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:
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.
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