Story

The tale of Cupid and Psyche is widely considered to be not a myth, but an early form of literary short story, using characters drawn from Greek mythology. If so, it's one of the most influential short stories ever conceived.

Many of the Western World's most popular fairy and folk tales have their origin in some aspect of the Cupid and Psyche story. Cinderella is given tasks to complete by her Wicked Stepmother in order to attend the ball; this is no doubt drawn from the tasks Venus sets for Psyche to accomplish in the original story. It's easy to see Cupid's hiding in the darkness, and Psyche's suspicions of him, as a prototype for the famous french tale "Beauty and the Beast." Psyche's collapse at the climax of the story is certainly an early cousin of the Sleeping Beauty tale.