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Cupid and psyche summary


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Cupid and psyche summary

  1. 1. The Story of Cupid and PsycheOnce upon a time there lived a maiden so beautiful that she was thought to be lovelier than even Venus,Goddess of Love. Venus, out of jealousy, commanded that her son, Cupid, ensure that no man would ever loveher. Cupid went to Psyche, but accidently stuck himself with the tip of one of his arrows, and fell in love withher. He followed his mothers orders, making it so that no man would look upon her with love, and then he left.Her family, surprised to find that their daughter was no longer sought by any suitor when before men hadtravelled some distance to court her, consulted the oracle of Apollo. The Oracle said that the daughter hadangered the Gods in some way, and must be sacrificed to a monster to appease them. In sorrow, they took theirdaughter to the top of a nearby mountain and left her there, to await her fate.Soon Zephyr, the God of the winds, came along and carried her along to a beautiful palace. A voice addressedher, though she saw no one, and it instructed her to enjoy the house and grounds around her. At night, whenshe retired to bed, she was joined in her bed by a lover, who said he was her husband but that she must neverlook upon him. He was gentle, but he was gone by morning.For some time Psyche lived like this, though she often requested to see her husbands face. He would cover herin a gentle blanket and refuse to let her see. Finally, one night Psyche kept an oil lamp nearby, and when sheknew her husband to be asleep she lit the lamp. Lying in her bed was the God Cupid, and what she had takenas a soft blanket was his wings. In her shock, she spilled a drop of hot oil and it dropped onto his shoulder.Cupid awoke, and was angry with Psyche for breaking his command to not look upon him. He fled, andabandoned her. She chased after him, but as she could not fly she was soon left behind.Unable to find her husband again, Psyche went to Venus, his mother, and begged her for help. Venus, who wasstill angry at the mortal, refused to help unless Psyche agreed to perform labours to show her devotion. Psycheagreed and was set about a number of tasks.She was asked to sort out a storehouse full of grains by their type. Despairing, she asked for aide, and an armyof ants came to help her, sorting the grains out. She was next directed to gather a handful of wool from somewild and dangerous sheep. Again, she asked for aide, and the briars by the riverside told her to wait, and afterthe sheep had drunk, she could gather the wool from their briars that they had pulled out. Venus was not happyto find that the girl had performed her tasks so well. For a final task,s he gave Pysche a box, and told her to goto see Proserpine, wife of Hades, God of the underworld, and ask for a little of her beauty.Pyshce travelled to the underworld and met the Queen of the dead, who gave her a box, commanding her not toopen it. Psyche travelled out of hell again, but onher way, felt that she had worked so hard for so long that shedeserved some reward. She thought to open the box and take a little of the beauty out for her own use.However, when she opened the box she found instead that what lay inside was a deathly sleep, and shecollapsed on the ground.By this time Cupid had recovered from his wound, and was sorry he had left Pysche in such a manner. Hesought out to find her, and discovered her laying as if dead. He went to her, brushed away the sleep from herbody, and embraced her again.While Psyche brought the box to Venus as requested, Cupid went to the Gods and pleaded for their help. Afterhearing his tale, the Gods agreed to make Psyche one of their own. She was given a cup of ambrosia to drink,to make her an immortal, and butterfly wings so that she might fly alongside her husband.SOURCE: