If you mention ‘Cupid’ to just about anybody, they will tell you he is the God of Love, but how much do we really know that is fact rather than fiction.
Who is Cupid
In Latin, Cupid goes by two names that have different origins, but whose meanings are both associated with love. One of Cupid’s Roman names is Cupido. This form means ‘desire.’ If we stop to think about it, regardless of our age, the people we love deeply are ones we enjoy and desire to be with as much as possible. Cupid’s other Latin name is ‘Amor’. For students enrolled in Latin I, this is one of the very first verbs (amo) that we learn to conjugate.
Two of the major planets in our solar system bear the names of Cupid’s mother Venus and his father Mars. Although Cupid is never seen, when the weather conditions are exactly right, both of these planets can be seen in the sky after dark or whenever a planetarium is open to visitors.
In Greek Mythology, Cupid was known as ‘Eros‘ who was portrayed as a slender young boy with wings; however, following the Hellenistic Age that ended about 31BC when Rome conquered Greece, he was portrayed as the chubby little boy we are most familiar with especially around Valentine’s Day.
In both Greek and Roman Mythology, Cupid always had a bow and arrow which he used to shoot the power of love wherever he wanted it to go. Some early artists pictured Cupid as being blindfolded. According to Shakespeare, the reason was because as a chubby little boy, Cupid often changed his feelings about things especially those having to do with love.
Although Cupid is portrayed with a bow and arrow, most people don’t know that he actually had two arrows or perhaps one arrow with two very different tips. If he fired the gold one which had a very sharp tip, the female heart where it landed was immediately filled with love and the desire to be with a certain male forever. Shakespeare’s words about Cupid changing his mind apply to the blindfolded Cupid and his use of the blunt-tipped lead arrow. Whether male or female, when the lead tip struck a heart the message was that one person in the relationship wanted to end it and be free from that person forever so another relationship could be started.
If an assignment gives you the opportunity to write about love, it would be interesting to interview different people, especially those who are married, to learn how many are in a relationship with the very first male or female they fell in love with.
According to some writings, Cupid personally experienced the pain associated with the lead arrow as a child. According to this account, as a small boy Cupid tried to get some honey out of a bee hive and was stung in the process. Of course, the first person Cupid wanted help and comfort from was his mother.
Even in today’s world when we experience pain although lots of people around us offer help and comfort, the person we truly want to be with is our mother because we believe nobody’s help or comfort has the power of love that hers does.
In one account, Cupid had a girlfriend named Psyche who led a very lonely life because none of her female friends liked her and none of the male gods paid any attention to her until she met Eros. Despite the fact that they were both very lonely, according to the story they lived happily ever after together.
Some Facts About Cupid
Many experts in the world of folktales and movies believe that the currently popular “Beauty and The Beast” is a modern day version of the story of Cupid and Psyche. While Cupid is always shown with wings, Psyche whose name means ‘soul’ is depicted as a beautiful butterfly.
To please her mother, Psyche was given the task of finding her way to an underworld cave where she was to locate a special treasure box and bring it back to Venus. On the way back, Psyche opened the box because of her selfish desire to be loved and was immediately struck dead. When Cupid found her he struck her with a golden arrow which brought her back to life so she could become his wife.
Cupid and Psyche are said to have had a daughter who was given the name Voluptas meaning ‘pleasure.’
How Cupid Relates To Today’s World
In addition to all the Valentine’s Day cards, decorations and other things associated with February 14th the Day of Love, several musicians have written songs about Cupid. One song in particular ended up being ranked as number 452 on the Rolling Stone list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” The song was written in 1961 by R&B artist Sam Cooke.
The most often remembered part of the lyrics goes
“Cupid Draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me.”
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Cupid: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net - Greek Gods & Goddesses, March 14, 2017