La Belle et la Bête (Beauty & The Beast in French) - Little LinguistHere we cast our minds back to the aristocratic salons of 17 th century France. In this original novella length tale, the back-story of both Belle and the Beast is given. The Beast was a young prince who lost his father, and whose mother had to wage war to defend his kingdom. The queen left him in care of an evil fairy, who tried to seduce him when he became an adult; when he refused, she transformed him into a beast. Beaumont pared down the list of characters of Beauty and Beast and simplified the tale to transform it into a quintessential fairy tale. It is thought by some scholars that Beauty and the Beast story may have a much longer history.
Beauty and the Beast
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There was once a very rich merchant, who had six children, three sons, and three daughters; being a man of sense, he spared no cost for their education, but gave them all kinds of masters. His daughters were extremely handsome, especially the youngest. When she was little everybody admired her, and called her "The little Beauty;" so that, as she grew up, she still went by the name of Beauty, which made her sisters very jealous.
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There was a handsome prince cursed to live out his days as a monstrous beast and a courageous beauty who consents to be his prisoner in order to save her father. As Beauty comes to know the Beast better, she soon realizes that, though he is monstrous to look upon, he has a good heart and a generous spirit. It is only after going away from him to pay a visit to her father that she truly accepts just how little a handsome appearance matters when choosing a husband. No sooner does she declare her love for him, than the Beast is transformed into a handsome prince. The prince informs her that a wicked fairy had cursed him to remain a monstrous beast until a young and beautiful girl agreed to be his wife. The spell now broken, Beauty and her handsome prince marry and proceed to live happily-ever-after.
Variants of the tale are known across Europe. According to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon , the story originated around 4, years ago. A widower merchant lives in a mansion with his twelve children six sons and six daughters. All his daughters are very beautiful, but the youngest, Beauty, is the most lovely, as well as kind, well-read, and pure of heart; while the two elder sisters, in contrast, are cruel, selfish, vain, and spoiled. The merchant eventually loses all of his wealth in a tempest at sea, which sinks most of his merchant fleet. He and his children are consequently forced to live in a small cottage in a forest and work for a living. While Beauty makes a firm resolution to adjust to rural life with a cheerful disposition, her sisters do not and mistake her firmness for insensibility.
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