Psyche (pronounce: SY-kee) is a mortal woman in Greek mythology. She was the wife of Eros and the mother of Hedone. She is always pictured with butterfly wings. Today, Psyche is known from a story called The Golden Ass, written by Lucius Apuleius in the 2nd century.
Legend of Psyche [change]
Psyche was not a natural-born goddess. She was the daughter of a king and queen. When Psyche grew up she was so beautiful and graceful that people dared to compare her beauty to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite was thought to be the most beautiful goddess/woman who ever lived, and Psyche made her jealous. All the gods and men who once loved Aphrodite now turned towards Psyche. This made Aphrodite very mad and jealous.
To get rid of Psyche, Aphrodite asked her son Eros to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest man on Earth. Eros shoots golden arrows which make people fall in love. He accidentally pricked himself with one of his arrows and fell in love with Psyche himself. He could not bear to do harm to her, so they got married and had a daughter named Hedone (called Voluptas in Roman mythology). Hedone is seen as the personification of lust.
Aphrodite said she would allow the marriage if Psyche could take a challenge and pass. Psyche was supposed to live with her husband without knowing who he was or what he looked like. Psyche's sisters Orual and Thessela tricked her into believing that her husband might be a monster or that he might be cheating on her, so she lit a candle and looked at his face and found out he was Eros.
Eros left (because love cannot remain without trust) and Psyche went searching for Eros. She goes to Aphrodite for the first time.
Aphrodite said Psyche could get her husband back if she completed four tasks, the last one being to retrieve some beauty from Persephone (queen of the underworld) and bring it back to Aphrodite. Psyche was curious and open the box of beauty, only to find sleep instead. Eros finds Psyche in a deep sleep and asks Zeus to wake her up and grant her immortality. Now, Psyche is immortal and a suitable wife for Eros, and Aphrodite gives her blessing. Not to mention that Psyche's immortality means she won't elicit the same attention from mortal men; she is no longer competition for Aphrodite.
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