What does your story say about you?
What does your story say about you?
May 16, 2016
The Archetypal Caregiver: Positive Qualities and Shadow Aspects
The Archetypal Caregiver: Positive Qualities and Shadow Aspects
June 23, 2016

Beauty and the Beast Symbolism: The Dark Side of Love

Beauty and the Beast Symbolism: The Dark Side of Love

This is an article that is very close to my heart as I am sure it will be just as close to your heart as well. Today within this article I am going to talk about Love, your Shadow and its symbolism throughout the Beauty and the Beast film. As you may already know, myths and stories speak to us in many different ways and touch our hearts from many different angles. This film and story in particular resonates with us all on a deep level and in many different ways, it allows us connect with our Beauty and the archetypal Beast within us.

You only need to hear the word “Beast” and your likely to already be thinking of the darkness and the shadow. Before we delve into the symbolism within the film though, lets first talk about the Shadow and what that represents and means. Our shadow represents part of our persona and character. It is formed from repressed emotions and feelings from experiences and conditions we have learned through the System at which we live, our Culture, Society, our Parents and other people we have modelled from a young age. You can also see the Shadow as what you perceive to be the ugly side of you!

You only need to look at cultures within society to see that our system is teaching us that “women need to be perfect” in regards to both figure (being a size 0) whilst a the same time, representing the picture perfect woman from an internal and emotional perspective. Men on the other hand are taught to be masculine, strong and the provider, both from a physical standpoint and an emotional perspective. It’s often frowned upon within society for a man to even express any emotions or feelings. If you don’t fit into any of these societal or cultural norms then you are deemed to be “not good enough”.

So, now lets dive into Beauty and the Beast and the symbolism within the film whilst looking at it in regards to your life. The Beast as I have already mentioned represents two archetypes within the film “The Shadow” and “The Grotesque Character”.

Traits of The Grotesque character are:

  • The Character is odd or not in natural shape or appearance
  • He is a Social and possibly a Physical outcast

With just two of these characteristics you can see how this can relate to what we touched on earlier. You may feel as though you don’t “fit in” to the conditions placed on you by society when it comes to your physical body or appearance. The Beast is often says to himself “How can anyone love me when I look like this”

The Beast as I mentioned, also represents the archetypal character of The Shadow which in this case represent his emotions. His emotions are fuelled by his anger and frustration of living with his mistakes in the lonesome of his castle. He takes his anger and lashes out on others, and finally gives into his shadow. When you look at your emotions ask yourself, what is coming up for you? What emotions have been repressed deep within you?

Allow these emotions to come to surface as these are your repressed emotions that have formed your shadow. Your shadow is a part of you that requires nurture, learn to dance with your shadow as this is where you will truly become free. Know there is a beast and a shadow within all of us but also learn to recognise the true beauty within you! Remember, you are not the restricted and confined conditions placed on you by society! You are the unique and amazing individual that is YOU!

I do hope you have found this article useful and you can relate to the symbolism within the film as it applies to your life. If you do have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them in the section below.

For those of you who would like support on your personal journey and quest, to uncover your unconscious blocks holding you back. Feel free to send me any personal questions to me at andy@theentrepreneursjourney.tv . Also, be sure to check out our coaching and mentoring services and I wish you all the best on your journey to success!

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Andy Brine - Founder of The Soul Pathway
Andy Brine - Founder of The Soul Pathway
Andy Brine is the Founder of The Soul Pathway, and he helps individuals embrace each and every aspect of who they are so that they can truly connect with their Soul and Awaken to their Soul Pathway. Using practices from psychology and philosophy through to coaching and spirituality, he helps people to gain clarity and perspective in their lives and live in alignment with who the are. This will enable people to live more purposeful and enriched lives.. - More Information...
  • Karen Sealey

    Yes, the story of Beauty and The Beast has certainly been told many times… I also find it to be an interesting illustration of The Stockholm Syndrome…

    • Thanks for your comment @karensealey:disqus. Yes, the story has been told many times and yet the archetypes stay the same. That’s true, it does illustrate The Stockholm Syndrome, I didn’t think of adding that.

    • Yes, as a woman, the whole arranged (forced) marriage thing for the benefit of an ugly man also bothered me at the back of my mind, I much prefer Andy’s interpretation!

      • Thanks @helencrosbie:disqus. Personally, I am not a fan of The Stockholm Syndrome in relation to Beauty and the Beast. The archetypes here shows that there is much more at play on at a deeper level. On a surface level, you can see it as an example of The Stockholm Syndrome yet the archetypal characteristics of the beast show us much more of who he is and what his persona is like.

        Its also interesting that many of us have similar deep rooted beliefs as the beast such as we are not good enough, we don’t deserve love or even that we are not beautiful. This is why we have sympathy for the beast as we can see those characteristics within ourselves.

  • Lovely explanation of the symbolism, I never really thought about it like that before! I suppose we all have the inner beauty and the beast as part of ourselves, it’s just whichever part of us that we pay attention to, depending on our self esteem in that area (which for most isn’t too great!) And doesn’t the advertising industry play on that?! thank you for the clarity and insight Andy 🙂 look forward to the next one!

    • Thank You for your comment @helencrosbie:disqus. Sadly I personally believe our Shadow self reveals its ugly head when we least expect it. We can sure focus on the positive, yet when we have the deeper unconscious beliefs, they are sure to come to surface at some point. When then do show up, that is when we can begin to remove the unconscious beliefs holding us back.