The most beautiful woman of the myths The story of Eros and Psyche

Curiosities, English - November 9, 2022
Image 1. The most beautiful woman of the myths The story of Eros and Psyche

The myths of every culture are truly amazing. But there is no doubt that Greek mythology is one of the richest and most famous. According to the stories, there was a romance in antiquity that marked the centuries and millennia, in which the protagonist was nothing more and nothing less than the most beautiful woman of all times and myths; let’s see next, “the story of Eros and Psyche:

The mysteries of the soul

Psyche is the name of the soul. It is also that of the heroine of a legend that has been transmitted to us by Apuleius in his Metamorphoses. Psyche, daughter of a king, had two sisters. All three were very beautiful, but Psyche’s beauty was superhuman; people came from everywhere to admire her. However, while her sisters had married, no one wanted Psyche for a wife, for her very beauty frightened the suitors.

Despairing of being able to marry her, her father consulted the oracle, who advised him to dress his daughter for a wedding and abandon her on a rock, where a horrible monster would take possession of her.

Her parents were desolate; nevertheless, they dressed the young girl, and, in the midst of a funeral procession, led her to the top of the mountain indicated by the oracle. Then they left her alone and retired to their palace. Psyche, abandoned, was a prey to despair. And lo and behold, she was suddenly swept away by the wind and lifted into the air. The wind held her gently and deposited her in a deep valley, on a bed of green grass. Psyche, exhausted by so many emotions, fell fast asleep and, when she awoke, found herself in the garden of a magnificent palace, all of gold and marble.

She entered the rooms, whose doors opened as she passed, and was greeted by voices that guided her and revealed to her that they were slaves in her service. Thus passed the day, from surprise to surprise and from wonder to wonder.

At dusk, Psyche felt a presence at her side: it was the husband of whom the oracle had spoken; she did not see him, but he did not seem to her as monstrous as she feared. Her husband did not tell her who he was, and warned her that it was impossible for her to see him if she did not want to lose him forever. This existence continued for the space of several weeks. During the day Psyche was alone in her palace, full of voices; at night her husband joined her, and Psyche was very happy.

But one day she became homesick for her family and began to pity her father and mother, who no doubt thought her dead, and asked her husband’s permission to return for a time to her side. After much pleading, and despite being made aware of the dangers of her absence, Psyche eventually had her way. Again the wind carried her to the top of the rock where she had been left, and from there it was easy for her to return home. She was received with great joy, and her sisters, who resided far away by marriage, came to visit her.

When they saw their sister so happy, and received the presents she had brought them, they were seized with great envy, and they strained their wits to cast doubt into her soul and make her confess that she had never seen her husband. Finally, they persuaded her to hide a lamp during the night, and, by its light, while he slept, to contemplate the figure of him whom she loved.

Psyche returned to her dwelling, carried out what she had been advised, and discovered, sleeping beside her, a beautiful adolescent. Thrilled by the discovery, her hand that held the lamp trembled and she let a drop of boiling oil fall on him. Feeling himself burned, Amor (Eros) – for such was the cruel monster to whom the oracle had referred – awoke and, fulfilling the threat he had addressed to Psyche, fled on the spot never to return.

The protection of love

Lacking the protection of Love, poor Psyche set out to wander through the world; she was pursued by the wrath of Aphrodite, indignant at her beauty. No divinity wanted to take her in. Finally, she fell into the hands of the goddess, who locked her in her palace, tormented her in a thousand ways and imposed on her several obligations: to select seeds, to collect wool from wild lambs, and finally to descend to the Hells. There she was to ask Persephone for a flask of Juvenantia water. She was forbidden to open it, but, unfortunately, Psyche disobeyed on her way back and fell into a deep sleep.

Meanwhile, Amor was in despair; he could not forget Psyche. Seeing her in her magical sleep, he flew to her and awakened her with an arrow; then he went up to Olympus and begged Zeus to allow him to marry this mortal. Zeus granted his request by making her immortal, and Psyche was reconciled with Aphrodite.