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A Donkey Kicks an Old Lady || Reading Notes: Cupid and Psyche Part B


But I'll be damned if she isn't a tough old bat...

  • This story, like many other myths or legends, is told from the third-person omniscient point of view. It might be fun to change the perspective of this story to first-person, possibly someone outside of the main action of the story, such as the aforementioned Zephyr.
    • Though the overall story (This being a story within a story.) is told in first-person.
  • Despite how Demeter and Hera advise against Aphrodite's fury towards Psyche, neither is willing to give her shelter. This is a plot point that could be changed.
  • The tasks that Venus gives Psyche are somewhat reminiscent of the tasks given to Hercules by Hera. (Forgive me if I continue to switch between the Greek and Roman names, it's sometimes easier.)
    • The actual tasks could easily be changed in a retelling.
    • Hercules achieved his feats through his own might and the help of others. Psyche's are seemingly only accomplished with help from others.
  • I feel that often in Greek and Roman mythology, many characters end up committing suicide out of grief or shame. This story seems to be actively discouraging Psyche from this path, however.
    • The river refuses to kill her and instead washes her ashore.
    • Pan then discourages her from further suicide attempts.
    • The reed gives her a prophecy to prevent her next attempt.
    • The turret discourages her from leaping from a tower as a way of getting to the Underworld.
  • Do so many people/creatures/gods help Psyche because of sympathy for her plight or because of her beauty?
    • Ceres and Juno certainly because of her plight. But, then again, they don't actually really help her.
  • There's a certain irony in Psyche being actively discouraged from committing suicide by almost everyone she meets, yet she willingly descends to the Underworld anyway.
  • Again, Psyche's curiosity gets the better of her common sense. Both times she was adequately warned but curiosity overwhelmed her. It could possibly be that the act of being warned actually increased her curiosity. 
  • One of the few Greek and Roman myths that have a happy ending. Though a retelling could have a less happy one.
  • It's easy to forget that this story is just a small part of a larger one. But the story of Lucius and the kidnapped girl is interesting too.
Lucius, the Girl, and the Old Woman by Jean de Bosschere

Story Information
Author: Apuleius
Translator: Tony Kline
Cupid and Psyche from the larger work The Golden Ass


Photo Credits:
Lucius, the Girl, and the Old Woman

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