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Spiritual meaning of beauty and the beast

The Spiritual meaning of beauty and the beast is all wrapped up in the moral of the story of marriage. It doesn’t just come down to a man losing his fortunes and finding love. The moral behind these words is what’s more important. Check out the beauty and the beast hidden meaning and the symbols in beauty and the beast.

The first popular version of Beauty and the Beast was published by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756. It is a tale that has been told and retold through various mediums including books, movies, and plays. This article explores some of the most well-known versions of this traditional story.

Beauty and the Beast is a story that has been told to us since we were young. But what is its true meaning?

The tale tells of a young girl who is cursed by an old witch to be a beast until she finds true love. The curse will only be broken when she finds someone who can love her for who she is on the inside, not just how she looks on the outside.

beauty and the beast hidden meaning

This tale teaches us that beauty comes from within and that outer beauty can only attract so much attention before you need something more than just good looks to keep someone interested in you.

The girl in this story represents inner beauty, while the beast represents outer beauty. In reality, both are equally important for attracting love and keeping that love alive.

Beauty and the Beast is a fairy tale that has been told for centuries. It tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with a beastly man, despite his appearance. Ultimately, they are able to overcome their differences and live happily ever after.

The moral of the story is that beauty comes from within. The Beast has an ugly exterior, but his heart is pure and good. Beauty also has a pure heart, and she sees this goodness in him despite his outward appearance. Their love for each other allows them to overcome their differences and live happily ever after.

This story teaches children that it’s not what you look like on the outside that matters—it’s what you’re made of on the inside that counts!

spiritual meaning of beauty and the beast

The marketing around the new live-action Beauty and the Beast has been nonstop, but so have the half-baked hot takes looking for what’s problematic in this story. To be clear, we’re not saying there’s nothing wrong with Beauty and the Beast or the classic fairy tale it’s based upon—but the endless parade of “OMG BATB is about being attracted to a furry!” and “OMG BATB is about Stockholm syndrome!” can feel willfully unenlightened. It’s a movie based on a fairy tale! It doesn’t have to make logical sense to make emotional sense. It’s a magical love story; maybe we don’t need to spend hours debating whether or not Belle is a feminist (which, for the record, she’s technically not; feminism as we currently understand it started a full century after Beauty and the Beast was written, so even if you see Belle as an embodiment of feminist ideals, you can’t align her with a movement that didn’t exist when the character was alive. That’s just not how sociopolitical movements work.).

So to really understand the cultural context that gave us this myth, we spoke to Maria Tatar, professor of folklore and mythology and Germanic languages and literatures at Harvard and editor of Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales About Animals, Brides, and Grooms From Around The World.

The biggest surprise from our talk? We had no idea what this story was actually about.

Many think the story of “Beauty and the Beast” was inspired by the case of Petrus Gonsalvus, a sixteenth-century man who grew hair all over his body and face and was nonetheless a member of French novel society. (Catherine d’Medici even found him a wife.) But according to Tatar, this myth isn’t based on anyone in particular; it’s truly a tale as old as time. “This is a story that originated before print culture, so it goes back to adult storytelling cultures when you had no adult entertainment,” she told us. “I always love John Updike, who tells us that fairy tales were the television and pornography of the early age. You needed these dramatic stories, and many of them are not at all child-friendly.”

This certainly checks out. People have been, let’s say, “falling in love with” animals in stories at least as far back as the tale of the Minotaur. If you look at other stories like that of Tarzan, the princess and the frog, or even the myth of the mermaid, the line between human and animal is always being played with. BATB isn’t about a weird kink; it’s just another example of humans confronting their similarity to animals.

The first printed version of Beauty and the Beast is a novel by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, but the version we know today, the one suitable for children, was adapted and written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published in 1756. According to Tatar, “[de Beaumont] uses [the story] to teach children good manners. So Beauty is suddenly sincere, kind, self-sacrificing, sweet. She’s got every possible virtue.” Yeah, the “table manners” part of the movie was actually integral to the original version.

Moreover, says Tatar, the story “also teaches young girls how to deal with the idea of marrying young and being in an arranged marriage.” WTF. Yes, as much as the new version of BATB rewrites Belle to have personal agency, the original story was very much about young women—girls, really—being married off to old(er) men, who kept them in their castles and dressed them up and made them come down to dinner and…well, you know the rest.

So much about the tale makes sense now, right? To a girl of, say, 13, a man who has gone through puberty is basically a huge, scary, smelly beast. In a way BATB is a comforting story of how even if this happens to you, you can make the best of it and get to know the person; you don’t have to be scared and feel doomed. “It was a story that sent…a beautiful message about the power of love and the importance of valuing character,” says Tatar. “A person does not have to be necessarily good-looking.” Or young. Or immediately likeable. Or whatever else you were hoping for in a husband. There’s hope.

That’s not all: “That’s one side of the message,” explains Tatar. “The other side is, this is a story that tells us about monstrosity. I don’t think Madame de Beaumont emphasized this, but the monster is a projection of our own anxieties. We create these monsters, and then make peace with those monsters.” BATB takes its place alongside other classic examples of outcasts (a trait over which Belle and the beast bond in the live-action version). The X-Men can be read as an allegory for the ostracization of LGBTQ people; the Hunchback of Notre Dame is similarly “ugly” in the eyes of society. It’s said that Howard Ashman, the lyricist on Disney’s 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast (and The Little Mermaid and Little Shop of Horrors), identified with the character of the beast. As the film was heading toward its premiere, Ashman was dying of AIDS. Like the beast, he suffered from, essentially, what felt like a curse—and time was running out. And just as the villagers feared the beast, society wouldn’t and didn’t help victims of the AIDS epidemic until, for many, it was too late. Of course, the original beast was a metaphor for other things. Part of the message, Tatar says, is “recognizing also that the monster out there isn’t necessarily the one to be feared. It could be the one inside of you. If you let go of some of that and you face your fears, you discover that they’re not so terrifying or horrifying after all.”

So, to sum it up, this family-friendly love story is really about being a child bride and also an incarnation of fear itself. Wow, Beauty and the Beast is profound. Just not in any of the ways you thought!

symbols in beauty and the beast

Beauty and the Beast is a story that’s been told for thousands of years. It’s about a woman who finds her true love, even though he looks different from everyone else.

In the story, Belle’s father Maurice is captured by a beast who lives in an enchanted castle. The Beast needs Maurice to teach him how to be human again, because he was cursed by an enchantress who turned him into a monster until he could learn to love another person. In exchange for teaching him how to be human again, the Beast promises that he’ll set Belle’s father free once he’s learned everything he needs to know–but only if she agrees to stay there with him forever.

Belle agrees and spends many years living in the castle with the Beast as his prisoner. But eventually, she learns that beneath all of his scary exterior lies a kind and gentle soul who just wants her love in return. She realizes that she loves him too–and when she tells him so, the curse breaks and he becomes human again!

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