The first story in our readings appropriately matches our blog assignment with the deadline due near Valentine’s Day. Coincidence? LOVE is the main theme as well as character. It all starts with Psyche who seems to be cursed with good looks. She attracts a lot of attention for a mere mortal (even though she is the daughter of a king) but yet, no man wants to stay and make her theirs. They end up marrying other women and she remains alone and unhappy worrying her father. She inadvertantly catches the attention of Venus who becomes jealous that a mere mortal is stealing away HER attention, and sets out to destroy Psyche by convincing her son, Cupid, to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest most hated creature. But when Cupid laid eyes upon Psyche, he himself was enamoured and longed to make her his. After vying for Apollo’s help, the Oracle convinced the father king to instruct Psyche to a mountain top and await her husband the snake. She dutifuly followed the instructions and ended up not sacrificing herself but becoming a wife and living in a palace made for the gods. She was never allowed to see her husband, felt bad for her mourning sisters, begging to be allowed to see them and comfort them. Poor Psyche, her heart was bigger than her brain. Her sisters became evil with jealousy, convinced her to bring a lamp to bed to see what sort of monster she was married to and then stab him with a dagger (why was this such a popular theme back in the day? Killing husbands with daggars.). After witnessing his beauty and losing total control, she accidentally spills oil from the lamp on him, burning and wakening him. After seeing the light, he sees she has betrayed his trust and runs away without saying a word to her. She begins to try and prove her love for him by chasing after him. Psyche finally comes to the conclusion that she must find his mother, Venus, and appease to her good will to see if she can get near to Cupid again. Awkward! After Venus fails in her attempts to destroy Psyche, she finally realizes that the girl would be better off taking care of her son, being busy making babies and staying out of HER limelight so she could go back to being adored by the humans.
Wow! After reading this amazing story, I have so many emotions. Compassion for Psyche, hatred at her sisters for being so jealous and becoming so evil, longing for Cupid to give her another chance, and anger with Venus for being so cruel. Finally relief that all seems to work out in the end. It’s nice to see that for someone who has so much control over the emotion LOVE, that he himself falls under the control of it. Even he is not safe from this emotion of strong affection. Very refreshing to see (in this sense) a God humanized in a good way, even if the story is still dark and dangerous. The main lesson I got from the end of the story is a positive one. Love prevails.