I will start this blog with an interpretation of this beautiful sculpture of "Cupid and Psyche". This beautiful Western European Art dates back to 1787 and it is made by the talented sculptor Antonio Canova.This work of "Cupid and Psyche" is considered to be one of the best work by the exponents of the Roman School of Sculpture. Following the fashion at the time the sculptor brings with this sculpture an episode from the Greek tale "Cupid and Psyche", the moment when "Cupid brings his dying love back in life with a kiss" for this this sculpture is called "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss". The composition of the sculpture varies in smooth rhythmic lines the figure gives a sense of harmony and graceful gestures creating a decorative atmosphere. This magnificent work was a request of Prince Yusupov in Rome in 1796 now is in the Musée du Louvre (Lovre museum), Paris.
Coming back to my assignment comparing the story of Cupid and Psyche with another story with the same theme.Many tales have things in common with "Cupid and Psyche" like "The Frog Princes" "Urashima" etc. But immediately in my mind comes the tale "Beauty and the Beast" by Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont, even though they differ in many ways the story line of "Beauty and the Beast "is incredible similar with the great and most known Greek love tale "Cupid and Psyche".
Psyche is the youngest of three daughters and even the most beautiful of them. She is that beautiful that people forget about their goddess Venus. This makes Venus furious and jealous how a mortal could be more beautiful than her so sends her son Cupid to make possible that she falls in love with the most veil person. But when Cupid sees her and her beauty he fells in love with her as he sees her beautiful soul. From where even her name "Psyche" comes from Greek meaning "soul". Amazed from her beauty accidentally Cupid points his arrow and shoots himself instead and falls deeply in love with her. As her enormous beauty makes it hard for her to be married with a mortal her parents are forced to send her to the mountain where it is said that she would have to be married with a monster. Psyche finds herself in a beautiful palace, she has servants but never sees them and she would meet Cupid her master only at night but never sees him. When her sisters visit her they were dying from envy when they sow their sisters rich life but soon they got to know that she has never seen her husband so they tell her that voices around are that he is a horrible serpent and that she should see him and kill him to get her freedom back. When her sisters left Psyche was left with this terrible thought so she decided to see her husband. When night comes she gets a candle and a knife while he is sleeping but instead of a horrible snake she finds the beautiful god Cupid. Amazed she gets closer to kiss him but drops from the candle felt into him , awake and angry he flies away.While trying to see him she puncture herself with Cupids arrow and fell deeply in love with him.
In search of her love Psyche has to accomplish many tasks given from Venus if she wants to get him back. In the end her curiosity puts her in the path of death only to be rescued by a kiss from her love Cupid. They got married and lived happily ever after.
Beauty same as Psyche has older sisters who are less pretty than her and jealous of her. She was very beautiful and same as Psyche was admired by every one so they called her Beauty and Psyche was recognized after the goddess of beauty Venus. The similarities continue between this two tales while they are prettier than they sisters they are even different from them as rather than wealth they are more interested in love,virtue and kindness. Both of them have a sense of curiosity even though Psyche has it more and puts herself in trouble , Beauty has it as well while they found themselves in a beautiful castle both of them had servants or heard music but never sow a living soul around them. Both of them had to see their "monster" only at a certain time not all the time. After a while both of them enjoyed and loved their "monster". Both Beauty and Psyche had to go and live with a monster as a sacrifice for their family. While Beauty and Psyche both had to see their masters at the evening Beauty on the side gets to know the Beast better and fells in love with his soul on the other side Cupid does not want Psyche to see him so makes her to believe that he is a monster so she fells in love with him and not for who he is.In both tales is elaborated the importance of having a beautiful soul instead of an enormous beauty. The sisters of both Beauty and Psyche are that jealous about their happiness that they try to destroy it. Beauty and Psyche both ended marrying the kind , beautiful prince/god and their evil sisters got the punishment they deserved "Beauty and the Beast" and "Cupid and Psyche" lived Happily Ever After.
Maria Tatar,.. "The Classic Fairy Tales" , 1999,New York-London,