may_lily: (Beauty and the Beast Love)
may_lily ([personal profile] may_lily) wrote2013-07-01 07:53 pm

What did the Beast look like?

From my tumblr.

Most Animal Bridegroom tales, such as East of the Sun and West of the Moon or the Black Bull of Norroway, have the bridegroom as a specific animal, such as a bear or a bull or a lion. Madame de Villeneuve’s Beauty and the Beast, however, made him a non-specific ‘monster’. Madame de Beaumont’s more popular abridgement doesn’t describe the Beast, but Villeneuve does give a few lines of description.

From J. R. Planche’s translation, page 233:

He was terribly alarmed upon perceiving at his side a horrible beast, which, with an air of fury, laid upon his neck a kind of trunk, resembling an elephant’s…

Page 242:

A frightful noise, caused by the enormous weight of his body, by the terrible clank of his scales, and an awful roaring, announced his arrival.

Page 290:

The weight of my body had become so great that I could not lift myself; all that I could do was to sustain myself on my hands, which had in an instant become two horrible paws…

So a trunk, scales, and paws.