I just realized a parallel, but I'm not quite sure how to word it, so bear with me. When the Enchantress reveals herself to the Prince, everyone, including all of his lovely lady-friends, runs away. He had to face his transformation abandoned and alone. Jump to the end of the movie, where the Beast is initially alone, scared, and heartbroken. Then Belle appears and is with him as he dies, feeling loved and hopeful. Then he transforms with only one person present, but who is Everything to him.
Oh, this is such a cool parallel, and I think I understand what you mean.
Each transformation is just an outward expression of what has already happened internally. There are many biblical parallels here as well.
-The first transformation is an isolating process. By not having love in his heart, the Prince has already isolated himself from the world in the ways that truly matter, which fits nicely with my previous discussions (here and here) about how the prince sort of loses himself through the dance. In the same way, becoming the Beast is just a reflection of him already losing his innocence, his goodness.
What’s intriguing to me is this question of whether or not the enchantress really hurts him or helps him by changing him. In removing his humanity, the enchantress apparently strips him of his ability to save himself, forcing him to see that he needs help.
But then, does the spell really strip him of his free will? Or does the spell simply expose his need to be saved? The spell–as much as it is an entrapment–is also freeing in many ways, because it forces him to look where he would not have looked otherwise, i.e. the heart. And perhaps the reason all those people at the party “abandon him” is because they were never really his friends to begin with. However, his staff–his true friends–stay. And yes, they are “punished” along with him, but I also think many of them would have stayed regardless. So what seems cruel may actually be necessary; they each had a lesson to learn through becoming objects as well.
-In contrast, the second transformation is a kind of communion. The change back into a man is not necessary for either Belle or the Prince to love, and yet that’s the very reason the change happens at all. It’s simply a way for Belle and the Prince to come together, as he becomes the man she’s always seen. This time, the change is an expression of acceptance and unconditional love.
Another thing I find compelling about this is the inverse prodigal son story playing out. Unlike the parable, the Prince doesn’t have to go anywhere. He stays, while Belle is the one who leaves. In losing her, he finds himself again; he finds love. And that’s what Evermore is all about.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I could talk about this all day. Thanks for sending me this message!