ELEVEN

The Beasts

From Cocteau to Cable

The earliest known version of “Beauty and the Beast,” entitled “Cupid and Psyche,” “appeared in the second century AD in The Transformations of Lucian, Otherwise Known as the Golden Ass, written in Latin by Apuleius of Madaura,” who was born in what is now Algeria;1 however, the best known version of this classic fairy tale was written in French in 1756 by Madame Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont as “La Belle et la bête,” translated into English three years later as “Beauty and the Beast,”2 and nearly 200 years later faithfully adapted to the screen by writer/director Jean Cocteau (France, 1946). One might say it is a primer for young ladies of the court who wish for high status and economic stability on ...

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