Beauty and the Beast (1600)

Beauty and the Beast

Medium: prose text story

Cover date: 1600

Publisher: unknown

2 characters in this story:

(Click links for info about character
and his/her religious practice, affiliation, etc.)
Pub. #
Beauty Beauty (Belle)
(lead character)
lead character
  [1st app: Beauty and the Beast (1600)] Walt Disney Pictures 66
The Beast The Beast
(lead character)
lead character
CBR Scale: M cursed
[prince] Walt Disney Pictures 65

"Beauty and the Beast" was a widespread traditional folk tale/fairy tale. Classified in Aarne-Thompson tale type index as 425C. This database listing refers to the original folk tale, extant in Europe at least as early as the early 1700s. The first published version of the story was written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.

Historians generally regard the "Beauty and the Beast" story as having its earliest origins in Apuleius' 2nd-century Latin "Cupid and Psyche," in The Golden Ass. Although the particulars of this story are different, the central themes are present there. The Golden Ass was published four times in France between 1600 and 1648. It is thought that from that source emerged "Beauty and the Beast" folk tales.

"Cupid and Psyche" and "Beauty and the Beast" share many plot similarities, but also exhibit many story and character differences - enough so that the two should not be considered the same story, and the central characters should be considered the "same character," even if the later characters in the contemporary (at the time) setting were based in many ways on the medieval characters.

Giovanni Francesco's story "Re Porco" (or "Pig King" in English) was written in the 1500s and contains most of the core elements of the folk story. This story was published in The Facetious Nights of Straparola.