Once upon a time, there was a king with three daughters. The youngest, Psyche, was so beautiful that she even made the goddess Venus jealous. People from far and wide came to admire Psyche’s beauty, neglecting the worship of Venus.
Angered, Venus called upon her son, Cupid, to make Psyche fall in love with the most horrible creature on Earth. However, upon seeing Psyche, Cupid himself fell deeply in love with her.
Meanwhile, Psyche’s parents worried about her future, consulted an oracle, which foretold that Psyche was destined to marry a creature feared by the gods themselves. They sorrowfully left Psyche on a mountaintop, as instructed by the oracle.
But instead of something horrible, Psyche was whisked away by the gentle West Wind to a magnificent palace. Each night, her invisible husband visited her. He was kind and loving, but he made her promise never to see his face.
Psyche’s sisters, envious of her luxurious life, convinced her to break this promise and look upon her husband. Psyche, unable to resist her curiosity, did so and discovered her husband was none other than Cupid. However, upon being seen, Cupid fled, and the palace disappeared.
Desperate to find her lost love, Psyche wandered the Earth. Venus, seizing the opportunity, imposed several impossible tasks on Psyche. With the help of various creatures and divine interventions, Psyche completed all tasks, hoping to win back Cupid’s trust.
In the final task, Psyche had to retrieve a bit of beauty from Persephone, the queen of the Underworld. Psyche succeeded but, tempted, opened the box meant to contain the beauty. Instead of beauty, a deadly slumber spilled out, putting Psyche into a deep sleep.
Cupid, who had been watching Psyche’s struggles and admired her determination and love, came to her rescue. He woke her with one of his arrows and pleaded with Jupiter, the king of the gods, to allow them to be together.
Touched by their love, Jupiter granted Psyche immortality. The two were officially married in a grand ceremony attended by all the gods. And thus, Cupid and Psyche lived together, forever in love and harmony.
Also Read: Echo and Narcissus
Follow Up Questions
Character Motivations: Why do you think Cupid decided to disobey his mother Venus and instead fall in love with Psyche? What does this tell us about his character and values?
Lessons Learned: What do you think Psyche learned from her journey and the challenges she faced? How did these experiences change her?
Theme Exploration: The story of Cupid and Psyche revolves around love, trust, and overcoming obstacles. Can you think of a time in your life where you had to overcome a challenge to achieve something important? How did that experience relate to the themes in this story?