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Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche
  • Themes
  • Love
  • Betrayal

Theme of Betrayal in Cupid and Psyche

Psyche promises her new husband, Cupid (Eros), that she'll never try to see what he looks like. Each night when he comes to her in bed, she's supposed to entertain him and then go to sleep without ever getting a peek at her lover. Psyche's jealous sisters eventually convince her that she's got to get a look at the dude she's sleeping with, and so Psyche breaks her word to Cupid. On one level, this is betrayal. Psyche promises to do one thing, and then she does another. Is Cupid's request really reasonable, though? Is it OK to expect a human being to live that way? Ultimately, Psyche's "betrayal" results in both she and her husband living in eternal bliss. In the end, it seems like the tale of "Cupid and Psyche" presents a pretty complicated picture of the relationship between love and betrayal.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. In what ways does Cupid betray his mother, Venus?
  2. Does Psyche again betray Cupid by looking in the box from Proserpine?
  3. Does Venus betray her son by trying to destroy the woman he loves? Why, or why not?
  4. At what point does Cupid forgive Psyche's betrayal? What makes him sure that she really loves him?

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