beautiful enchantress

So, how did the Beast learn his lesson?

I’ve already discussed how I think the punishment did not fit the crime in regards to the curse placed upon The Beast and his servants. So I won’t go into that again here. (If you want a refresher, read my Enchantress: Beautiful or Terrible post). However, regardless of the fairness of the sentence, the real question is did the Beast learn his lesson? I offer that he couldn’t have. And here is why…first we need to go back one more time to the stained glass prologue that opens the movie. The Beautiful Enchantress disguises herself as a haggard, old woman to perform her test upon the Young Prince. There are two really important adjectives about her that inform us as to the the nature of experiment being conducted: OLD & HAGGARD. From these critical descriptions we must believe that the appearance of the enchantress is of the utmost significance in understanding the nature of the Beast’s heart. He was ‘repulsed’ by her appearance and is even warned by the woman right before he fails that beauty is found ‘within.’ When this doesn’t sway him to see through her unattractiveness, he is cursed with becoming the thing he despises–ugliness. So it would make sense if he is cursed because he can only see beauty on the outside, the way to undo that curse is to be able to look past something that repulses him and see inner beauty, right? Wrong. He simply needs to find someone who is both beautiful on the outside AND the inside and get her to look past HIS ugliness. WHAT? So the the main character flaw that the Beast was being punished for has no bearing on how he finds redemption?Beauty & the BeastNow, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to say that both lifting the curse and not learning his lesson at the same time would be easy. He may have had to break a few laws like kidnapping and imprisonment and maybe even need to feign innocence by pretending he didn’t remember how to use a spoon. But surely by the time Belle fell for him and lifted the curse, he would be able to see from her shining example how he should treat others? Unfortunately, that makes no sense. I am sure that the Young Prince was a beast to everyone around him long before he was physically turned into one. There were probably numerous people who were able to look past his horrible nature to love him and that never changed his heart back then. So why would this time be any different? Maybe if the Enchantress would have just appeared in her natural blonde-bombshell state and seen past his human-beastliness it would have saved everyone 10 years of pointless cursedness….

 

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

Enchantress: Beautiful or Terrible?

When anyone asks who the villain of Beauty and the Beast is, the first and most obvious answer is Gaston. But is it really him? Certainly he is a self-absorbed, chauvinist pig who uses the loose legal standards of his time to his own advantages, but I just don’t think he is the main bad guy. Who is? The beautiful Enchantress of course. Now, this character is not technically in the movie save for a few stained glass images of her featured at the opening of the movie. How could she be the villain if she isn’t even in the story? Well let’s take a look.

beautiful enchantress beauty & the beast
There is a lot of this story that is told during the voice-over prologue. The Pre-Beast Prince is cursed because he refuses to board a beautiful Enchantress who is disguised as a homeless beggar trying to pay her way with a rose. Looking at just that from the outside, I think the he made a sound decision from the facts presented to him. To me she sounds crazy and does not have the makings of a good house guest.

But it’s when you understand the timeline of the story and see that the Prince was only roughly 11 years old when this went down that you really start to see the Enchantress for who she is. (Ref: The rose he received post-curse would bloom till his 21st year & per Lumiere they had been ‘rusting’ for 10 years when Belle first arrives.) Now I don’t know why the 11 year old prince is answering the door for strangers, but I do know boys that age do not always make the soundest of decisions. It seems like a potential lifetime curse for him and hundreds of servants may not be the proper punishment for this crime. Who made this Enchantress judge & jury anyway? And the whole set up seems to be weighted against the Prince…almost like she wanted him to fail so she could show how powerful she was. If she cared so much about the Prince’s heart, where was she when the curse was broken. Shouldn’t she have been there congratulating him at the ball?

So I ask you, who is the true villain? Gaston, who takes his crush a little too far or the beautiful terrible Enchantress who curses hundreds of people because a prepubescent child makes a poor decision. I say the latter. What do you say?

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Image Credit: thebipolarized.com