We all know the story of Beauty and the Beast, especially the more popular rendition done by Disney. Belle, comes upon a castle while searching for her father. Unaware of the Beast that rules the dark fortress. She enters the castle finding her father a prisoner of the Beast. In exchange for his freedom she agrees to live in the castle forever. We know the rest of the story, the Beast must find true love before the last petal of the rose falls and Belle and Beast find that love just in time. While talking to a friend of mine, we were discussing the deeper meanings behind stories and came up with our own renditions for many. Looking at Beast, we came up with some interesting points.
At first glance, the curse of the Beast may appear that he was transformed into a monster by the enchanter. I propose however, that the Beast was always there within him. Not just in his behavior towards his servants and outsiders, but a deeper Beast, a more powerful Beast, one he wished to keep within himself. The curse brought out this inner Beast and exposed what he truly was to the world. He could no longer hide his sins, believing to be a monster to all who set eyes on him, he hid away in his fortress.
Isn’t that how we feel a lot of times? We all have deep secrets we wish to conceal from others. Imagine if they were exposed for all to see. Suddenly our mask are swiped off our faces and the Beast within is revealed. Hiding away tends to be our first reaction. Skipping school, avoiding the public, not talking to friends for a time, we feel like the world sees a Beast.
When Belle finds her father he tells her to run from the Beast, to leave the castle. Belle refuses to leave him behind, when confronted by the Beast she offers herself over to him before seeing him. Talking in the darkness the Beast is taken aback by Belle’s offer. To sacrifice herself for her father’s sake surprised him. Belle, only hearing his voice asked him to come near the light. When the Beast made himself known she expressed shock, yet she remained.
I believe the beast was drawn to Belle, insisting that if she does take her father’s place that she must remain forever in the castle. Hearing her offer showed him that Belle was pure of heart, placing others before herself. even after seeing who he truly was, though shocked, she remained as promised.
In our own lives we see this. there are certain people that we are drawn to, the reason isn’t always known. I would say most of us have our own view of friendship, but all of us operate in just about the same way. You have your acquaintances, just someone to talk to, to pass the time. Your friends, people you spend time with regularly, yet I think most of us wear mask when with your everyday friends. Then there are your close friends, those who you can trust with all your heart. No matter what you expose to them, there they remain by your side.
Belle tries her best to remain in the castle, however the Beast frightened her to the point that she flees the castle. Beast knowing that she is one person who can see past the monster goes after her. Belle finds herself surrounded by a pack of wolves in the forest and Beast comes in and rescues her. They both realized something at this point. Belle, after seeing him come to save her knows that he cares enough for her to risk his life for her. She realizes that there is beauty in the Beast. Beast comes to a similar revelation. Formerly he only cared about himself, he would never place others before him. He now knows, that Belle needs him to be pure of heart, just as he needs her to be pure. He found Beauty in his own Beast.
For us, we sometimes place too much onto a friend all at once. It may frighten them for a time, but with an outstretched hand and an understanding that you need each other to remain strong for one another, then together you can find Beauty in the Beast. The sins of our lives may taint our souls, but Beauty can be found even in the darkest of places. With each victory over a thorn, there is much to celebrate. For at the end of the steam, there blooms a Rose.
Belle and Beast continue to grow in understanding and love for one another. When they dance on the ballroom floor, they take hold of each other and Belle embraces the Beast; Clearly sending joy to the Beast’s heart. How could anyone express love for the Beast? Belle can clearly see what he is, yet she embraces him, proving she possess unconditional love.
Unconditional love is one of the hardest attributes to take hold of, let alone understand it. When someone expresses unconditional love towards others, people are drawn. The closest people in your life will be those who express this type of love towards you and all they meet. Even when you take off your mask, even when the Beast is revealed, there they remain.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13
Interpretation: It’s not that Belle sees past the Beast and sees him for who he is on the inside. Rather, she sees who he is on the inside, on the outside, and still finds love for him. The Beast became Beauty.
Please comment any thoughts!