Come read and learn about a fun story from Greek mythology! Today we’ll be exploring the myth of Eros and Psyche, a heartwarming tale of true love. The story of Eros and Psyche is great for children of all ages and can teach kids about Greek mythology. You can read the myth of Eros and Psyche as a bedtime story or during story time.
The myth of eros and psyche for kids
There was once a kingdom that had three beautiful princesses. Of the three princesses, princess Psyche was the most beautiful. She was so beautiful, smart, and clever that everyone in the kingdom worshipped her! Although everyone loved Psyche for her beauty, they only admired her from afar. The citizens admired Psyche so much that they began to worship her as the goddess of beauty instead of the actual goddess of beauty, Aphrodite!
Despite her immense beauty, Psyche was extremely lonely! No one wanted to be her friend or her lover. Psyche’s father, the king, did not want to see his most beautiful daughter so lonely, so he took her to the oracle at Delphi.
By this time, Aphrodite noticed that everybody was worshiping Psyche instead of her. Aphrodite became angry, so she called upon her son Eros, the god of love. She requested that Eros make Psyche fall in love with a hideous monster. Eros went to Psyche one night while she was a sleep. When he saw her, Eros became awestruck by her beauty. In his state of awe, Eros accidentally pricked his finger upon one of his arrows of love, causing him to fall in love with Psyche. Realizing his mistake, Eros quickly fled and never made Psyche fall in love with a hideous monster.
In addition to wanting Psyche to fall in love with an ugly monster, Aphrodite decided to give Psyche a message through the oracle at Delphi. When Psyche went to the oracle, the oracle told her that she would fall in love with a huge, hideous monster and that she should wait on the cliff side for him. Psyche was baffled, a hideous monster? How could she succumb to a fate so horrible.
Not one to resist fate, Psyche went to the cliff and waited for her new husband to come. Slowly, as she waited, Psyche began to drift off to sleep. Upon waking up, she found herself in front of a large, beautiful palace. Psyche got to her feet and walked into the palace. It was beautifully decorated, perhaps the most beautiful palace she had ever seen!
Who is Psyche’s husband?
As she walked through the palace Psyche noticed that all the servants were invisible, which she thought was odd. Suddenly she heard a voice calling out to her. It was her husband! He explained to her that both him and all of his servants were invisible as not to scare her and that Psyche should never try to see what the really looked like. Psyche hesitantly agreed. She was unsure about it, but figured that her husbands reasoning for wanting to remain hidden was fair.
After several days of living in the palace, both of Psyche’s sisters decided to pay her a visit. Her sisters took in the gorgeous palace, but they were confused as to why all the servants were invisible and where Psyche’s husband was. They asked Psyche why this was, so Psyche explained that both the servants and her husband were invisible, but her husband was really sweet so it didn’t bother her at all! Her sisters didn’t buy it, they thought that Psyche’s husband was somehow lying to her. The sisters convinced Psyche that she should sneak into her bedroom one night while her and her husband were sleeping to see who he really was. Psyche simply waved off her sisters plotting, but their comments slowly began to eat away at her.
After her sisters had left, Psyche couldn’t help it any longer, she needed to know what her husband looked like! Later that night, she waited until her husband was sound asleep and grabbed an oil lamp and lit it. Under the light of the candle she saw her husband for the first time. He wasn’t some hideous, scaly monster, but he was Eros the god of love! Awestruck, Psyche didn’t realize the oil lamp began to slip from her hand, as it slipped a bit of hot oil fell onto Eros’s skin. He jolted awake and saw Psyche standing there with the lamp, betrayed, he quickly fled from the palace to his mother.
Eros told Aphrodite what had happened and she was furious! How could this mortal princess somehow do more to upset her? Aphrodite decided to take her revenge on Psyche for crossing her and for hurting her son.
Trials of Aphrodite
As Psyche stood in disbelief at what she had just seen, she broke down and cried. “How could this have happened? How could she have done this?” Psyche thought to her self.
All night, Psyche cried and lamented her mistake. Just as the sun began to rise, Aphrodite appeared before her. Seeing the goddess, Psyche clasped her hands together and begged forgiveness, but her begging did not work. Aphrodite had a plan for revenge on Psyche.
Looking down on her, Aphrodite told Psyche that she must complete several tasks for her before she would be allowed to see Eros again. For the first task, Aphrodite poured a bag of mixed on grains onto the floor and told psyche that she must have them all sorted by grain type within twenty-four hours. Before Psyche could say anything, Aphrodite left.
Psyche began to sort through the grains, but after a few hours of sorting Psyche became hopeless. The grains were too tiny and she could not tell which was which. Taking pity on her, a near by ant colony decided to help psyche sort the grains. Within another few hours, thousands of hardworking ants had sorted all the grains.
Not long after, Aphrodite came back and saw that all the grain had been sorted perfectly. Frustrated, she decided to give Psyche a more difficult task. She told Psyche that she would need to fetch the Golden Fleece from a near by flock of feral rams.
Psyche walked to the pasture where the rams had grazed, she saw the rams sharp, deadly looking horns and grimaced. Surely the ram would attack her if she got too close. Psyche walked over to the river that divided the pasture and gazed at her reflection in contemplating. A quiet voice had interrupted her thoughts, it was the spirit of the river! He told Psyche that instead of getting the fleece from the rams that she should collect the fleece that had been caught on the bushes. Psyche smiled and thanked the spirit. She collected the Golden Fleece and returned back to Aphrodite.
Aphrodite took the fleece from Psyche, but she was still upset with Psyche. Aphrodite handed Psyche a pitcher and took her to the cliff side edge of the river Styx. She told her that she must collect water from the river and return it back to her when she was done. Aphrodite left Psyche to complete the task.
Psyche looked over the edge of the cliff and became sick at the drop. Suddenly an eagle, likely sent by Zeus, came down to Psyche and filled the pitcher with Styx water for her. Psyche thanked the eagle and returned to Aphrodite.
Still angry with Psyche, Aphrodite gave her a box and told her she must complete one more task before she could see Eros. Psyche must go to Queen Persephone in the underworld and put her beauty into the box.
Psyche took the box and made her way into the underworld, all the way to the palace of King Hades and Queen Persephone. Psyche greeted the king and queen then handed Persephone the box, explaining that Aphrodite had sent her. Persephone smiled and placed some of her beauty into the box and gave it back to Psyche. She thanked Queen Persephone and made her way out of the underworld.
Walking back home, Psyche noticed how dirty her dress was and how her hair had been completely messed up. Maybe she could use a little bit of the beauty in the box to restore her appearance! Psyche opened the box just a crack, but Persephone’s beauty only knocked Psyche unconscious.
By this time, Eros had overcome his sorrow and feelings of betrayal and sought to find Psyche. He flew all across Greece until her finally found Psyche, laying unconscious on the ground. He swiftly flew down to her and picked up her limp body. He held her close and said words of forgiveness to her, but noticed she would not wake up.
Panicked, Eros carried Psyche up to Olympus and went to Zeus. He requested that Zeus end the suffering that Psyche had gone though and wake her up. Zeus obliged Eros’s requests, since he was not against true love.
Psyche gradually woke up and noticed that she had grown beautiful butterfly wings and had become a goddess! She embraced Eros into a tight hug and kissed him.
No more than a few days later, Eros and Psyche got married and became the god and goddess of the heart and soul. Together they had a daughter named Hedone, who was the goddess of enjoyment and delight.
Eros and Psyche lived happily ever after upon Olympus.
Fun Video about eros and psyche
Here’s a fun, short, and informative video by TED-ed about the myth of Cupid (Eros) and Psyche!
More history Fun and ACTIVITIES from kids ACTIVITIES blog
What was your favorite part of the story? Let us know in the comments!
Bierlein, J. F. Parallel Myths. 1st ed. Ballantine Publishing Group, 1994.
Epic Tales: Greek Myths and Tales. Flame Tree Publishing, 2017.
Pelsue, Brendan. The Myth of Cupid and Psyche. TED-Ed, 2017.
Miscellaneous Myths: Eros and Psyche. Overly Sarcastic Productions, 2017.