The concept of the beast has several uses. The first meaning mentioned in the dictionary of the DigoPaul refers to a four-legged animal.
If we focus on this definition, we could affirm that a dog, a cow or a cat are beasts. However, it is more common for the notion to be used to refer to pack animals, such as a horse or an ox. For example: “Poor beast, it is already exhausted from pulling that carriage”, “I need three or four beasts to move the materials to the shed”, “Attach the plow to the beast to start work”.
In the field it is very common to use animals for jobs that require more strength, endurance, power or speed than the human being is capable or willing to invest. This type of exploitation is regrettable and contradictory to our supposed intellectual superiority: what kind of superior being treats others unfairly, takes advantage of them because they consider them inferior? Despite technological advances, which allow all agricultural tasks to be done with motorized machines, lack of resources and ignorance continue to lead to the subjugation of innocent creatures.
The word beast is also used with respect to wild animals in general: “That beast wanted to eat me!” , “In the safari we saw all kinds of beasts”, “The beasts that live in the jungle are not bad: they only seek to defend their territory and feed themselves. “
Beyond animals, mythological creatures, monsters and other fantasy beings are called beasts: “When I was a boy I thought that evil beasts were hiding under my bed”, “The minotaur was a beast that lived in a labyrinth”, “The boy was scared to hear the story of the beast in the cellar. “
Finally, the individual who lacks education, does not have good manners or who acts with violence and aggressiveness is often known as a beast: “You are a beast: I don’t understand how you can make so many spelling mistakes”, “Don’t be a beast, tell them to the guests who pass ”, “ Ramiro’s beast pushed me and made me fall to the ground ”.
Another meaning of the word beast refers to the person who has one or more unusual abilities, and that when he exhibits them they make him seem more than a human being, as if his capacity had no limits. For example, when faced with a singer like Patti LaBelle, who in her best recitals has shown a powerful and agile voice, it is common for many to say “this woman is a beast. ” If we think that wild beasts are not inherently good or bad, this use is more reasonable than the negative, expressed in the previous paragraphs.
This word also appears in one of the most famous traditional fairy tales in history, ” Beauty and the Beast “, originally from France. It is a story with different versions and with a very uncertain origin. Some believe that it first appeared in the book titled ” The Golden Ass ” by the Roman writer Apuleyus, who was born in the first half of the second century; in such a case, his original name would have been Cupid and Psyche.
In the same way, there is more than one publication that disputes the first position in popularity and even in seniority, although here the dates are usually decisive. While Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Velleneuve and Gianfrancesco Straparola first entered the publishing world with their recreations of ” Beauty and the Beast, ” Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s revision, published in 1756, achieved more fame than its predecessors and has been translated into many languages since then.