Saturday, February 20, 2016

Beauty and the Beast Look Alikes

Cupid and Psyche is the Greek myth Beauty and the Beast is believed to be derived. The story rather interesting and sad. You can read this version which is long-winded and written in an ancient vernacular. There's this one which cuts down some of the lengthy monologues and actually uses real words. Or you can hop over to this much shorter kid's version. I recommend the second one.

 I for one think Cupid is a jerk. Really. He leaves Psyche, while she's pregnant with their child, just because (Oh, gasp!) she saw him. 


(She doesn't get pregnant in the kid version, in case you needed to know.)

He also has a very overbearing, bratty mother (oooh, that's where he gets it from). But she's a goddess, which explains the overbearing part. And the bratty. I never liked Greek gods. They're so immature.

Poor Psyche is pregnant the whole time she searches for Cupid, which is many months, and also during the time Venus tests her, another many months. She's been pregnant for at least a year, I'm sure. Yet at the end she gives birth to a health child? Not particularly realistic. (I'll admit though, for Psyche's sake, I'm glad. Talk about perseverance. After everything she went through, it'd be a huge downer if something happened to her child. Coupled with everything else, loosing her child would be a breaking point. Especially if I think of it in terms of, what if she did this not merely for Cupid's love, but for her child?)

East of the Sun and West of the Moon has many, many similar elements to Cupid and Psyche. The main differences are that the Beauty's lover is a bear (but a prince, nobody would guess that, ever), and the ending changes. Instead of  being assigned three different tasks to completely, the Beauty has to try to wake the prince three nights in a row. Before the wedding (yeah, the prince is going to marry some troll), the prince says he will only marry the person who can wash three drops of tallow out of his shirt (ironically Beauty was the one who dripped the tallow on his shirt).

The White Wolf is very similar to East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Instead of being tested in order for the Beauty to take the prince instead of the second bride, the prince asks the guests a riddle, or a proverb or something of that sort. He doesn't have to test her. He already knows she is true to him. (Seriously, she traveled all this way.) I prefer this one to East of the Sun.

The Wonderful Sheep is framed much more like B&B then any of the others. I think the Wonderful Sheep is one of the strangest of versions of Beauty and the Beast that I've read. It's just. . .

The Amazing Spiderman 2 (chimney sceene) - whaaaaaat?
You can find a whole lot of other B&B look alikes here. There's also this site. If you're super interested in fairytales, their history, and tales that are similar to each other, I would definitely encourage you to explore the latter site.

The Beast takes on different forms. In some stories, he's just a beast, or a combination of different animals. In a couple of them, the Beast is a bear, and sometimes a dog. There's another in which the Beast is a, eh, horse. Here's a post that discusses some of the different forms the Beast has taken.

In The Singing Rose, the Beast is actually an old, cranky man. Beauty and the man never seem to develop an amiable relationship as the man yells at her whenever they're together. At the end, the man comes to her and says that on a certain date she is to take a specific sword and chop off his head. Then all his riches can be hers.

A few of the other stories are similar. The Beast tells Beauty to kill him and after she obeys he is resurrected as the prince. But in The Singing Rose, the old man just dies and Beauty inherits everything. Basically she kills her captor and steals his gold. Well, sort of. Technically, he offered it willingly and instructed her most strictly to do as he told her. He even stretched his neck out for her to severe it.

In a couple of the stories, after the Beast turns into a prince, the Beauty has to burn or discard of the animal fur for. . . reasons? None of them explain why. The prince usually says that if she doesn't he will be destroyed or ruined with the melodramatic flair that fairy tales have.

(5) Tumblr Sherlock

I rather like the Clinking Clanking Lowesleaf. The Beast was a dog and he locked Beauty in a hut. Beauty finds out there's an old lady in the hut with her. The lady tells Beauty everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. That the dog is actually a cursed prince. The hut is a castle in disguise. That the dog removes his dog skin in the night. That she must always lock the door and never, never let the dog in at night. That at a certain time, the dog will ask to come in. He will beg and whine. For three days. And do not open that door unless you want death. But on the third night, when he finally goes quiet and sleeps, Beauty is to sneak out, steal the dog's skin, and burn it. And do not open the door until morning. Then he will be a prince again.

She does all this. She never, never opens the door for him. She prevails. Which is rather surprising since nearly every fairytale shows the woman  character either being weak-willed, or after so much perseverance giving in at the last minute. Like when Beauty gives into her sisters' pleading with her to remain with them a few days longer. But this Beauty does not give in. I guess that's why I like it.

But what in the world is a clinking, clanking lowesleaf?

Have you read any of these? OH! And don't forget to sign up for the giveaway!


  1. Wow there are a lot of them! I haven't read any of these, I no nothing of Beauty and the Beast.

    1. I felt like I knew nothing until I started doing some mad dash research. It was a bit dizzying. XD But good.

      I would definitely recommend Cupid and Psyche as well as The White Wolf.

  2. Ooh, I don't believe I've read any of these retellings, but they all sound so interesting. *adds to growing list* I especially like the sound of the last one--it always bugs me when Cupid and Psyche-like retellings have the woman breaking (like, I know she does in the original, but whatever). I like the idea that women don't have to be presented as so weak-willed that even with the best of motivations they can't succeed. Ick. Also, yeah, Cupid is a jerk and I was never a huge fan of him at all. *shakes head*

    So it's not a Beauty and the Beast story, but all this has got me thinking of Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis because it's my favorite Cupid and Psyche retelling ever. *nods*

    Thanks for sharing! As always, I really enjoyed reading this. :)

    1. Yes, the last one was very interesting. Not particularly long either. Yes, it always drives me crazy that even when they have good intentions the women are still shown to fail? And then of course the guy comes in to save the day. *cough*

      Oo, that sounds interesting. I will have to check this book out for sure. Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

  3. Have you ever read North Child? It's a properly brilliant children's fantasy book based on East of the Sun and West of the Moon. I loved it.

    I had no idea (until I read your other BatB post, that is) that it's based on Cupid and Psyche. Cool, that.

    Sherlock gif = best ever.

    1. Oo, really? I might have to read it some time!

      I didn't know until I started research for this blog party project. Seriously, this blog party has made me learn so much.

      I know! It took me hours to find it. :P


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