Has Cupid ever struck you with his arrow to make you fall deeply in love with someone? Well, Cupid, the God of love is an important figure in Roman mythology. Where as, as per the Greek mythology, Eros has always been the God of love in all forms. Eros – God of love is worshipped for many reasons. This God is a prominent figure in Greek mythology. Eros is also known as the liberator. (Eleutherios)
There are many versions in Greek mythology that speak about the God of love and lust- Eros. As per the myth, Eros was the son of the Aphrodire and Ares. Plato however, had his own definition about Eros. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the Greek Goddess of love, beauty and sexual reproduction. Ares, also known as the Olympian God of warfare is the son of Zeus and Hera. Another myth mentions the God has evolved from cosmic or nothingness! There are other myths that refer to him as the son of Hermes or Hephaestus or that of Porus and Penia.
In pictorial depiction, Eros, the God of love is often shown as a cherubic boy. He is found in all forms of art. He is represented as a nude child with wings holding a bow and arrow. Eros is mentioned having two types of arrows, one, which is golden with dove feathers and the other with owl feathers. The arrow with the dove feathers was known to arouse the feelings of love. This arrow was often shot by Eros at the hearts of Gods or even mortals.
As an adult, Eros is represented as a tall man with an athletic built who personified beauty in every way. This God is also considered to be the God of fertility and sexual desire. The Roman name for Eros is cupid.
The Greek Mythology of Eros and Psyche:
Apuleius’ Latin novel, ‘The Golden Ass’, talks about the relation between Eros and Psyche. This is the first time these characters were first spoken in print. The story speaks about the love and the establishment of trust between Eros and Psyche. The story unfolds speaking about an envious Goddess Venus who does not appreciate the mortal woman – named Psyche simply because of her beauty. Venus thereby instructs her son, Eros, referred to as Cupid, to make use of his golden arrows on Psyche so that she falls in love with an evil person on earth. However, when Eros agrees for the same, he happens to get pierced with one of his own arrows while trying to lean and get a better look at Psyche. This is when he falls in love with her completely.
The further result of this is mentioned as Psyche being unsuitable to marry any man although her beauty is appreciated, she is not wanted as a bride. This is when Psyche is carried away by the wind to a valley on the instructions of an oracle that asks her parents to abandon her on a mountain. This is when Eros is said to have visited her every single night. Both then fall in love with each other although, Psyche was never allowed to see who visited her. Eros thus kept courting her in the dark. Here, Psyche was given all the luxuries that caused her two sisters to be completely jealous. The sisters then fill Psyche’s mind with rumors about her man being a ‘monster’. Influenced by their vile thoughts, Psyche who has never seen her husband gets instigated to kill Eros but when she sees his handsome face in the light of the lamp, she drops some hot oil on his shoulder quite by mistake. This is when Eros wakes up and leaves her forever for she had not displayed trust in him. The wounded Psyche then wanders all over earth in search of her lost love. After many adversities and trials by Venus given to Psyche as punishment, Eros and Psyche finally reunite where they have a daughter named Voluptas.
In the ancient mythology, Eros symbolizes love in physical and spiritual sense as well. The word – erotic has been derived from this name. Thus, Eros remains the primary force that brings about love between two people. This God is one of the most beautiful and worshiped amongst all Gods and is represented in all forms of art.