Need source stating beauty and the beast is based on hades and persephone

Discussion in 'Greek Mythology' started by Derek, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Derek

    Derek New Member

    The comparisons are obvious (especially when talking about the Disney version), but I need an actual, legit source for a Mythology paper that I can prove. I can't find a good one that I could use. Help would be appreciated....
  2. Rhonda Tharp

    Rhonda Tharp Active Member

  3. Poolshark

    Poolshark New Member

    Sorry. Never came across that connection. I don't really see it either. Persephone never really warmed up to Hades did she?
  4. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    She eventually fell in love with his kindness. He loved her so deeply that he would give her anything she asked for. Being nthe god of wealth, he was able to give her extravagant gifts. One gift he gave her was a servant, a boy whom her mother had killed in anger after discovering her abduction. The boy was the one to give Persephone the fruit that sealed her fate. It was before that, though, that she began to fall in love with him.
    In Edith Hamilton's version she began to love him when she realized that his kingdom was not a representation of his heart. It think Ovid mentions their deep love for one another in his Amores; Persephone is writting a letter to Hades after she is returned to her mother for her 6 months about how much she misses him and can't wait to return to him.
  5. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    I see how you could make a connection to the two. Belle, like Persephone, is a woman of light. Flowers and animals respond to their voices. Hades, like Beast, is a man of darkness. They remain secluded in their kingdoms, the outcasts, wealth, but at the same time, poor. Both need their women to be happy. Like Persephone, Belle leaves Beast for a time to return to her father(mother) and during that time Beast suffers.
    I never thought to make the connection, but it's there. Very nice.
    It's unfortunate that you could not have found a source for your assignment.
    Myrddin likes this.
  6. Very interesting. I had spotted a similarity between Beauty and the Beast and the myth of Cupid and Psyche quite a while back, but this comparison to Hades and Persephone is intriguing.
  7. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    I can't quite see the connection between Psyche and Eros and Hades and Persephone. True that Psyche was supposed to be sacrificed to a monster, but he turned out to be a god.
    ...I guess you can connect the two in the sense that they almost lost one another. I guess Aphrodite would be the Gaston character who tries to seperate the two, but it was out of love for her son and jealousy of Psyche's beauty. But Eros was absent for most of the myth until the end when he returned to find Psyche dead and turned her into a god. But it was Eros who saved Psyche unlike the Disney movie where Belle saved Beast.
  8. Yes, I certainly see the comparison. I was referring more to the Beauty and the Beast folktale in which Gaston is not a character, and in whose variants include an invisible "Beast" and invisible attendants who placed food on the table for Beauty*/Psyche, the desire to be with family again**. The discrepancy that I see is that in the myth, Psyche was swayed to evil, and in the folktales, she was prevented from returning—it depends on the variant.


    Now, for Hades and Persephone. According to the folktale, Beauty's father incurs the Beast's wrath by taking one of his roses***. The Beast says that he would kill the merchant for stealing is roses, but the merchant pleas for his life, saying that he wasn't taking it for himself, but for his daughter. Beast says he'll have the life of his daughter instead. Here, the red rose takes the place of the red pomegranate of the Hades/Persephone story.

    It is also interesting to note that when Beauty returns to the castle and meets the Beast, he was suffering in a well, which may be a corrupted or modernised "Underworld."



    * Apparently Disney thought it would be strange to name the heroine "Beauty."

    ** In the tale, Beauty goes to the sisters, in the myth, the sisters come to her, but in both instances, they are wicked

    *** He was a merchant and asked his three daughters what they would like him to bring them; Beauty asked for a red rose. He forgot about it until he was halfway home and say a lovely garden with red roses nearby when he got lost in the forest, I think was the context.


    If you are interested C. S. Lewis has a good retelling of the Eros and Psyche myth in his novel, Till We Have Faces.
    Myrddin likes this.
  9. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    Yes I see a bit more of a connection now that I know you were refering to a different version. I remember reading that story...many years ago. The merchant was wealthy but lost all of his money when his shipments of finery were lost at sea. He received a letter saying one of his shipments was recovered so he thought he would see for himeslf. Before he left he asked each daughter what she wanted and each asked for an extravagant gift except for Beauty who, as you said, only wanted a rose. I don't remember the part in the story about the Beast's servanst being invisible, but I'll take your word for it. The correlation is quite interesting. I supposed thought that you can make a connection between several types of stories and myths. Originality has gone out the window, in my opinion.
    ...
    Nice connection.
  10. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    It's not that the servants are invisible, but that Beauty just never sees them. Everything is already done and set out before she enters the room. So it's more like she just misses seeing them.
  11. It's not in the version that you were talking about (which is the same version I had initially mentioned), but invisible servants are featured in one or two variants I've read.

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