When one hears the word beast, one automatically think someone who is ugly physically, someone who is frivolous or of the beast in Beauty and The Beast; not necessarily a beast as in animal. A beast can be anyone who is psychologically or physically ugly, evil and even selfish. An archetype is a way for us to specify a certain group or a single person. Beast is a form of an archetype in the sense that we categorize a very mixed group of people in this archetype. Not only does the word beast symbolize so many things on its own, it can be taken in any direction. In research it was found that anyone could be a beast; a beast can be seen in many different forms. One can see it either in men and women. The beast is not only found in the fairytales read; it may also be people that surround us.
Beast is something one often says about men. What one does not really think about the connection as to what really makes men truly a beast? Also, how come one does not actually think of an actual beast why someone whom is human? The psychological connection behind the men, beast, or how they relate is often still not understood well. We often say men are beasts, but why? That could be because men can behave like beasts or can have frivolous thoughts. In the article “Man, Beast, and Philosophical Psychology” by John King and Elton Hall discussed how a beast and men have the same stimulus. They say, “Science must be aware of whittling away cherished barriers between men and beast” (King &Elton, 81) in other words men and beast are one. Also, they argue that “intelligibly say that a person really hasn’t a concept of electricity or insanity because although he often uses the words… he is quite unable to give anything like a clear” (King &Elton, 84) saying that in reality a man cant be really insane, part of him is always aware of his behavior. That if a man is acting like a beast he will know. If we think of an actual beast per say a dog, they need a man to train them and to educate them. That’s one form of link between men and beast. An animal an actual beast has no reckon of his behavior. He can learn to obey to a certain extent, but never be fully trained. However, a man can be a beast himself. Not by only looks but how he acts, thinks and carries himself. A beast may or may not have self-control of its actions or emotions, and that is the main link between men and beast.
Women are never seen as beasts, yet they can be in ways we do not think of. The article “Male and Female Ugliness Through The Ages” by Eglal Henein goes in detail to explain how both men and women have gotten more ugly throughout the ages. He discusses how the princess always accept to marry the beast without asking many questions, then magically these beasts are turned into gorgeous men. These beast princes are always rich and powerful. So these princesses had to accept the fact that he was ugly, but you still got a big house and money. Does this make them greedy? Women had to accept their physical looks and still care about them. In fairytales the word love never seems to be said, so we can assume they just care for these men. In the fairytale of Beauty and The Beast, Beauty saves the beast from his ugly form, but accepting him and marring him. Men are categorized as beast because of their behavior, and women mostly for their intention hardly because they are violent. We can see the differences in how we see the same word apply differently to the genders. Henein says women can be monsters because we seduce, and lust to achieve what we want. He says, “ Female monsters can take the appearance of dragons, fantastic and terrifying beast related to serpents” (Henein, 47) which we do not really see in fairytales, yet in real life we do. In the story Shrek one of the villains is a female dragon, and she uses her charms to get donkey to fall in love with her. Is she evil for that? Men are beast in how they act; they can be possessive or cruel. For example in the story of Peter Pan, this boy lives in Never-Land where the kids never age. One night he takes this teenage girl named Wendy and her siblings to Never-Land. Peter-pan is supposed to be this kind kid, yet he is selfish. He does not want to let Wendy leave, since he wants her for him. He also treats the other kids really bad, by yelling and mistreating them. He feels superior. Peter-pan is a beast in the way that he acts towards women in such a dominant way, and him being cocky. Peter-pan behaves like a beast to both Wendy and the children. Both men and women have inner beast whether it is our lust, greediness or inner desires.
In the article “Cupid And Psyche vs. Beauty And The Beast: The Milesian And The Modern” by Ruth Bottigheimer compares and contrast the two stories. In Cupids tale Psyche falls in love with Cupid without knowing how he looks, and Beauty does. In the story of Cupid, Psyche has to go through many trials to be able to find Cupid. Yet, Psyche has all this negativity from the people around her. Her mother is non-exist in her life, her sisters envy her so much that they die trying to be her. But the real villain the beast in this story is the mother-in-law Venus. She starves Psyche, beats her has her whipped, makes her do dangerous tasks knowing she is pregnant with her grandbaby. While Beast does win over Beauty with his kindness and care, she cannot see past his ugliness. When the Beast asks Beauty to marry him, she did not want to marry and ugly monster she would rather die. Beauty stays with Beast for him money; she sees how her sisters are unhappy in the poor marriages, and how her dads’ living is not good enough for her anymore. Though, she does fall for beast after her turns into a handsome man. We can say she is a beast because she has selfish intentions, and bad thoughts. The article goes in detail to talk about how Cupid and Psyches story seems more real life like, while Beauty and The Beast is more fairytale like. In both stories thought the real beast is not the beast, it’s the women around the beast.
As I have given you examples how women can be beast by either being as such if not more cruel than a man. Also, by being selfish and greedy wanting more and not being satisfied. Now lets talk about men. In Giovanni Francesco fairytale “The Pig King” the main character is the prince pig. He was born in the form or a pig, and even though he grew with everything around him he is still malicious. When he wants to marry he says “Mother, I wish to get married”(pg.43) since he is tired of being lonely, and in order for him to turn human he needs to wed 3 times. When he gets his first wife he murders her since her feared she was going to kill him. When he gets the second wife he takes her for a walk and she never returns. When the mother asks about the second wife, he said the same thing as before. But in reality he just wanted his third wife. The prince is very manipulative; he has his mother submissive to him. She fairly questions him and when she does he sweet-talks her. His father does not intervene much in the prince decisions. When he gets the third wife, and this one actually accepts him as he is, he does not kill her. Once he is transformed into a human he gets handed the title of king. The Pig Prince is a beast in the sense he murders with no remorse and he is naturally a manipulator. He murders for his benefit and tells his mother what will get him as he wishes.
While trying to figure out why men can act like beast I came across the article “Exorcising the Beast: Attempts at Rationality in French Classicism.” by Erica Harth talks about her research in knowing how men and beast are one. She talks about the “element of mystery in the sinuous relationship between man and beast” (Harth, 19) how a man is a beast not in there physical aspect but how the behave. She uses an example where men are being treated and they start to become aggressive, and uncontrollable attacking people. So they have to be “chained to doors, walls and beds” (Harth, 20) not only where they chained they were also fed like animals, and kept under surveillance. This article gives more examples on how men are really beast. In the end though it is all an illusion one can make because “madness was an …antinature” (Harth, 23) that more than anything is the madness that makes men beasts. That’s why most women say men are beasts when they start to act out of order.
When I was reading on the story of Aleister Crowley I was surprised to find out that today he is looked upon as a very influential person in the Western Religious movement. In the article “The Beast with Two Backs: Aleister Crowley, Sex Magic and the Exhaustion of Modernity.” By Hugh Urban discusses the interesting story of Aleister Crowley, how back then he was a very criticized man for his actions even though he was religious. Aleister was a mostly criticized for his “infamous drug use and extreme sexual practices and proclaiming himself as the ‘Great Beast 666’”(Urban, 7) as we all now the number 666 stands for Satan, he would call himself this because of the way he lived life, and how like Satan he was rejected of many places. As one knows Satan is a beast. Most people did not accept him because of his drug addiction and his risqué behavior towards sex. When he was high off cocaine and heroin he became a beast, he was unrecognizable. He became angry and violet. Another attribute that was a beast within him was his hunger for sex. When he had sex he would become aggressive and dominant to satisfy himself more than anything. Not only was he a beast when he was high off drugs and having sexual encounters; he was also mentally disturbed. In church he would “[substitute] semen and menstrual fluid” (Urban, 13) to give the priest to drink in mass. Aleister Crowley was truly a beast. He was mentally disturbed and acted like a beast. His life choices may not have been the best, but his religious ideas are what have gotten him prestige in the western religious movement.
An archetype is more than just categorizing a specific thing or person. Before one did not realize that the archetype beast could also fit into the gender of females, as much as we apply it to the males. The archetype of the beast symbolizes more that the physical appearance of someone; it is their thoughts and actions. In the Beauty and The Beast the beast is not even the beast; the beast is Beauty. One does not often see beyond what one has in front of us. So we can judge by physical appearances, those deceive. This research paper shows how ordinary people can be beasts. However, a man/women is never truly a beast if deep down he has some knowledge of his actions. We ourselves are beast, we are greedy, lustful, and have thoughts we are later not proud of. We behave sometimes frivolous towards people around us; we have negative thoughts towards people whom we dislike. All of these are attributes that make essentially the archetype of the beast.
Bottigheimer, Ruth B. “Cupid And Psyche vs. Beauty And The Beast: The Milesian And The Modern.” Merveilles & Contes vol.3 (May 1989): 4-14. JSTOR. Web. 4 May 2013.
Harth, Erika, “ Exorcising the Beast: Attempts at Rationality in French Classicism.” PMLA vol.88, No. 1 (Jan 1973): 19-24. JSTOR. 4 May 2013
Henein, Eglal. “Male and Female Ugliness Thorough The Ages.” Merveilles & Contes vol.3 (May 1989): 45-56. JSTOR. Web. 4 May 2013.
King, John and Hall, Elton, “Man, Beast, and Philosophical Psychology.” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science vol. 16, No.62 (Aug 1965): 81-101. JSTOR. 4 May 2013.
Leprice De Beaumont, Jenna-Marie. “Beauty and The Beast.” The Classic Fairy Tales. A Norton Critical Edition. Tatar,Maria. New York: Norton & Company, Inc., 1999. 32-42. Print.
Peter Pan. Dir. P.J. Hogan. Universal Pictures, 2003. DVD.
Shrek. Dir. Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson. Dreamworks Pictures, 2001. DVD.
Straparola, Giovanni. “The Pig King.” The Classic Fairy Tales. A Norton Critical Edition. Tatar,Maria. New York: Norton & Company, Inc., 1999. 42-47. Print.
Urban, Hugh B, “The Beast with Two Backs: Aleister Crowley, Sex Magic and the Exhaustion of Modernity.” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions Vol. 7 No.3 (March, 2004): 7-25. JSTOR. 4 May 2013.