Friday, June 19, 2015
mythology and fairy tales
Last night I had a little bit of an itch to read some mythology, so I dug out my Mythology: Timeless Tales of God and Heros by Edith Hamilton. I haven't ever finished this book, and it had been so long since I read any of it, I decided to just randomly pick a section and enjoy. I settled on reading about Psyche and Cupid, which I found super interesting. First, the entire beginning of the story is extremely reminiscent of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I was actually quite surprised to discover this, as I have never found such a similarity between mythology and fairy tales. The beginning of the story unfolds with Psyche marrying a man she never sees, one who arrives only in the dark of night. She then tries to outwit him by lighting a candle after he has fallen asleep so that she might see him. This in a way causes trouble in their relationship with Psyche finding herself alone. She reaches out to Cupid's mother, who claims she will help her through all of these trials, and again...more similarities with fairy tales! Her first task? Separating and organizing a huge pile of seeds! Who helps her? Mice- just like in Cinderella! There are also many other tasks that could very well resembles parts of other fairy tales that I am unaware of, but then in her last task, Psyche finds herself in a deep sleep. Yes, just like Sleeping Beauty. How does she awaken? Her lost love Cupid finds her and takes the sleep from her eyes. I have to admit, I am kind of shocked to see so many fairy tale elements going on in this story! I don't know how, but I am sure it is significant in some way. I kind of love it!