A stunningly beautiful girl, Psyche, is born after two older sisters. People throughout the land worship her beauty so deeply that they forget about the goddess Venus. Venus becomes angry that her temples are falling to ruin, so she plots to ruin Psyche. She instructs her son, Cupid, to pierce the girl with an arrow and make her fall in love with the most vile, hideous man alive. But when Cupid sees Psyche in her radiant glory, he shoots himself with the arrow instead.
Meanwhile, Psyche and her family become worried that she will never find a husband, for although men admire her beauty, they always seem content to marry someone else. Psyche's father prays to Apollo for help, and Apollo ...view middle of the document...
Venus shows her a heap of seeds and tells her that she must sort them all in one night's time if she wants to see Cupid again. This task is impossible for one person alone, but ants pity Psyche and sort the seeds for her. Shocked, Venus then orders Psyche to sleep on the cold ground and eat only a piece of bread for dinner. But Psyche survives the night easily. Finally, Venus commands her to retrieve a golden fleece from the river. She almost drowns herself in the river because of her sorrow, but a reed speaks to her and suggests that she collect the golden pieces of fleece from the thorny briar that catches it. Psyche follows these instructions and returns a sizable quantity to Venus. The amazed
Goddess, still at it, now orders Psyche to fill a flask from the mouth of the River Styx. When Psyche reaches the head of the river, she realizes that this task seems impossible because the rocks are so dangerous. This time, an eagle helps her and fills the flask. Venus still does not give in. She challenges Psyche to go into the underworld and have Persephone put some of her beauty in a box. Miraculously, Psyche succeeds.
On her way toward giving the box to Venus, she becomes curious, opens the box, and instantly falls asleep. Meanwhile, Cupid looks for Psyche and finds her sleeping. He awakens her, puts the sleeping spell back in the box, and takes her to Zeus to request her immortality. Zeus grants the request and makes Psyche an immortal goddess. She and Cupid are married. Venus now supports the marriage because her son has married a goddess—and because Psyche will no longer distract the men on earth from Venus.
They later had a daughter named Pleasure
This story centers on the power of true love. Psyche first doubts that love, feeling that she must see Cupid in the flesh. She later redeems herself many times over when she proves her commitment, overcoming all obstacles in her way. Figuratively, love (Cupid) and the soul ("psyche" is the Greek word for the soul) belong together in an inseparable union. When Cupid sees Psyche, the soul in its beauty, he immediately wants to join with her. Somehow, this beauty is admired by men but does not lead to the kind of love that eventuates in a marriage proposal. But Cupid is able to fully appreciate Psyche’s beauty.
The happy ending, with Venus, Psyche, and Cupid all reaching a positive resolution, illustrates that when love is pure, all pains, sorrows, and challenges will align to ensure that the love is realized. Even...