Psyche and Cupid

Topics: Cupid, Fairy tale, Cupid and Psyche Pages: 7 (2378 words) Published: May 9, 2010
Relations and origin

Though concerning gods and goddesses, Apuleius' Cupid and Psyche was generally relegated to the status of a "mere" folktale, or in English a fairy tale or in German Märchen. Though a common oral genre found world wide, it is not generally cons William Adlington's idered classical literature. Only with Charles Perrault's Mother Goose Tales and following popularity of other such collections in 17th century did folk tales become recognized in Europe as a legitimate literary genre.

Later adaptations
English translation of 1566 is excellent reading and for some is still the definitive English translation.

In my research, I found some similarities between the modern day story of Beauty and the Beast and the myth of Cupid and Psyche. These similarities, some of which seem rather obvious, can be quite vague also. The myth, as you know tells the tale of a beautiful woman, Psyche and the prophecy of her life as told be the oracle. The story, although seemingly interesting, brings a dismay in my mind because of the lack of it being completely relevant to the story ofCupid and Psyche.

As far as characters go, Belle, or Beauty, is compared to Psyche and the beast, although not a beast himself, is parallel to Cupid. The servants in both stories are somewhat the same in the respect that they offer to serve Psyche, or Belle in any way she wishes......

Long have stories and media been devoted to tales of a beauty 'taming' a beast, ... Psyche and Eros and Beauty and the Beast had similar situations in their ... Gender Differences & Similarities are to reconcile the many levels which ... he discusses the tension in human consciousness between Eros and Psyche.” Both tales take on an animal-husbandry theme of sorts, although in the case of Eros and Psyche, it is the fear of a bestial husband, while in Beauty and the Beast, there is one in actuality. Psyche embraces a husband that she is not allowed to view after having previously been led to believe that she was to be killed and carried off by a demon. When she later tells her sisters of her husband’s secret identity, out of jealousy they implant ideas in her head that he indeed is this demon that she had been warned about, and encourage her to kill him. She goes on of course to discover that he is not a demon, but the god Eros when she moves to strike him, but at that point her mistrust and curiosity cause him to leave her. Beauty knows of the Beast’s animalistic characteristics and begins fearing him

There are many other interesting contrasts. It also leads to Beauty getting her happy ending without all the suffering that Psyche goes on to endure before getting hers. Beauty goes to give her life in exchange for her father's freedom, and Psyche is sent to the mountain that Eros eventually carries her away from after her father is ordered by a god to send her there. Psyche and Beauty are both sent on the road that leads to their "beasts" in very funeral-like processions. That is, of course, totally different from the cruel suffering that is going to await Psyche. The scene's tone also leads us to anticipate the joy that Beast's transformation will soon bring Beauty, whose happiness will be as great as her momentary depression. Of course, the angst of the scene where Beauty discovers the dying Beast shows us Beauty's true love for him, sharply contrasting Psyche's fearful suspicions. Young, beautiful maidens sent toward their lovers in such a fashion has to be about the theme of lost virginity. Beauty is rewarded with a lavish wedding, the beast taking the form of the prince who resided in her dreams, and a visit from her family for "having the courage to rescue [the beast] from the terrible enchantment," (Cole, Page 23); and Psyche was made immortal in reward for fulfilling the horrid tasks that Aphrodite asked of her. In conclusion we see that time and region do not necessarily dictate a change in theme, even if the individual factors within the...
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