Darcy vs Beast

Darcy vs Beast

Tonight, I am watching the newest version of Beauty and the Beast, with my nearly 27-year-old daughter. It was always her favorite when she was growing up.

While watching, it struck me how many similarities the story has with the story of Pride and Prejudice.

If you think of it, Mr Darcy is much like Beast. He is awkward around people, has difficulties with speaking to others outside his closest circle. He owns a large home, with servants who are devoted to him, knowing that deep inside he is a good and caring. And as Beast tries to show Belle his home, he is thrilled to see her love of reading, showing her the library which thrilled her to know end. As he lets her into his heart, he becomes unselfish, allowing Belle her freedom when she learns her father is in trouble. Darcy does the same when he finds Elizabeth weeping at the inn in Lambton. Darcy allows her to return home with the Gardiners after they learn of the trouble the Bennet family is in. Both men were willing to live the rest of their lives alone, suffering the loss of their love, if there was a way to make their lady loves happy. Both men are dark and appear unapproachable.

 

 

Belle, like Elizabeth Bennet, is looked down on for her thirst for learning and reading. Her intelligence was considered a blemish. She is a determined and strong young lady, and both Belle and Elizabeth refuse to accept an offer of marriage that would have given security to their families, as they did not want a marriage of convenience. Though both Belle and Elizabeth started out disliking Beast and Darcy, once they saw beneath the façade, they lost their hearts to their men. Both of the ladies were wishing for better lives than was expected of them.

 

 

You also have Gaston, who, in my opinion is a combination of Wickham and Collins. Gaston, like Wickham with Darcy, thinks himself to be superior to Beast, trying to turn the village against Beast. Gaston attempts to force Belle to marry him by threatening her father’s security. Wickham is similar when he takes Lydia Bennet, as she does not have any connections or wealth, only Elizabeth’s change of heart towards Darcy. By ruining Lydia, the family was ruined. Neither Gaston or Wickham care that what they were doing was wrong, they wanted something and would do what was needed to get their way.

Belle’s father is even like Mr Bennet, eccentric in many ways. And Belle, like Elizabeth, is devoted to her father.

There is also LeFou, Gaston’s devoted lackey, who is as much a boot licker as Mr Collins is to Lady Catherine. Treating someone who is undeserving of such adoration was only giving the arrogant people bigger heads.

 

 

 

In the ballroom scene of Beauty and the Beast, Belle is wearing a yellow, silk gown. Many variations I have read have Elizabeth always wishing for a pale yellow gown.

Mrs Potts is similar in nature of what I think of Mrs Reynolds. Both kind and caring, making their guests comfortable. And the way they speak of their masters, it is easy to see their motherly affections for their employer.

So, what do you think? Am I off my rocker and see Pride and Prejudice in everything?
Have an awesome day!!!

13 Responses to Darcy vs Beast

  1. Having rewatched this just last night, I would have to agree with your estimations. Any way you look at it though, the new Beauty and the best is a wonderful film. But you forgot that Beast has that beautiful deep voice just like Matthew McFayden’s Darcy. 🙂

  2. Very interesting points of comparison between Pride and Prejudice and Beauty and the Beast. Excellent article.

  3. Wow that was really good. I’d never have seen the comparisons. I hope you enjoyed Beauty and the Beast. I thought it was fantastic and was thrilled it stayed faithful to the animated film.

  4. Great comparison and you made many points I had not thought of. Excellent reference to Austen. It just goes to show the power of Austen’s work. She changed the novel and that transferred to how movies were presented.

  5. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites as well and it always annoys me when I see Disney Princess stuff that seems to exclude the presence of Belle in favor of other princesses.

    I recently watched the new Beauty and the Beast (about a week or so ago) and I found myself seeing similarities between Beauty and the Beast and Pride and Prejudice as well. I saw the connection between the Beast and Darcy immediately as well as between Elizabeth and Belle. I had not thought of Mr. Bennet and Belle’s father but now that you mention it it seems obvious. I also hadn’t noticed the similarities between Mrs. Potts and Mrs. Reynolds but again I agree with you completely!

    I had completely missed the connections between Gaston & Wickham as well as LeFou & Mr. Collins however the girls fawning over Gaston brought to mind Lydia for me and the way she fawned over officers, especially since Gaston even wears red.

    Thank you for sharing this great post!

  6. I had not thought of the things they have in common. I have been a fan of Beauty and the Beast ever since I saw the black and white version in French on TV. I’ve also seen the two Disney versions and the one with George C. Scott as well. Obviously, I’m a fan of Pride and Prejudice. Thank you for pointing out the similarities.

  7. Beauty and the Beast remains my favorite fairy tale! I love it in that it is the inner man with whom Belle falls in love. There is even one move version in which Belle demands, “What have you done with my Beast?” and the song “See with your heart” speaks so much to the truth. Many weeks I was singing that song in my head. (1986: Starring Rebecca De Mornay and John Savage, I don’t care for his acting abilities but the song had me playing scenes in which it was played over and over again.)

  8. Wow great post, I never thought of the similarities between the stories but you’re right. My daughter loves this movie so maybe I can mention this to her to get her interested in watching P&P with me. Maybe someday there might be a musical version too. I remember watching a Bollywood version many years ago but I think that was modern and I would love to see a musical P&P set in the regency time period.

  9. Oh yes. I hadn’t thought of it before but there are definitely similarities. There’s every possibility that Jane may have read the fairy tale as a young girl, probably in its original language.

  10. Oh I see it too and am working on my own variation inspired by my love for the Disney versions and the actual fairytale.

  11. I have read at least 2 variations of Pride & Prejudice Fanfic with a Beauty and the Beast treatment.

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