|Beauty that brings misfortune|
Beauty is universally treasured, yet beauty might also bring great misfortune.
Once there were a king and his queen, who had three beautiful daughters. The youngest one, Psyche, is the most beautiful of the three daughters, and people see she were Aphrodite on earth — the goddess of beauty. Men from neighboring countries swarmed to enjoy the sight of her, but none treated her as someone to court ). Therefore, Psyche remains single, started feeling miserable, and began to hate her beauty.
Meanwhile, the goddess of beauty — Aphrodite disliked this at all, so she instructed her son — the god of love Eros to shoot his lead arrows against the girl, and thus make her fall in love with a worst specimen ) of the human race, who was not born in a noble family, with no wealth, intelligence, character, handsomeness, or courage. Apollo’s Oracle )
In ancient Greece, people felt it necessary to consult the Oracle of Apollo when they were puzzled at their future. Therefore Psyche’s father went to Delphi ), and there he asked where he was to find a husband for his most beautiful daughter, and it declared that Psyche was to marry a horrible monster on the top of a mountain.
Then Eros came to Psyche’s home with his mother’s instructions. However, he was so attracted by her beauty that in a haste of fulfilling his task, he hurt himself with his golden arrow and fell hopelessly in love with her.
When the girl and her father determined to do as the Oracle instructed, and went to the foot a mountain, Zephyrus suddenly springing up, lifted her into a valley, and laid her gently on a bed starred with flowers. There she fell asleep, and when she awoke she walked into a nearby wood, and found a wonderfully built palace.
Psyche’s Life on the Mountain
When Psyche had walked among the many wonders treasured in this fabulous castle, a voice coming from nowhere told her that the castle was hers, and gently invited her to rest in the bedroom while she waited for her bath and the wedding banquet ).
When the banquet was over, she heard the gentle whisper of her unknown husband, as he was climbing into bed with her. But her husband left her, just before daybreak. And in this way night after night her husband paid her visit, without ever showing himself.
Meanwhile, Psyche's sisters started searching for her. When Psyche knew this, she cried to his husband that she would die unless she were allowed to see her sisters, her husband reluctantly ) agreed, though he knew that her sisters were wicked women.
Next day the Zephyrus brought Psyche's sisters to the castle. They started to feel miserably jealous as soon as they arrived and saw the wonderful home of Psyche.
And they conspired ) to trick Psyche and urged her to look at her husband, saying that her husband was really a hissing ) serpent ). Psyche, out of curiosity, determined to follow her sisters’ instructions, went back to her room, and when Eros was in his sound sleep, she raised the lamp…
The Truth is Discovered
But there was no poisonous snake; the sweet and beautiful god of love was gently sleeping.
Examining his weapons, Psyche pulled an arrow, but carelessly pierced the skin. She fell in love with her husband. In a hurry she dropped a drop of oil on Eros’ shoulder and out of pain he flew away from the window.
Finding that she was already pregnant and deeply in love with Eros, Psyche regretted about her doings, so she came to Aphrodite for help. Aphrodite gave Psyche some impossible tasks. However, with the help of several gods, Psyche accomplished all the tasks.
Then Aphrodite gave Psyche the final task: to go to Queen Persephone in the Underworld and bring the beauty box back to Aphrodite.
Persephone gave her the beauty box but warned her not to open it. But as before Psyche could not retain her curiosity, also she wanted to take a tiny touch of the beauty, she opened the box, but out crept not beauty but truly Stygian ) sleep, and she falling to the ground, she lay like a corpse ).
Now Psyche would have slept for ever, had not Eros, now recovered from his sickness, come to shut the cloud of sleep up again in the box and roused Psyche with the harmless prick of an arrow (but artists prefer it to be kiss). Zeus was moved by the love between them and granted Psyche immortality, Aphrodite also forgave her, so they lived happily on Olympus.