Title: Beauty and The Beast
Audience: All, commonly children
Belle is a young girl somewhere around the age of marriage. She lives with her father who loves her. She is always yearning for more than the life she is born into. She stands above everyone who lives around her in moral and character.
Father: Belle’s father is a member of the working class, sometimes a merchant. He is going through difficult financial times. He loves Belle very much. In versions told where Belle has siblings, Belle is his favorite child.
The beast is a cursed prince. He has always been wealthy and in his youth he was so spoiled by that wealth that he lost all the love in his heart. It is never known what happened to him for this to occur and his parents never appear in the story. He is in some versions still dealing with character struggles and in others already noble.
Gaston is a character in only some versions of the story. He is a foil to the character of a beast. He represents the true beast, the man whom the beast must defeat in order to love and be worthy of Belle. Gaston is the selfish spoiled man that the beast was in the beginning of the story.
Point of View
The story is often told from an outside perspective, though it generally follows the story line of Belle. A narrator tells a great deal of things until Belle enters the story and then generally follows her perspective alone until the story ends.
The story takes place in a medieval setting going between a village and castle.
The story begins with a selfish prince who is cursed into the form of a beast for showing no love to a helpless old woman. To break the spell he must fall in love with someone and make her fall in love with him in return. When a traveling man spends the night at the castle he somehow falls under the wrath of the beast. His daughter comes searching for him and trades her captivity for his. The beast then spends all his time trying to woo the girl. He succeeds in winning her love but lets her go when she learns that her father is ill and on the point of death. While Belle is away something, generally the time running out for the curse to break, brings the beast to the point of death. Belle returns just as the beast is dying at which point she confesses her love to him and the spell is broken.
The story Beauty and the Beast is a mixture between man versus man and man versus self. The Beast is fighting himself and also fighting Gaston. Depending on the version they literally fight, or the Beast merely fights the version of himself which Gaston would otherwise portray. Belle is also clashing with the Beast and in a struggle against him. She is fighting for more, for something that she’s always dreamed of, and she blindly thinks that the beast is in the way.
The main theme of this story is that love is the ultimate redeemer. Love must love what is unlovable in order to make it lovable. The only true cure for any disease is love itself. Like in all fairy tales true love is the strongest magic of all, not only in stories, but in life itself.
Allegory, Analogy, Plot, Point of View.
This story is one of the most beautiful and important stories in the world. God loved us before we were lovable. Our love cursed us into being beasts and His love redeemed us. We spend much of our lives fighting against our alter-egos and sometimes fighting with someone who is a foil of our character. Jesus will come for us and if we cannot love him we will die. He loves us first and through that love we are to love him. This story is a picture of the gospel in more relatable terms than merely a prince rescuing a princess and the whole world being freed.