Although written in the olden times, one of Apuleius’s story collections in the book of Metamorphoses entitled "The Tale of Cupid and Psyche" relates to the modern age issue of marriage and relationship. It reflects and gives hopes to some relationships that started wrong but ended up good. I will examine the story of “The Tale of Cupid and Psyche” and will relate its relevance to the modern times.
“The Tale of Cupid and Psyche” is a tale about the relationship that the God of Love, Cupid, has with a mortal named Psyche. Venus, the Goddess of beauty and the mother of Cupid, was offended when people believed in a rumour that Psyche, the most beautiful of the three daughters of the king and queen, is Venus’s daughter from a union with a mortal. She ordered Cupid to revenge in her behalf. However, Cupid, fell in love with Psyche.
One day, Psyche was led to a beautiful place until she was guided to a bedroom. An anonymous creature made love with her and due to the darkness; she was unable to see the creature. She then started to look forward to it, and the creature started to come to her every night but leaves before the sun rises. Psyche’s sisters pressured her to spy on the creature, whom they thought was a monster, by bringing a dagger and a lamp. One night, while Cupid was asleep, Psyche turned on the lamp and prepared the dagger to strike Cupid, but she saw the most attractive creature she has ever seen. Psyche unintentionally hurt herself with Cupid’s arrow that later resulted to a deeper passion. She then woke Cupid up by spilling the oil of the lamp. Cupid then flew away (Relihan 65).
The two sisters of Psyche were envious when they learned that Psyche’s lover was the God of Love. The two sisters offered themselves as a replacement of Psyche by climbing a crag and casting themselves. However, they ended up a brutal death. Due to Venus’s anger, Psyche experienced various trials while wandering to search for Cupid. She also encountered difficulties in the underworld. Cupid, on the other hand, is longing for Psyche. In the end, Jupiter ordered to make Psyche an immortal being so that Cupid could be with her forever. Venus could not do anything, and Psyche was saved from the underworld. Psyche and Cupid got married and had a baby.
“The Tale of Cupid and Psyche” is a comical literature in the sense that the story turned to a happy ending. On the other hand, it also has a tragic element particularly when Psyche’s sisters died brutally when they attempted to replace her as the partner of Cupid. According to William Stephenson of the University of Boston, the comedy in the story of The Tale of Cupid and Psyche can be seen in the divine intervention of the Gods particularly of Jupiter. He pointed out that Apeleius’ usual happy ending in his stories occurred in the outside world. In The Tale of Cupid and Psyche, he said, a happy ending happened in Mount Olympus and not in the earth describing that all beauties and...