Beauty and the Beast is perhaps one of the oldest fairy tales we know, with origins extending as far back as Greek mythology where parallels can be found in the tale of Cupid and Psyche. Stories across Indian, Chinese, Russian, Italian, and Danish cultures have similar elements; however, the most popular story is La Belle et La Bête by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont which was written in 1756. This is a shorter version of the novel by the same name written by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve in 1740.
Beauty is the daughter of a merchant who finds himself at the mercy of a horrible beast. Beauty chooses to take her father’s place, living with the beast in an enchanted castle. Throughout her time there, Beauty and the beast grow closer, but Beauty is still homesick. He allows her to go home for a brief visit, but she must return after an allotted time. Despite her family enticing her to stay, Beauty returns to find the beast near death. Once she declares her love for him, he turns into a prince.
As Beauty faces the challenges within the enchanted castle, her courage is not derived from physical strength but from a compassionate and unwavering spirit.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.Deuteronomy 31:6
Belle’s courage goes beyond facing the beast; it extends to challenging societal norms and seeing the beauty within when others cannot. This verse from Deuteronomy resonates with the transformative power of courage and is a reminder that true strength lies in facing adversity with a heart full of faith and compassion.
Through Beauty’s journey, we discover that courage transforms not only the individual but also the world around them.