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“Beauty and the Beast”: A Tale as Old as Time

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“Beauty and the Beast”: A Tale as Old as Time

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, June 17, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0373
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman (Photo: Amy Parrish)

Few stories capture the imagination like “Beauty and the Beast,” the romantic tale of a beautiful girl who sees past appearances to fall in love with a hideous monster. The story has been used to question marriages of convenience or opportunity and to champion the radical idea of marrying someone you actually like. It has also been sold as a story that promotes ideas like “if you love him, you can change him and make him a better person,” when “he” might be abusive, violent, and truly monstrous. “Beauty and the Beast” is one of the oldest fairy tales and has existed in countless forms. The beast has been everything from a snake to a god to a “small-toothed dog,” and, sometimes, “Beauty” isn’t even beautiful.

Folklorists Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman explore “Beauty and the Beast,” discussing what the tale looks like around the world, how the story has been retold in contemporary times, and what kinds of reactionary, rebellious, and revolutionary points it has allowed tellers and authors to make. They explain why it has had such staying power and why so many people count it as their favorite fairy tale. The lecture also includes a few prompts for audience interaction.

Cleto and Warman are former instructors of folklore and literature at Ohio State University and co-founders of the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic.

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