Psyche Picture

The legend of Eros (Cupid) and Psyche is perhaps one of my more favorite love stories (I like a hell of a lot better than Romeo and Juliet, that's for sure). Obviously, it's backgrounds are that of Greek mythology.

The story goes that Psyche was the youngest daughter to a king and the most beautiful one between the girls. Her beauty was so great that worshipers of Aphrodite (Venus) had forgotten to pay tribute to the goddess of love and beauty and actually began to worship the beauty of Psyche. This, however, was her greatest blessing and curse.

While her older sisters ended marrying powerful men, no man would take Psyche to be his wife. Rather, they spent their days simply admiring her beauty. Aphrodite, when gazing upon her temples, noticed that they lay forgotten and immediately became jealous of the mortal girl.

Thus, she commanded her son, Eros (Cupid), to fly down upon Psyche and use his golden arrows to force her to fall in love with an ugly creature. However, when Eros caught sight of the mortal girl, he fell in love (some claim that his own golden arrows actually scratch him, causing him to fall for her) with Psyche.

Secretly, without the knowledge of his mother, he married her, under the condition that she never look at him (he didn't want his secret ruined). Pleased she had a husband, she agreed and lived her marriage underneath that condition.

Her sisters, jealous of Psyche's fortune, tell the younger girl that she has married a serpent (for that is why she cannot look upon him) and that he is plotting to devour her. The two girls convince the terrified Psyche to kill her husband in his sleep with a dagger. However, when Psyche tries to do so, knife in hand, she gazes upon his beautiful face and is shocked. Eros, at that moment, wakes up and flees, telling her that she has ruined everything.

Mortified and heartbroken, Psyche searches for her husband until she comes to the temple of Aphrodite. Pleading with the goddess to bring back her husband, Aphrodite bestows several trials upon Psyche. The mortal girl succeeds in all the trials, much to the distaste of Aphrodite.

Eros, hearing of the trials and forgiving Psyche, flies down to her. Taking her to Mount Olympus, Zeus grants Eros' wish to remain married to her and gives her a drink made from Ambrosia, granting her immortality, where the two lovers stayed. Aphrodite, in the end, is pleased Psyche is removed from the other mortals' sight and continues to reign as the most beautiful woman.


There are different versions of the tale, but that is the one I read in the book, Mythology, by Edith Hamilton.


==> Updated version of this picture here: [link]
Continue Reading: Eros