Tale as Old As Time

1460 Words6 Pages
Once upon a time, not so long ago, fairy tales were believed to be nothing more than stories parents told their children at bedtime to help them sleep and to teach them about the ways of the world. These tales, suitable only for the nursery, allowed both the listener, and the teller, to be transported to another land, one where good always triumphed over evil, where the men were handsome and honorable, and princesses fair and kindhearted. At least, that is our perception of the stories. Living in the days of disneyfaction, it is easy to forget that Walt Disney did not create Sleepy Beauty from his own mind, or that the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was actually told hundreds of years before they were documented on film. All stories have to start somewhere, which is a thing particular to both stories and real life, so all things must have a beginning. However, it can be difficult to track down what exactly those beginnings are and from what time period they came. In examining Beauty and the Beast and how it has grown and developed over the years into the story it is today, it is possible to gain an understanding of how the society that developed the tales that have changed their morals and cultural mores as well. Over the 00 years, some elements of the stories have changed, the location switches from Ancient Greece, to mid-18th century France for example. But the important elements have stayed the same. Starting from Cupid and Psyche and stretching into modern retellings of Beauty and the Beast, we still see elements of the original stories, such as the idea of the animal bridegroom in folk lore and what it represents, the tricky relationsh... ... middle of paper ... ...fication of Beauty and the Beast is discussed in relation to the classification of the Cupid and Psyche myth. The myth is believed to be the earliest work that falls into this category (Zipes 25). In the AT category, Beauty and the Beast, or La Belle ET La Bête, is AT424, which is categorized as “the brides search for her husband”. This is further categorized into subtype A, in which the husband is a monster. Accardo sums up this category as “For any wide variety of reasons, a daughter is presented by her father to a monster for an uncertain fate. She goes willingly and soon becomes enamored of her beastly spouse but then loses him by violating specific probation. After a series of trails she recovers him in a transformed state, now returned to his human shape, and then they live happily ever after “(Accardo 69). Cupid and Psych falls under this heading perfectly.
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