Cupid and Psyche

The Abduction of Psyche by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

The myth of Cupid and Psyche is a romantic tale that tells the story of the love god Cupid and the beautiful princess Psyche!   Cupid had gone on a mission by his mother Venus to kill Psyche because it was said that her beauty rivaled that of Venus herself.   Venus burned with jealousy that a human would have beauty to rival her divine countenance, and dispatched her son to end the life of this woman.   Cupid fell in love with Psyche the moment he saw her, and could not fulfill his mothers demand.

Cupid took Psyche for his bride but told her she could never look upon him.   He would come to her only at night and leave before the dawn, and the shadows protected his visage from her vision.   Her sisters continually teased her about her lover who would not allow her to see his true form.

One day she was overcome by paranoia over who her lover truly was.   She worried that her lover and husband was in fact a monster.   Who else would not allow his bride to gaze upon his face?   She waited up while he fell asleep after their love making.    She took a candle and gazed upon his true form, and she was struck by the utter beauty of her otherworldly husband!   She realized that he was the complete opposite of a monster, for he was the god of love himself.    But Psyche got distracted by his beauty and some wax dripped onto him, and woke him up.   

He flew away from her, and Psyche had to go to Venus to win her chance to truly be with her husband!   Venus gave her tests to prove herself as a wife of a deity.   Due to Psyche’s ability to charm, she got help of many in order to complete even seemingly impossible tests!   Through this period she was also pregnant with a half-divine baby.   When she completed all of her tests Psyche was reunited with Cupid.   She got immortality as part of the bargain of being the wife of a god and mother of a demi-god!

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post!   Let me know your thoughts on this myth in the comments below.

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is The Abduction of Psyche by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.   I found it on

Further Reading

  • Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch
  • Mythology by Edith Hamilton
  • Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World edited by Maria Tatar