Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Cupid, a god, Venus’ son. He falls in love with Psyche and becomes her lover. When Psyche tries to see him, against his command, he kills her sisters, who had encouraged her action. He also abandons Psyche to the world. His love conquers his will, however, and he takes Psyche back again, petitioning Jove, king of the gods, to let her become immortal.
Psyche, a Greek princess. An oracle tells her father to leave her exposed upon a mountain to prevent the destruction of his people. Because of her beauty, Psyche arouses the jealousy of Venus. After being abandoned by Cupid, her lover, Psyche wanders the earth and finally becomes Venus’ slave. With supernatural help, she completes the otherwise insurmountable tasks assigned by Venus and wins back Cupid’s love. Upon drinking ambrosia given her by Jove, Psyche becomes immortal.
Venus, goddess of love. Jealous of Psyche, she makes the girl her slave and assigns her four tasks: to separate an immense pile of mixed seeds, to gather the golden fleece of Venus’ sheep, to fill a jug with water from a stream that feeds the rivers Styx and Cocytus, and to collect some of Proserpine’s beauty in a box.
Zephyrus, god of the south wind. He carries Psyche to Cupid’s palace. He also delivers Psyche’s sisters there when Cupid grants Psyche their company in her loneliness.
(The entire section is 269 words.)
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