Friday, September 11, 2015

Essay: Cupid and Psyche

(Psyche's Beauty being honored by People)

This week I read Apuleius’s Cupid and Psyche. I got different impressions from all the different gods and goddesses in the story. It was very interesting to see how they acted compared with what they were the god’s and goddess’s of. For example, Venus was the goddess of love and beauty. She was played out to be very vain. She always had to be the center of attention and the most beautiful one there is. Ceres is the goddess of agriculture, fertility, and motherly relationships was very moved by Psyche’s tearful plea when she was in her temple seeking refuge. She was very sweet even though she did not wish to make an enemy out of Venus. Cupid is the god of love. In this story, he is shown to be very passionate, impulsive, and wild. I think this is a very good personification of love.

The relationships portrayed in the story between gods and humans is very different than what I expected. Most of the gods and goddesses treat the human’s well unless they do something that offends them. I would have originally expected them to look down on the humans and not really have much to do with them. I was very wrong. All of them in the story, minus Venus, are actually very nice to Psyche, who is mortal throughout almost all of the story. They all feel sorry for her because she has Venus’ wrath directed at her. An example of the deities being nice to her is when Jupiter makes her a goddess so that she can be with Cupid forever. He could have just let Venus torture her until she died, but he took pity on her. Another example is when Ceres lets her leave her temple even though she knows Venus is looking for h
er. She felt bad for the girl, but would not let her take refuge there so as to not damage her friendship with Venus. However, she could have held her there and let Venus know where she was and by doing this she gave Psyche a chance.

The relationships between gods is a funny one. It is literally like high school all over again. Someone is always in a fight or sleeping with someone else’s significant other. It is so comical to read.

I did not really learn anything that I did not already know about religious practices associated with the gods from this reading. I was a really big Roman and Greek mythology reader when I was younger so I was pretty familiar with the temples and leaving offerings and such in them.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting take on the idea that the interactions between the Gods and Goddesses is similar to high school students. In my History of Science class we touched on this issue a little bit. One of the philosophers came forth denouncing these Gods. He felt that they embodied the worst characteristics of mankind so why should they be worshiped? This was not a well-received notion at the time but it’s a pretty solid idea.