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This article focuses on the story, "Beauty and the Beast".
For the film of the same name, see "Beauty and the Beast (Film)".
For the Season Seven episode, see "Beauty".
For the Beauty from the story, see Belle.
For the Beast from the story, see Rumplestiltskin.

"Beauty and the Beast", also known as "La Belle et la Bête", is a fairytale featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740. It was revised and popularized by French author Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756.

Traditional Plot

A widower merchant lives with three sons and three daughters. The two older daughters are cruel and selfish while the youngest, Beauty, is pure of heart. After his ships are lost following a storm at sea, the merchant loses his entire fortune, and his family is forced into poverty.

One year later, the merchant receives a letter telling him that one of the ships managed to survive the storm and has arrived in the local port. Deciding to see if the vessel has anything of value left, the merchant asks each of his daughters what they would like him to bring back. The two eldest daughters ask for jewels and gowns while Beauty asks for a rose.

Upon arriving at the port, the merchant discovers that the ship's cargo was seized to clear his debts, leaving him completely penniless. He sets off for home only to get lost in the forest and stumble across a mysterious palace.

Inside, he sees tables laden with food and drink, which were supposedly left for him by the unseen owner. The merchant accepts this gift and spends the night there.

The next morning, on his way to go home, he sees a rose bush and remembers what Beauty's gift was supposed to be. When he picks the prettiest rose he can find, he is confronted by a hideous creature, which tells him that the merchant must die for taking his most precious possession after taking his hospitality.

The merchant pleads for his life and explains that the rose was supposed to be a gift for his youngest daughter, Beauty. The Beast allows him to go, but only if the merchant returns or his daughter goes to the palace instead. The merchant accepts this condition, even though he has no intention of returning.

The Beast sends him on his way, with jewels and beautiful dresses for his other two daughters, and reminds him that Beauty must return to the palace on her own. When the merchant arrives at the farmhouse, he tries to hide the Beast's condition from Beauty. However, she finds out about it eventually and sets off for the castle. When she arrives, the Beast greets her and tells her that she is the castle's mistress, and he is her servant.

He gives her many lavish presents and has long conversations with her. Each night, at dinner, the Beast asks Beauty to marry him, but she refuses his offer every night. After each refusal, Beauty dreams of a handsome prince pleading with her to accept his marriage proposal. However, she tells the prince that she cannot marry the Beast because she loves him as a friend only.

Eventually, after many of these dreams, she becomes convinced that the Beast is holding him captive somewhere in the castle. She searches day and night for him and discovers many magical rooms, but she never finds the prince.

Beauty lives a life of luxury at the Beast's castle for many months; however, she becomes homesick and asks the Beast to allow her to leave the palace so that she could visit her family. The Beast agrees but asks her to return in one week later.

Beauty accepts these terms and sets off for home with two enchanted items: a ring so that she could return to the palace as soon as she turns it around her finger three times and a mirror to see what is happening at the Beast's castle.

When she arrives, the elder sisters become jealous of her happy life and finery. As soon as they find out what day Beauty is supposed to return to the castle, they beg her to stay another day. They hope, with Beauty breaking her vow, the Beast will become so furious he will eat her alive.

Moved by her sisters' begging, Beauty agrees to stay. However, she soon feels guilty for breaking her promise and uses the mirror to see how the Beast is faring. To her horror, she sees him lying by the rose bushes, heartbroken, and she uses the ring to return to him at once.

She finds the Beast half-dead and cries over him, proclaiming that she loves him. When her tears hit him, the Beast transforms into the handsome prince from her dreams. He informs Beauty that a fairy turned him into a hideous beast because he refused to let her seek shelter in his palace from the rain. His curse would be broken only by finding true love.

He and Beauty marry, and they live happily ever after.

Show Adaptations

  • Unlike the original Beauty and the Beast tale, the "beast" is not given a grotesque appearance as comeuppance from a fairy for his unkind ways, but rather seeks out to control a being known as the Dark One to compensate for his own cowardly ways. This goes badly when the man, Rumplestiltskin, kills the Dark One with a special blade that causes the being's powers to transfer onto him instead. From this, the powers of the Dark One corrupts both Rumplestiltskin's physical looks as well as the depths of his soul with an increasing desire to obtain more power and kill those who threaten to take it away.
  • In the original tale, the merchant stumbles upon a castle and is caught trying to steal a rose for his daughter, Beauty, which causes the beast to ask in return that either the man returns or he sends his daughter. Beauty goes in her father's place, but in the show adaption, Belle sacrifices herself to Rumplestiltskin in order to save the townspeople from ogres.
    • While Beauty's father is a merchant and forced by the beast to choose to return or send his daughter, Belle's father is a lord of a castle and begs for assistance in protecting his land and people from attacking ogres with Rumplestiltskin suggesting Belle become his servant as part of a deal, which she agrees to.
  • Rumplestiltskin's curse can only be broken by true love's kiss. However, Rumplestiltskin refuses to let go of his powers and his budding relationship with Belle is cut short when he kicks her out of his castle.
  • The Black Fairy was Rumplestiltskin's mother, who cut him from his fate of a savior, which eventually led him down the path to becoming a "beast". In the original version of the story, this fairy is supposed to take care of children, much like it is said the Black Fairy was supposed to.

Characters Featured

Original Character Adapted as First Featured in
The Beast Rumplestiltskin "Skin Deep
Yaoguai / Prince Phillip (allusion) "The Outsider"
Beauty Belle "Skin Deep"
The merchant Sir Maurice "Skin Deep"
The evil fairy Black Fairy (allusion) "Changelings"
Maleficent (allusion) "The Thing You Love Most"
The merchant's horse Maurice's horse "Her Handsome Hero"

Locations Featured

Original Location Adapted as First Featured in
The Beast's castle Dark castle "Skin Deep"

Items Featured

Original Item Adapted as First Featured in
The rose Gaston's rose (allusion) "Skin Deep"
Magical rose "The Dark Swan"
The mirror Mirror of Souls (allusion) "Her Handsome Hero"
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