Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beauty and the Beast vs. Cupid and Psyche

       The story of “Cupid and Psyche” reminds me of two of the versions of Beauty and the Beast. When I first started reading I thought that it seemed a lot like Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s version of “Beauty and the Beast”. Both stories have a “beast” or a “monster” living  off away from society, either deep in the woods or on top of a mountain. Then, both the castles are full of riches and wonders that surprise the beauty. Even in both stories, the beast does not approach beauty immediately, but rather has his servants talk for him from a distance or does not get close enough for her to see him. It is after this point where the stories differ. In Jeanne-Marie’s story, Beast is known to ugly and stupid, while in “Cupid and Psyche”, the beast is revealed to have been a beautiful god. Both endings are similar with them both living together happily.
      The aspect of beast being a god, reminded me of “Urashima the Fisherman” where the beauty is a god who falls in love with a mortal. In both stories, the god wants to be loved as an equal, rather than to be praised. Then, in both stories, a box seemingly causes a downfall in both relationships. Urashima opens the jeweled box and loses his love forever, while Psyche opens the box out of curiosity and falls asleep. The difference here is that Cupid rescues Psyche from this eternal sleep while Urashima never meets his love again.


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