only be grateful,' he answered, 'and don't trust too much to your eyes. And, above all, don't desert me till you have saved me from my cruel misery.''
Settling In the Castle
Bella begins to explore the castle, where she is given everything her heart could desire: the finest clothes, great meals, musical instruments and a library of books to read.
At dinner, the Beast appears and asks Bella if she will marry him. She tells him no. She has been dreaming of a handsome young prince.
The next day, Bella entertains herself by enjoying the gardens and an aviary (or bird sanctuary). After dinner, again, the Beast asks Bella to be his wife. Again, she declines. She is still dreaming of the handsome prince.
An Unhappy Bella
The arrangement between Bella and the Beast continues, until one day the Beast notices that Bella is unhappy. Bella wants to see her father again, but promises to return to the castle. The Beast gives Bella two months to return, but he warns her that he may be found dead if she waits longer than that to return.
She returns to her family to find that they've gone on with their lives without her. In fact, she feels like she's in the way. Every day she thinks about returning to her life at the castle.
Happily Ever After
One night, she dreams about the Beast nearing death. Afraid, she returns to the castle immediately, where she finds him nearing death. She confesses her love for the Beast and agrees to marry him. This breaks the spell put on him, and he turns into the handsome prince from her dreams. The two are married the next day and live happily ever after.
A merchant, on his way back from a port, encounters a castle where he plucks a rose for his youngest daughter, Bella. In punishment, the Beast tells the merchant he must return with one of his daughters, who must agree to live in the castle with him. Bella agrees to the arrangement. She finds the castle full of every wonderful thing she could imagine, including an aviary. Yet, she wants to see her father one more time. While she's away visiting, she dreams of the Beast dying. Frightened, she rushes back to the castle and finds him near death. She confesses her love for him, which breaks the spell over him, and the two are married.
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