Psyche Youngest daughter Best at everything and most beautiful Venus (Aphrodite) was jealous of her and wanted to get rid of her Men on earth worshipped her over Venus
Cupid Son of Venus (Aphrodite) Was sent by Venus to bring about Psyche’s ruin Fell in love with Psyche
Cupid had gone to Apollo and asked for his help. Psyche’s father went to Apollo to ask what he should do to get a husband for her . Apollo told Psyche’s father that his daughter was to be left on a rocky hill, dressed in mourning clothes, and it is there that her destined husband, a winged sea serpent, will find her and marry her.
Zephyr, the west wind, lifted Psyche and carried her to a soft meadow where she fell asleep.
When she woke up, Psyche saw a beautiful palace that seemed as if it were built for a god. She walked to it and heard voices, yet saw no one.
The voices told her that this was her home. She was also told to go refresh herself, and then a feast would be set out for her. Psyche bathed and dined, but even with the voices, she remained alone all day.
Then, at night, and every night after, Cupid came to Psyche. Even though she could not see him, Psyche knew it was her husband. Cupid only came to Psyche at night because he didn’t want her to see him, afraid that she would treat him as a god, instead of her equal.
Psyche showed her sisters her beautiful home and the many riches she possessed. Her sisters instantly grew jealous of Psyche and even began to become curious as to who her husband was. But Psyche was faithful and told them that he was a young man, out on a hunting expedition. However, her sisters were still not satisfied, and they began to plan how to ruin her life.
Psyche’s sisters convinced her that her husband was the serpent that Apollo said he would be. They gave her a sharp knife and a lamp and told her to light the lamp at night when “the creature” is asleep, then hold it over him and kill him with the knife. Psyche was terrified and confused at what to do, but she knew one thing for sure, she had to see him.
So, Psyche waited that night for her husband to fall asleep, then she lit the lamp and grabbed the knife. She saw that her husband was not a creature but a beautiful being. As she trembled, the knife fell out of her hand, and some of the hot oil fell upon his shoulder. Cupid woke up and fled.
Psyche ran out after him, but she couldn’t see him in the dark. Cupid left saying who he was and that he had trusted her, but she betrayed him. His last words were: “Love cannot live where there is no trust.”
Cupid goes to Venus’s chamber to have his wound cared for. Venus finds out that it was Psyche that he had chosen, and then leaves him in his pain. She was so angry she went to try to ruin Psyche again.
Psyche decides to look for Cupid, even if it takes her entire life. She prays to the gods for help, but not one will help her because they don’t want to get on Venus’s bad side. She decides that she has to go to Venus herself, and try to appease her by offering to be her servant. Venus laughs at Psyche, but tells her that she could only get a husband by the hardest service; Venus tells Psyche that she will train her.
First, Psyche was given the task of sorting numerous types of seeds by nightfall. The ants felt sorry for Psyche and sorted all the seeds for her. Venus was infuriated. Next, she told her to go down by the riverbank, where there were thick bushes and sheep with golden fleece, and get her some of their wool. A green reed beneath her saved her from drowning herself and told her to wait till evening, when the sheep come out of the bushes to rest. Then, she could go into one of the thick bushes and find plenty of wool. • Venus knew that there was no way Psyche was doing this alone. So, she thought of something worse than the first two. She was to go to the river Styx and fill a flask with its black water. • An eagle took the flask and flew to the waterfall to fill it for Psyche.
Venus didn’t give up. This time, she gave Psyche a box and told her to go down to the underworld. She was to ask Proserpine (Persephone) if she would give some of her beauty to Venus because she was worn out from nursing her son. Psyche found her guide in a tower, and it told her she must first go through a hole in the earth, then to the river of death, where she must pay the ferryman, Charon, a penny to take her across.
Proserpine agreed to give some of her beauty, and Psyche left. When she was back, Psyche wanted to know what kind of beauty-charm was in the box. She wanted to use some for herself because she knew she was worn-out, and she wanted to look nice in case she came across Cupid. When she opened the box, she fell into a deep sleep.
Cupid recovered from his wound and was longing for Psyche. He went to look for her and found her sleeping near the palace. Cupid wiped the sleep from Psyche, put it back in the box, and told her to take it to Venus. He then went to Jupiter (Zeus) and asked him to ensure that Venus wouldn’t give them anymore trouble. • Jupiter agreed and called an assembly, announcing to everyone, including Venus, that Cupid and Psyche were officially married. • Jupiter also told them that he was going to make Psyche immortal.
Mercury (Hermes) brought Psyche into the palace of the gods and gave her the ambrosia to eat, which made her immortal. Venus couldn’t do or say anything now, because Psyche was now considered a goddess, and she couldn’t object to that. Venus also realized that with Psyche in heaven, the men on earth would return to worshipping her.