Beauty and the Beast: Characters Sketch and Plot Summary
Author Description: About the Author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, born in Paris in 1695, is considered to be the original author of the tale known as “Beauty and the Beast.” The story was drawn from fairy tales and folklore and was first published in 1740. The original book was 362 pages long, but it was later abridged and republished by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont was a French author best known for her version of “The Beauty and the Beast”. She was born in 1711 in Rouen and died in 1780.
- Belle = Intelligent, Loving, Kind and friendly. A dreamer who wants a life full of adventure. Loves to read and has a vibrant imagination. Bored in her town. Devoted to her father.
- Beast = A figure haunted by his past mistakes. Quick temper and prone to anger. Angry at himself for what he did but takes it out on others. Despite this, he has an inner beauty. Used to be a prince, therefore he is noble.
- Gaston = Very egotistical and in love with himself. Hero of the town and a hunter too. Strong and Loves the attention he gets from the town, Quite cruel and happy to manipulate people and use them.
- Maurice = father of Belle. Odd, but a gentle and kind bumbling old man. Similar to Belle in that he’s a dreamer and a bit of an outcast. Loves Belle more than anything in the world.
- Lumiere = turned into a candelabra after the curse. Wants to be human once again. Very welcoming, Lovable and hospitable. Loyal to his master and good friends with Cogsworth.
- Cogsworth = Turing into a clock. Uptight and tries to be strict when he doesn’t command enough authority. Control freak who likes everything in order. Tries to obey the Beast’s orders (out of fear) and likes to see himself as the experienced head of the household.
- Mrs. Potts = A kindly, motherly woman. Always looking out for other people, mostly her child, Chip.
- Chip = Young, sprightly and innocent. Very much believes in true love as the cure to everything.
- Mme de la Grande Bouche= Used to be a famous opera singer and still trying to hold on to that fame. Partly a wardrobe.
- Babette =Young and not particularly smart. Transitioning into a feather duster.
Beauty and the Beast story Long ago in a French kingdom, there lived a spoiled and selfish Prince in a castle where he would throw big parties with all his royal subjects. One night, an old beggar woman entered his castle and offered the Prince a rose in exchange for shelter from the cold. The Prince sneered and laughed at the old woman along with his subjects, even as she warned him not to be deceived by appearances. The Prince turned her away once more, and soon after, the old woman’s haggard appearance disappeared to reveal a beautiful Enchantress. The Prince tried to ask for forgiveness, but the Enchantress had already seen there was no love in his heart. As punishment, she turned the Prince into a hideous Beast and transformed the other members into household objects.
The Enchantress’s spell caused the people outside the kingdom to forget about the castle and everyone living in it. The Beast was left with a magic mirror as his window to the outside world, as well as a rose. If the Beast can earn the love of another before the last petal falls, the spell will be broken. Otherwise, he will be doomed to forever remain a beast. Several years later in the village of Villeneuve, there lives a young woman named Belle. She doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the townspeople, who all view her as odd. Belle’s interests lie in storybooks. She is pursued by the handsome but narcissistic hunter/former war captain Gaston. He rides into town with his comrade LeFou and finds Belle after she leaves a book shop. Gaston attempts to woo her and invite himself to dinner with her, but she turns him down.
Belle returns home to her father Maurice, a music box maker. He is in the process of creating a music box modeled after him and his late wife, who was also Belle’s mother. Belle tells Maurice how she notices that the villagers think she’s odd, which Maurice rejects. Maurice is set to head to another town to sell his music boxes, and Belle asks him to bring back a rose, like he always does. Maurice rides through the forest with his horse Philippe. He turns toward a path where snow is falling. A pack of wolves encounters Maurice, forcing him and Philippe to flee. They pass through a gate that leads him onto the forgotten grounds of the Prince’s castle. Maurice enters the castle and is spotted by Lumiere the candelabra and Cogsworth the clock. Maurice walks into the dining hall and sits down. He is startled when Chip, a young boy turned into a teacup, moves toward him and speaks to him. Maurice runs out of the castle and starts to ride away until he passes through the garden and spots a rose. He tries to pick one for Belle, but he is found by the Beast, who calls Maurice a thief. The Beast takes him prisoner.
Back in the village, Belle is trying to show a little girl how to read until she is called out by a man who discourages her from teaching another girl to read. Gaston finds Belle and once again tries to court her after saying she shouldn’t concern herself with any children other than hers. Belle knows what he is trying to say, and she firmly tells him that she will never marry him. After scoffing at the idea of being Gaston’s wife, she expresses her desire to seek adventure and excitement away from the village. Moments later, Philippe returns and Belle knows that something bad must have happened to Maurice (Her father). Belle rides Philippe back to the castle. She finds Maurice in the dungeon, where he warns her to turn back. Belle then meets the Beast and is stunned by his appearance. The Beast says Maurice is a thief and must serve for life in the prison. Belle offers to take his place, despite Maurice’s objections. The Beast agrees to the exchange and he lets Maurice go. Belle promises him she will find a way out of there. Belle meets Lumiere and Cogsworth, despite initially being freaked out by a talking candelabra and clock. The two were originally heads of the castle before the curse transformed them.
Belle also meets Mrs. Potts (Head of the kitchen, a good chief and humble person), Chip’s mother who is now a teapot, plus Chip himself; Plumette, the maid and Lumiere’s girlfriend turned into a feather duster resembling a peacock; Madame de Garderobe, an Italian opera singer who is now a wardrobe; and Maestro Cadenza, Garderobe’s husband and former composer who is now a piano. Lumiere guides Belle out of the dungeon and into a room in the East Wing. Garderobe dresses Belle in a ghastly frock, which gives Belle the idea to use the ribbons to climb down the tower. Gaston is in a tavern with LeFou lamenting Belle’s rejection of him. LeFou tries to cheer him up along with the other villagers by talking (or rather, singing) in detail about how great Gaston is. Not long after, Maurice enters and starts raving about the Beast and how he’s taken Belle as his prisoner. The other villagers laugh at his claims, but Gaston offers to follow Maurice to find the Beast, mainly to get Belle to marry him.
The Beast tries to get Belle to join him for dinner, but he is too abrasive as he pounds on her bedroom door. Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Plumette all stand behind him and try to help, but Belle refuses to join the Beast as she is still tying ribbons together to make her rope. The Beast storms off and insults his subjects. We see the rose drops another petal, and as a result, the castle starts to shake and crumble a little. It also causes the castle objects to become less and less human. Belle leaves her room and joins the castle objects as they guide her to the dining hall. Lumiere leads the objects in a dazzling musical number (‘Be Our Guest’) as they boast about their fine dining. Afterwards, Belle wanders into the West Wing, which Lumiere and Cogsworth had tried to keep a secret from her (about the curse). There, Belle finds the rose encased in a jar. The Beast then frightens her and screams at her to get out.
Belle runs away and rides Philippe out of the castle grounds. The wolves then attack her in the forest. Belle tries to fight them off until the Beast shows up and fights them himself. The alpha wolf bites into his back, but the Beast throws it off and roars, scaring the wolves away. Belle then helps the Beast onto Philippe. Belle tends to the Beast’s wounds, even as he complains about the pain. She lets him rest. Mrs. Potts explains to Belle that the Beast was not always so unkind. Since they have known him all his life, they know that after the Prince’s mother died, his father raised him to be the way he was before he was cursed. When Belle asks about the rose, the objects say that the Prince will remain a beast forever if the last petal falls without him finding someone to love and to love him back, and that they will become inanimate. They sing about their yearning to become human again, and we see the young Prince looking upon his mother on her deathbed before his father pulls him away. Maurice leads Gaston and LeFou into the forest as they try to find the path to the castle.
Gaston and LeFou think Maurice is just crazy. Once Gaston reveals his true intention to only be helping Maurice for Belle’s hand, he also growls at Maurice and threatens to leave him to the wolves. Gaston tries to cover it up by putting on the nice guy act, but Maurice already sees who Gaston really is and makes it clear that he will never allow Gaston to marry Belle. Gaston knocks Maurice out cold and ties him to a tree so the wolves can come after him. LeFou considers this to be too much, but he has no choice and must follow Gaston. While moving to the castle, Belle is reading Shakespeare to the Beast, who already knows the story by heart. He then brings Belle to see his enormous library, which he says can be hers now. Over time, Belle warms up to the Beast as he shows his kinder and gentler side and the objects can see it too. Soon Belle helped the beast to feel again the kindness and at that time they both liked their company. The Beast later shows Belle an enchanted book that allows anyone to travel anywhere they want to go if they can visualize it.
Belle places her hand in the book and they are transported to an old house in Paris. It was once home to Maurice and his wife when Belle was a baby. The Beast finds a doctor’s mask, indicating that Belle’s mother was killed by the plague. A flashback shows Maurice tending to his wife as she is dying. She tells him to protect Belle, and all that was left behind was a glass rose, which Belle finds. Maurice is saved by a local beggar woman named Agathe and she tends to him. Maurice returns to Villeneuve and is sitting in the tavern when Gaston and LeFou return to find him, both surprised. Maurice tells the villagers that Gaston left him to die in the forest. When Maurice calls out LeFou as a witness, Gaston intimidates LeFou into lying to cover his back. Gaston has Maurice dismissed as a delusional madman. The Beast invites Belle to dance with him in the ballroom. Garderobe dresses Belle in a beautiful gown while Lumiere and the others try to properly groom the Beast. The two then meet in the staircase and walk into the ballroom as Cadenza plays a tune to accompany them (‘Beauty and the Beast the theme song or music of the story’). Belle and the Beast share a romantic dance.
Afterward, the Beast wonders to Belle if she may be happy there, but she asks if anyone can be happy if they are not free. He knows she misses her father, and he gives her the magic mirror to see him. Belle sees the villagers harassing Maurice, and she knows he is in trouble. The Beast sets Belle free so that she may go to help Maurice. The Beast climbs his tower in despair as Belle rides away, though he knows now that he truly does love her. The castle objects become sad since they know Belle doesn’t love him in return for the curse to be broken. Gaston has Maurice committed to a mental institution but gives him one more chance to redeem himself if he gives Gaston his blessing to marry Belle. Maurice still refuses, so Gaston sends him away. Belle arrives in the nick of time to stop the carriage from riding off. She shows the villagers the mirror to prove the Beast exists, which horrifies everyone. Gaston changes his tune and starts to gather the villagers to go after the Beast before he attempts to harm anyone else.
Belle is then locked in the carriage with Maurice as Gaston leads to villagers to storm the castle. The castle objects see the villagers making their way to the castle. They try to hold the door closed, but the villagers start to break it down. Cogsworth goes to warn the Beast, but he is too depressed to care about what happens. Lumiere then leads all the castle objects into a plan. As the villagers enter, LeFou sees Mrs. Potts and Chip, mistakenly assuming Mrs. Potts is his grandmother. She is NOT happy and she initiates the fight. Lumiere lights up the floor, Mrs. Potts pours hot tea on the attackers, Cadenza shoots his piano keys, Cogsworth sends flying books to hit the villagers, and Garderobe dresses three goons in powdered wigs, make-up, and gowns. Two men run away in horror, but the third is rather pleased with his look (actually this moment comes funny to the audience as the reaction of third person).
Cadenza sits on LeFou, who asks Gaston for help. He refuses so that he can go after the Beast. Moments later, Mrs. Potts falls from the chandelier, but LeFou catches her and decides to switch sides. Mrs. Potts tells him he’s too good for Gaston anyway. Meanwhile, Agathe is seen going up the stairs. The villagers then run away in terror. In the carriage, Belle reveals the glass rose to Maurice and that she knows the truth about what happened to her mother. Maurice insists he only wanted to protect her, which Belle understands. She takes out a pin so that Maurice can pick the lock. They break out of the carriage, and Belle rides Philippe back to the castle. Gaston makes his way up to the tower and finds the Beast sitting sadly outside the window. He claims Belle sent him and then shoots the Beast in the back and causes him to fall onto a lower roof. Gaston goes after him and wants the Beast to fight back. Belle then returns to the castle, which reinvigorates the Beast’s spirit. He defends himself against Gaston and declares he is not a beast. He holds Gaston over a ledge as the coward begs for mercy, but spares his life and orders him to leave. The Beast leaps to the next tower to be with Belle, only for Gaston to shoot him twice in the back moments later. Karma then goes for Gaston as the bridge he is standing on crumbles, and he falls to his death. The Beast is mortally wounded, but has enough time to see Belle before he dies. The last petal then falls. The castle objects celebrate their victory over the villagers, but Plumette turns into an ordinary feather duster in Lumiere’s arms.
Mrs. Potts frantically looks for Chip as she becomes a regular teapot. Chip arrives soon after and almost crashes but is caught by the coat hanger, and they both become inanimate. Lumiere and Cogsworth express their mutual friendship before they too become inanimate. Belle cries over the Beast and tells him she loves him. Agathe enters the room as Belle says this. It turns out Agathe was the Enchantress in disguise, and she restores the rose to its original look, thus breaking the spell. The Beast then transforms back into his human self. He and Belle then share their first kiss. The darkness then disappears over the kingdom, and everything starts going back to normal. Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Plumette, Cadenza, and Garderobe all wake up and turn human again and reunite with their loved ones. Mrs. Potts reunites with her husband from the village, while Cogsworth reunites with his wife (though he’s not too thrilled about that). The Prince runs to hug his friends. A celebration is held in the ballroom with all the castle subjects and villagers, including Maurice and LeFou, joining. Belle and the Prince share a dance, wherein Belle asks the Prince if he can grow a beard. Garderobe and Mrs. Potts sing while Cadenza plays the music over the dance. And they all lived happily ever after.
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