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Beauty and the Beast

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Beauty finds the Beast dying in an illustration by Walter Crane, 1874

"Beauty and the Beast" is a fairy tale. The original version was written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, and published in 1740. This version was revised by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Her revision was published in 1756. This second version is the better known of the two. The tale has been adapted to movies, television, and other media.

Story[edit | edit source]

A merchant on the road home after a long journey, rests in a mysterious castle. He plucks a rose in the castle garden. The castle belongs to a hideous Beast who orders the merchant to bring his daughter Beauty to the castle as payment for the rose.

At home, the merchant prepares Beauty for the long journey to the Beast's castle. This parting is a great sacrifice for both father and daughter because they love each other dearly. Once settled in the castle, Beauty and the Beast become friends, and then fall in love.

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont wrote the best known version of the tale.

Beauty learns her father is ill, and she begs the Beast to allow her to go home to tend him. The Beast grants his permission, but he orders her to return within a certain length of time. Beauty returns home, but forgets the Beast's requirement. She then rushes to the Beast's castle to find her friend dying.

The Beast reprimands her for forgetting his one requirement. She begs his forgiveness. The Beast asks her if she loves him. She says she does, and, at that instant, the Beast becomes a handsome prince. They marry and live happily ever after.

Adaptations[edit | edit source]

The tale has been adapted many times to stage, movie, and television adaptations. The most notable adaptations are the 1946 movie directed by Jean Cocteau, and the Walt Disney animated movie of 1991. The Disney version was adapted to a Broadway musical.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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