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Cupid & Psyche

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Carol Poleth

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Cupid & Psyche

Pages 121-134 Mythology
By Edith Hamilton
Cupid and Psyche Psyche
Introduction There was once a beautiful maid.
She was the youngest daughter of three.
Her beauty was amazing.
"They would even say that Venus herself could not equal this mortal" (Hamilton 122).
"Her temples were neglected..." (122). Venus and Cupid The beauty of Psyche brought jealousy to Venus "The Goddess of Love and Beauty".
No one would worship her anymore, due to the existence of the beautiful mortal.
Therefore, she commanded his son, Cupid, the God of Love: she said
"'Use your power,' she said, 'and make the hussy fall madly in love with the vilest and most despicable creature there is in the whole world'" (Hamilton 122). Love at first sight! However... "As looked upon her it was as if he had shot one of his arrows into his heart" (Hamilton 122). "Men were content to look and wonder and worship-- and then pass on to marry some one else" (122). Something strange... "Psyche, the all-beautiful, sat sad and solitary, only admired, never loved" (122). STOP AND THINK:

Why do you think someone so beautifully-shaped was so lonely?
Do you think that such thing is possible in actuality, or is it just part of mythology? Some definitions Love: An intense feeling of deep affection
Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone) Attraction: The action or power of evoking interest, pleasure, or liking for someone or something Concerned Parents: Psyche's parents consulted Apollo for his advice, after seeing that their daughter wasn't having enough luck.
However, they weren't the first ones letting him know about the situation...
Cupid was a step ahead. Connections: Hispanic Culture on Revolutionary times:
Oldest sisters getting married as soon as possible
Parents concerned if not
Youngest daughter designated to take care of both of her parents. "Accordingly Apollo said that Psyche, dressed in deepest mourning, must be set on the summit of a rocky hill and left alone, and that there her destined husband, a fearful winged serpent, stronger than the gods themselves, would come to her and make her his wife" (122-123). KEEP THESE QUESTIONS IN MIND:
What does the serpent stands for?
Do you have any connections that involve the winged serpent? "...'because of the beauty that has drawn down to me the jealousy of Heaven. Now go, knowing that the end has come'" (123). As Zephyr picked her up from the rocky hills, peace reached Psyche.
She felt so peaceful there that eventually, she fall asleep.
"She woke besides a bright river; and on its bank was a mansion stately and beautiful" (123). After a lonely day... "...she felt him beside her and heard his voice softly murmuring on her ear, all her fears left her" (124). Although she couldn't see him, she knew that such sweet presence couldn't be from any monster or bad figure. Her lovely husband warned her about her sisters coming to the hill where they had left her.. He told her that they were going to bring sorrow to her and that therefore she shouldn't get persuaded by them. Like any wise wife, she finally got to see both of her sisters. "He was kind now, no doubt, but he would certainly turn upon her some night and devour her" (125). "They went willingly enough,but their hearts were on fire with jealousy" (125). "When her husband was fast asleep she must leave the bed, light the lamp, and get the knife" (126). "Now monster was revealed, but the sweetest and fairest of all creatures, at whose sight the very lamp seemed to shine even brighter" (126). "...some hot oil fell from the lamp upon his shoulder" (129). "'Love cannot live where there is no trust'" (129). "And she started on her journey... she knew only that she would never give up looking for him" (129). Cupid telling his mom what was going on... + Venus envying Psyche a lot! + Psyche needing Venus' help.. = Sure torture for Psyche! *** Dislike among mother-in-law and wife... Beauty and son's love... Since no God wanted to provide her help... No one was willing to have Venus' dislike. Task 1: "With that she took a great quantity of the smallest of the seeds, wheat and poppy and millet and so on, and mixed them all together in a heap" (130). "'By nightfall these must all be sorted'..." (130). Task 2: Although it seemed to be an impossible task, little ants (swift-runners) felt sorry for her, and helped her to complete such task. "'Down there near the riverbank,' she [Venus] said, 'where the bushes grow thick, are sheep with fleeces of gold. Go fetch me some of their shining wool'" (131). The situation wasn't as bad as it seemed.

"So spoke the kind and gentle reed, and Psyche, following the directions, was able to carry back to her cruel mistress a quantity of the shining fleece" (131). Task 3: "'... Do you see that black water which falls from the hill yonder? It is the source of the terrible river which is called hateful, the river Styx. You are to fill from it'" (131). "This time her savior was an eagle, who poised on his great wings beside her, seized the flask from her with his beak and brought it back to her full of the black water" (132). Final Task "She gave Psyche a box which she was to carry to the underworld and ask Proserpine to fill with some of her beauty" (132). She found direction to get to Proserpine's palace:

She had to give the ferryman a penny to get her across a great hole in the Earth.
Also, she had to give a three-headed dog a cake, so that he would act friendly and let her pass through. Taking in mind that she was the Goddess of Beauty, why would she actually send Psyche for a box of beauty? Why would she need it? The actual task involved her humanity, vanity and curiosity... Surprisingly... "To her sharp disappointment she saw nothing there: it seemed empty. Immediately, however, a deadly languor took possession of her and she fell into a heavy sleep" (133). For cupid: "It was a difficult matter to keep love imprisoned" (133). Therefore, he decided to search for his wife. And, he found her almost beside the palace. He took the sleep away from her. So, he flew to the Olympus and asked Jupiter for his help.
'Then he [Jupiter] called a full assembly of the gods, and announced to all, including Venus, that Cupid and Psyche were formally married, and that he proposed to bestow immortality upon the bride" (133).
This completely changed the situation. "So all came to a most happy end. Love and the Soul (for that is what Psyche means) had sought and, after sore trials, found each other; and that union could never be broken" (134). Sense of Manipulation Happy Ever After... http://www.johnwilliamwaterhouse.com/assets/images/content/waterhouse/hi/waterhouse63.jpg
http://historyking.com/images/History-Of-Cupid-Greek-God.jpg Main source: Mythology
By: Edith Hamilton Citations:
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