Venus and the Goddesses:
Venus is portraying the archetype of the evil queen/stepmother.
There’s big difference between Venus at the beginning and Venus now. First she coddled her son, and now she’s furious at him, threatening to disown him. She’s obviously very fickle and uses her emotions to manipulate those around her.
It’s funny that Ceres and Juno tell Venus to stop being a helicopter-mom.
Venus and Mercury:
Venus has the power to command all of the immortals to help her find Psyche, which makes her a very formidable villain. The other gods and goddesses recognize that Venus is being petty, but due to their politics and alliances, they still cannot help Psyche.
Venus and Psyche:
The hero (in this case heroine) being given a series of impossible tasks to perform is a classic but interesting plot device. It helps drive the conflict and can also develop the hero’s traits, like cleverness and determination. I wish Psyche had a little bit more to do with finding the solutions to her tasks rather than just seeming like an overdramatic waif.
Jar of Beauty:
Tartarus: the pit of the underworld
Persephone/Proserpine: queen of the underworld
I really think the “Jar of Beauty” episode could be a lot more exciting if it went more into detail about Psyche’s journey to the underworld. What exchanges took place between Psyche and the characters of the underworld? In fact, it takes more words for the turret to give Psyche instructions than for the actual task.
I would really like to see this scene fleshed out more with Psyche taking on an active role in getting the jar filled.
Why did Persephone fill the jar with Stygian sleep? Did she have a problem with Venus? Was she on Psyche’s side?
The story wraps up very easily with Jupiter pulling a deus ex machina sort of ending. Nowadays that’s considered a cheap ending, but it’s also pretty classic.
“Cupid and Psyche” from The Golden Ass by Apuleius. Translated by Tony Kline. Web source.
Image 1: The Wedding Feast of Cupid and Psyche. Source – Wikipedia.
Image 2: The Eagle brings the filled cup to Psyche. Source – Wikipedia.