Findlay, Kerstetter Changes in a Tale as Old as Time


Original Tales of Beauty and the Beast



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Original Tales of Beauty and the Beast

The developing ground for all fairy tales is the oral tradition. It is very difficult for scholars to discover the origin of many stories simply because of the first telling of it was never written down. Those of the field and farm would gather around the fire to hear a tale spun on the voice of the grandmother, housewife, or patriarch. This is the testing ground of the common folk. The fairy tale is the language of the children shared on playgrounds and sung in nurseries. Tales were carefully chosen to meet the needs and understanding of the audience. Tales systematically evolved as new stories were tried or new facets added. Those elements that were not favored by those listening were cut out while the better parts remained. It is these tried parts of the story that have wound down to us and to the printed page. As the audience developed favorites these were carefully modeled to fit the lifestyle and culture of the time. “Beauty and the Beast” is no exception. The first time this story was thought of will never be known.





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