1. The Beast’s condition is a reflection of the spiritual fall.
We know that the Beast (Dan Stevens) wasn’t always so beastly. He was once a handsome prince. But, alas, he was also kind of a jerk. And the new movie unpacks his early jerky ways in a bit more detail than Disney’s original 1991 film.
One night at the castle as he’s throwing a massive (monstrous?) ball, an old bedraggled beggar woman comes to ask for a little shelter from the cold. The prince scoffs at her misery and turns her away because of how she looks, apparently unmindful of Hebrews 13:2: “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
If not strictly an angel, the woman is certainly more than she seems. She transforms into a beautiful Enchantress and lays a curse on the Prince, turning him into the Beast that we’re all so familiar with.It’s a reflection of a spiritual fall. Through his pride (the same sin that we’re told sent Lucifer packing), he’s separated from his true God-given nature. And just as sin changes us—turns us into more bestial forms of who God meant us to be—so the Prince becomes a Beast.
It’s interesting that, in the Broadway versions of the story, the Prince has a name: Prince Adam. And just as Adam’s fall had some serious repercussions on the rest of the world, the curse on Beast impacts his world. His entire castle is enchanted—cursed. Its servants stop being fully men and women and become things instead, misshapen mockeries of who and what they once were. Even the townspeople below are impacted.
So there things stand when the movie begins in earnest. Beast is a fallen, twisted creature living in a fallen, twisted realm. His only hope is to learn to love—and have someone else love him in return.
Enter Belle, stage right.