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Beauty and the Beast notes
A young girl, Belle, sits reading a book about a Prince...
Suddenly – as though from the pages of the book – a vixen runs out and around Belle's chair, closely pursued by the Prince and his friends. A woodsman appears and the vixen hides in his cloak where she turns into a flame-haired girl. The Prince tries to capture her but is held back by the woodsman and the girl escapes. The woodsman is angered by the hunters’ cruelty and turns the Prince into a beast and his friends into wild animals.
Scene 1: The Merchant's House
Belle's father, a merchant, has lost his ships and is unable to pay his debts. As the bailiffs reclaim his furniture, Monsieur Cochon arrives. He is a wealthy townsman who wants to marry one of Belle's vain sisters. He offers the Merchant enough money to keep his possessions and the servants. Suddenly the news arrives that the ships have been found. As the Merchant prepares to leave, he asks his daughters what they would like as a gift on his return. Belle’s sisters ask for gowns and jewels but Belle wants only a single rose.
Scene 2: The Beast's Castle
A terrible storm blows up and the Merchant is attacked by robbers. The Merchant escapes and hides in a strange empty castle where he is served food and drink by unseen hands. In the morning he wakes to find his stolen travelling trunk returned and filled with beautiful gowns and jewels. As he leaves the castle he remember Belle's request and picks a rose from the garden. Suddenly a monstrous beast appears, furious at the theft of the rose.When he hears that the Merchant has three daughters he agrees to spare his life, but only if he sends his youngest daughter to live with him. The terrified Merchant agrees and flees the castle.
Scene 3: The Merchant's House
Back at home the vain sisters open the trunk to find that the dresses and jewels have turned to rags and ashes. The Merchant begs Belle's forgiveness for what he has done. Belle is determined to save her father but doesn’t know what to do.With some unexpected help, she makes her way to the castle and as the clock strikes nine, the Beast appears.
Scene 1: A Ballroom
Several months have passed and the Beast has asked Belle to marry him every evening. She still refuses but has grown used to his ugliness and now sees only his good heart. The Beast holds a ball which is attended by all the inhabitants of the castle. The same curse that turned the Prince into a beast has changed them into animals. Again the Beast asks Belle to marry him but she replies that although he is good and kind hearted, she does not love him and, therefore, cannot marry him.
Back in her bedroom, Belle longs to see her father. The Beast agrees to let her go and gives her a rose. He tells her she must return before the rose dies or he too will die of a broken heart.
Scene 2: The Merchant's House
Belle arrives home to find wedding preparations are underway for Monsieur Cochon and one of Belle's sisters. Cochon has still not decided which of them he wants to marry!
Scene 3: The Beast's Castle
At the castle the Beast pines for Belle. His animal friends and courtiers attempt to raise his spirits but as more time passes, he is sure that Belle will never return and he begins to die. Belle’s sisters have tricked her into staying longer than she intended. When Belle finally returns to the castle, she finds the Beast dying. She cries that she has always loved him and agrees to marry him. The Woodsman appears, the Beast’s ugliness melts away and the Prince appears in his place. As the curse is lifted, the courtiers begin to arrive – returned to human shape. As for Belle and her Prince, they live happily ever after.
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