Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

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Maclurv
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

I make no claim that Hearne would mean to look at the active/passive in the manner here. It is just what gave my mind the seed for my intuition to go to that idea. My head follows the possibilities and relationships it creates, while yours seek to build that neural net of wholistic explanation. That why I love discussing with you because you see it so differently sometimes.

I must say I'm rather glad I am not living in those times that the fairy tale was written for! I would be constantly in trouble, if not hung for a witch or something. :) I will get to Chapter 6 eventually. I wish I could go through school all over again. I'd pay much better attention now that I know what I know!

Pat
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

*smiles*

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

For clarification, could you expand:

"What Rough Beast" prove that Catherine is still not ready to be "truly together" with him, as she puts i


I just watched that episode and I don't get where you see that. She asked to be with him after Spirko took the pictures. Vincent denied her. So I am confused.

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

1. Catherine did not ask Vincent anything in that scene.

2. Vincent did not deny Catherine anything.

3. Vincent actually, finally, agreed with something Catherine had said in an earlier scene: that they must separate because the risk to both of them had become too great to continue their relationship.

PREVIOUS SCENE:

VINCENT: What is it, Catherine?
CATHERINE: It's Elliot Burch. Elliot is the one who's been feeding information to the reporter.
VINCENT: Elliot?
CATHERINE: They know your name, Vincent. Somehow, they got to Stephen Bass. Father's right. The risk has become too great. And we can't see each other until this is over.
VINCENT: Perhaps if Elliot understood...
CATHERINE: No.
VINCENT: But he is a man who could understand.
CATHERINE: I thought so too, once. But he's shown himself. He's out to condemn us, to destroy us.
VINCENT: Condemn us?
CATHERINE: He knows that we are different, that we are beyond his experience, and that must threaten him.
VINCENT: It is I who is different.
CATHERINE: No, Vincent. It's us. I've learned that. We share the responsibility of who we are together.
VINCENT: My mind is filled with thoughts beyond imagining.
CATHERINE: If they ever found you...
VINCENT: They would never find me. I would vanish, bury myself deep inside the earth.
CATHERINE: And you would be lost to me.
VINCENT: Without you, I would be lost to myself.

4. Vincent and Catherine share equal responsibility of who they are together. Vincent is not some kind of blockade to Catherine's desires, nor does he try to push her away or lock her out. Rather, he tries to keep them together for as long as possible; Catherine is not the sole mover and shaker in their relationship. "Orphans" firmly taught them both that an exclusive life Below is indeed no life for Catherine (a fact Vincent already knew about her back in "A Happy Life"). When Vincent reminds her of this fact in "What Rough Beast," ***Catherine does not disagree with him.*** They both know it is true.

5. If Catherine was truly ready to forsake her life Above and join Vincent where he must live, Below, she would not have stood there, agonized, torn between the two worlds...and then ultimately choose to part with Vincent and return to her life Above. "I don't know what to do," would not have been uttered. Instead, she would have spoken some new reiteration of her "A Happy Life" declaration: "What we have is all that matters. It's worth everything." But she did not make any such assertion in "What Rough Beast." Both Vincent and Catherine, together, as a couple, made the decision to separate, each returning to their original world, in a sacrificial effort to save each other from destruction.


POST-SPIRKO SCENE:

CATHERINE: I'm shaking.
VINCENT: What you said was true, Catherine. It must end now. We must end. They know everything.
CATHERINE: No.
VINCENT: This man will never stop. Elliot. He'll never stop. They will hunt me 'til they find me, or until I'm dead.
CATHERINE: Then I'll come with you.
VINCENT: It's no life for you.
CATHERINE: Or for you.
VINCENT: But it is my life.
CATHERINE: [wordless sobs] I don't know what to do.
VINCENT: We must face what we both feared might come to pass from the beginning.
CATHERINE: Vincent.
VINCENT: It is all we can do. Remember our love. Let it guide you, give you courage. Know that what we had can never be taken away from us.
CATHERINE: Vincent, don't!
VINCENT: Catherine, go. Quickly, please.
CATHERINE: Hold me. Just hold me one last time.

6. Thus, I conclude that both "Orphans" and "What Rough Beast" prove that while Catherine is a woman of both worlds, she cannot abide for long in the world Below and so she is not ready to be "truly together" with Vincent, who belongs to only one world, and cannot survive for long in Catherine's.

~ Zara
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

Gee, when you put it that way, it's hard to disagree! :D

Pat

PS It strikes me that another difference between the fairy tale and our show is that there is no barrier between them to be together. The Beast lives in a mansion, where Beauty now resides, and whether she marries him or not, her status doesn't really change. If she marries him, her status actually improves. Neither must sacrifice for the other to either be together or keep the other safe (beyond the sacrifice that Beauty made to originally go). Catherine is not so fortunate.
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:PS It strikes me that another difference between the fairy tale and our show is that there is no barrier between them to be together. The Beast lives in a mansion, where Beauty now resides, and whether she marries him or not, her status doesn't really change. If she marries him, her status actually improves. Neither must sacrifice for the other to either be together or keep the other safe (beyond the sacrifice that Beauty made to originally go). Catherine is not so fortunate.


Yes, you got the part where Beauty left her family and everything she had ever known behind to offer herself to a bestial monster, expecting him to do with her as he pleased...not as she pleased. But there's that whole bestiality taboo (if your mate is a monster/animal, then what does that make you?) which does not promise an improvement in Beauty's status, and an expected life in the magic realm with no human companions, and the eternal struggle to face one's fears and make good choices in even the most unexpected of circumstances, and the Beast's requests that she wed him, which meant giving up all hope of an ordinary life with an ordinary man...

The original Beauty hit plenty of barriers and made plenty of sacrifices. Co-habitation was not the issue. Nor does life in a castle or mansion work the same way as life in a smaller domicile. They had shared space, but a lot more private space from each other. In a fairy tale, space = distance, even barrier, which must be navigated somehow.

Beast faced the pain and danger of repeated rejection in all his dealings with Beauty. He sacrificed his own life to assure that Beauty became free to make her own choices. Her safety as an equal to him and as a complete human person unto herself were at stake. And his safety as both Beast and Prince was also on the line.

The fairy tale had a magical environment that highlighted relational dangers. The TV show, shifting the fantasy into a modern setting that rejects most magic, gave the relational dangers a setting within an inherently dangerous urban environment. The adaptation let the dangers became more perceptible to the modern audience of an audio-visual storytelling medium. Yet all the original dangers are still in play.

~ Zara
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

I guess I was thinking more in terms of how he did not press himself on her, I got the sense that if need be, he would have let the time run out rather than force her into marriage. So in that sense, yes she was away from her family (her father being what she missed most), and she was cut off from other society which was not as pleasant. But I don't see a lot of suffering here.

Beast had more of the sacrifice to make in the fairy tale IMO, because he faced his demise if he couldn't win her heart. I think he expected not to, actually. I do not think he would have harmed her. She did not know about the year curse (did she? too lazy to get the book out right now), so she anticipated a life of imprisonment which is a sacrifice to be sure.

Her safety as an equal to him and as a complete human person unto herself were at stake.

Did you mean from this her perceived safety from him? Yes, the space in a mansion means distance, which could have kept them from getting to know each other (other than dinnertime), so the underlying concerns are there for each of them.

I still think our duo faced more dangers than they did, and Catherine had more to sacrifice. Largely, this was because of the un-accepting world we live in and the close proximity to others that they placed them in the show. In the fairy tale, they were more isolated from others who might wish to cause them harm.

Pat
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

Well, I had a thought!

she would not have stood there, agonized, torn between the two worlds...and then ultimately choose to part with Vincent and return to her life Above. "I don't know what to do," would not have been uttered.


Could it not be that Catherine had some hope that if she were Above yet, maybe she could do something to stop it from happening? So torn between wanting to be with him, particularly at this horrendous time, but holding out hope that she could do something, ever the " intrepid Catherine that she was. Go with him, or try. That could explain the 'I don't know what to do," comment.

:)

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The Difference

Post by 222333 »

*
I think that there is one main difference between the tale and our B&B – and, since difference is scary, the ongoing attempt exists to deny it, and use “normal” parameters to approach our show, as if it were about a normal love story, set in the tunnels.

Such difference, symbolic and inspiring as everything in this show, is that our Beast does not become a normal prince. He is and remains a beast. Vincent is NOT a normal man. Everyone meeting him – Father, Catherine and especially the fans – must understand and come to terms with it (and one satisfying way is just to ignore it). Even himself must do it – which is the most terrifying part of his struggle to “live in NY and be happy”. Only, he can’t forget that he is not just a furry man. All the others must endeavour to remember.

One little example. I am not native English speaking. I never went abroad enough to practice my English. I *struggle* to express myself in English. Everyone praises my English. But NOBODY understands how hard it is for me. I am and will always be Italian, speaking a foreign language. You all can love me, accept me, even admire me, but you are different from me. There’s A LOT of things that I cannot express, a huge part of my thoughts that I just give up sharing because it’s too difficult for me. If this very thread or forum were in Italian, I would flood you with my posts. As it is, I basically lurk in the shadows, and dream – but, at the same time, I’m proud to be Italian.

Vincent makes people forget that he’s different, so that people relate with him as if he was normal. But he’s not. I’m not (only) speaking of the Other – the dark part of him. There is a fundamental part of him that it’s difficult to share – and understand – because we don’t have the same “grammar”, the same language, the same background.

Since Vincent won’t become a handsome prince, since he IS the Beast (did you notice that Ron Perlman often calls him so, The Beast, rather than Vincent? I think he portrayed him so well because he understood him well), since his identity is not same as ours, his dilemma is “what to be”. A terribly frustrating dilemma, as he’s capable of understanding the others, not of making himself understood by the others. One of a kind. His being a beast is not a curse to dispel, an illness to cure, to become someone else and live happily ever after. Will he cultivate his differentness and be what he is, or endeavor to seem normal, at the cost that the others take him for normal, and forget that he is not, and be confused when he fails?

S
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

:( I am sad that I miss out on so many of your thoughts.

How difficult it is to be one of a kind. To have no other reference to help guide you to your own understanding of your self. How can you explain to others what you don't understand yourself? And when will you know that your understanding is enough? If this is the endpoint that Vincent waits for before committing his all to his relationship with Catherine, then I fear this may never happen. Perhaps this is his analogous 'curse' of the fairy tale - it is not to find love, to have someone love him for who/what he is, but to find himself so that he may freely and completely love another and be as content in who he is as is the one who loves him. A far greater challenge for one who is one of a kind.

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by 222333 »

*
Wow!

More later,

S
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:How can you explain to others what you don't understand yourself? And when will you know that your understanding is enough?


...And yet Vincent understands himself better than any other character in the story does. How can he explain to others what no one else can remotely understand even if (and when) he tries?

Looking forward to your thoughts too, S.

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

And yet Vincent understands himself better than any other character in the story does.


Yes, but this is a relative comparison to those within the story. He stills seems to have a hunger to know what he is, to better understand his 'Other' when it overtakes him, not so much in his protection mode, but when he begins to become overwhelmed by trying to integrate his humanity (whether innate or taught) with the events his Beast has done. He has no other for a measure for how things should be, or would be in similar circumstances. In this respect, he still has his aloneness and always will.

I poorly stated the sentence you quoted. I did not mean that Vincent did not understand himself at all, rather did not/could not fully understand himself that not being a unique entity would provide an opportunity to do. Not a perfect analogy, but look how often adoptees hunger to know who their birth parents are, to understand 'where they came from.' And still, adoptees have other people all around them from which to compare themselves, their personalities, their actions, etc. Vincent has none of this, and yet has many of the same or similar questions. Unfortunately, questions that will likely forever be unanswered.

How can he explain to others what no one else can remotely understand even if (and when) he tries?


S quite eloquently addressed this. All my conversational heart desires is that he keep trying, perhaps in a few more words than is his norm. Brevity may sometimes be misunderstood. Because without the attempt to explain, failure by others to understand anything is guaranteed. I prefer the odds of some understanding getting through rather than none at all. :)

So this is the aspect that S's response triggered in me.

I likewise await more thoughts from S. And from you, too, Zara and anyone else who might be pondering these posts!

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:All my conversational heart desires is that he keep trying, perhaps in a few more words than is his norm. Brevity may sometimes be misunderstood. Because without the attempt to explain, failure by others to understand anything is guaranteed. I prefer the odds of some understanding getting through rather than none at all.


*sad smile*

Blessings be upon your heart, yet this brings me back to the eternal quandary for the quieter souls in our chattering world: No matter how much, how often, how carefully, or how specifically we share our thoughts with the conversational ones...IT IS NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ENOUGH. We CANNOT satisfy you. It often feels like the conversationalists are voracious and totally insatiable, that for whatever reason, you cannot, sometimes WILL NOT, listen as deeply as is needed to hear and understand what is being said in those few words that comprise a different norm from yours. And then responsibility for communication "failures" gets deposited soundly at the quiet and concise speakers' doorstep. If we do not surrender our norm and adopt your norms, we are deemed deficient and defective, and are (of course) unable to speak adequately in our own defense. It is very hurtful.

I fear this is exactly what happens to Vincent all too often when the audience of this story interacts with the characters. My listener's heart wishes folk could actually follow Catherine's example in relating to Vincent. I can think of times when they do not understand one another, and when Catherine does not listen deeply to the things Vincent has to say, but for the most part she does listen, and as they talk with each other, they develop their own lovers-language, which gives them a greater access to each other's thoughts and desires. It is the native tongue of their borderland between Above and Below.

I also think a good portion of their bond is founded upon their honest and intimate (and poetic) conversation style. We, the audience, are eavesdroppers upon a private communication system that works perfectly well for the two persons who are using that system to communicate with each other. To ask them to speak up and speak out in a manner that suits our preferences rather than theirs would be to diminish the delicate construction of who these characters are and how they interact. That's not a trade I'd want to make. It would damage the magic of the story.

It would also deprive me, personally, of a hero who is both softspoken and eloquent when he does speak. Do you know how rare it is to find a beautiful quiet protagonist who is never denigrated by his author, or his fellow characters, for being "shy" (which, to avoid any possible confusion on this point, Vincent is NOT)? Narrow the scope of this question to "Beauty and the Beast" retellings, and I can tell you that Vincent shines among many other Beasts because his communication skills and self-confidence are so refreshingly strong and complete.

I understand what you have said about Vincent's aloneness. And I love what S has said about Vincent's special nature. I just want to make sure that we are not treating Vincent's unique reality, aloneness included, quietude also included, like some kind of handicap that he does not know what to do with. He is one of the wise Beasts within the story-sphere of this fairy tale. He understands more about himself and human nature (and bestial nature) than do many ordinary people in the real world. He lives a perfectly functional life of spiritual maturity, emotional strength, immense gratitude and authentic love.

She who enjoys sooooo many storybooks,

Zara
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

I think I understand your point, well, at least as much as an extravert can. It is a conundrum when one group who needs spoken words to understand meets another group who needs silence to understand. It is a difficult gulf to cross.

And I don't need a lot of words, just a few more. Those primarily being reasons, or the 'whys' of something. These are too important to guess at in my opinion, especially in a relationship. I guess I was one of those children who never found 'because' a suitable answer!

To ask them to speak up and speak out in a manner that suits our preferences rather than theirs would be to diminish the delicate construction of who these characters are and how they interact.


I guess as a viewer, I would like to understand more so while their short hand communication works for them, it leaves me in the dark! I don't mind a little mystery, mind you. But I have some gaping holes here that I would have liked a little more rationale for. We are left imagining that they must have had other conversations about X, Y, and Z, we just never got to see/hear them. Because no couple together that long would not have discussed X, Y, and Z. I just wanted to be there when they did! :D That's the advantage of a story book. The characters can speak as they are meant to speak, and then the narrator comes along and often interprets or fills in information for the reader. And I also think as a viewer/reader, when such gaps exist, we fill in the blanks for ourselves, and in doing so, may end up distorting the characterization unknowingly.

I just want to make sure that we are not treating Vincent's unique reality, aloneness included, quietude also included, like some kind of handicap that he does not know what to do with.


No, I don't think we are. Uniqueness, per se, is certainly not a handicap. Some who are unique may wish to claim it as a handicap (not healthily, mind you) and yes, many others may treat it as such in ignorance. And I agree that Vincent

understands more about himself and human nature (and bestial nature) than do many ordinary people in the real world.


I agree wholeheartedly that Vincent beats, hands down, the Beast in this version of the fairy tale!

I'm pondering at the moment what kind of books I liked reading as a child. I know we had a book of stories, like the fox and the grapes, the seven Chinese brothers, etc. and I went to all the Disney movies. But I think a lot of the books I read as a kid were more on the side of realism than fantasy. I liked Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I read adventure stories. I read horse stories (Black Beauty, Seabiscuit). So perhaps, that is part of my dilemma. I keep trying to understand that which by its very nature is not very understandable, including people! :D No wonder I get so frustrated!

Pat
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