Cupid and Psyche Script
Cupid and Psyche Script...
Cupid and Psyche Characters:
Oracle of Apollo
Princes and kings
Narrator: A certain king and queen had three daughters. The charms of the two elder were more than common, but the beauty of the youngest was so wonderful that the poverty of language is unable to express its due praise. The fame of her beauty was so great that strangers from neighboring countries came in crowds to enjoy the sight, and looked on her with amazement, paying her that homage which is due only to Venus herself. In fact Venus found her altars deserted, while men turned their devotion to this young virgin. (King and queen sitting at the court, looking very happy) (Princes crowding around Psyche, giving her gifts) Prince 1: Such beauty you have, my lady. Prince 2: Yes. An extraordinary face indeed. You are quite a goddess, Venus if I may say. Psyche: A name I don’t deserve. Prince 1: Princess, I think you have surpassed the goddess herself. Narrator: This homage to the exaltation of a mortal gave great offense to the real Venus. (Venus looking very angry) Venus: Am I to be surpassed by some mortal girl? This is insane! My indescribable beauty has exceeded Pallas and Juno’s loveliness! Then come this human that destroys my reputation? I won’t let that happen! I will make her suffer for such shame that she’s giving me! Narrator: Now, Venus has a son, Cupid. He is very mischievous and when her mother called for him and told him his complaints, his playful behavior was provoked. (Cupid came to his mother) Cupid: You asked to see me mother? Venus: Oh Cupid. Your mother is very ill. I’m afraid I will stay this way for a long time. Cupid: I won’t allow something like this to happen to you. Tell me mother, what should I do to make you well? Venus: My dear son, there is a mortal girl claiming to be a goddess. Punish that contumacious beauty; give your mother revenge as sweet as her injuries are great. Make her fall in love with a low, unworthy, monstrous being that will destroy her reputation. Cupid: Very well mother. (Cupid prepared to obey the commands of his mother. Then in his invisible form, he went to Psyche’s chamber and found her fast asleep. She wounded her side with his arrow. Psyche awoke and Cupid, startled and struck by the beauty of the lady, wounded himself)
Narrator: Meanwhile, the king and queen were very worried that Psyche was not getting married at all. True, all the eyes of men were on her but nobody asked for her hand for marriage. King: Kings, princes, and noblemen came from lands far away from here just to see her. But why is it that nobody wanted to marry her? Queen: Yes, so I’ve noticed. Our two daughters are already happily living with their husbands but Psyche is alone. We have to do something. King: My queen, what is it that’s on your mind? Queen: Let us ask the oracle of Apollo. She will know the answer. (So the king and queen, together with their youngest daughter, travelled to find the oracle. They came to a mountain where the seer resides) Queen: We have come from a very far away kingdom to seek answer to our misery. Oracle: I know your melancholy and indeed, you came to the right place. I have the answer to make you happy. King: Then tell us, great Seer, who is destined for our youngest daughter? Oracle: The virgin is destined for the bride of no mortal lover. Her future husband awaits her on the top of the mountain. He is a monster whom neither gods nor men can resist. (Queen, filled with horror, cried) (King looked very worried) Psyche: Oh Mother, Father, why do you lament me? You should have grieved when people called me Venus, a name I don’t deserve. This is a curse and I submit myself. Lead me to my unhappy fate that was destined for me. Narrator: After the preparations, the King and Queen lead Psyche to the mountains and left her there. Their travel was more like a funeral more than a nuptial. (When Psyche was all alone, she cried but then, the gentle Zephyr came and comforted her. Then, feeling tired, she fell asleep. When she woke up, she was in a very beautiful garden near a magnificent palace. She entered and found herself surrounded by golden structures, paintings, and carvings. She was so mesmerized. Then she heard voices.) Voice 1: Sovereign lady, all that you see is yours. We whose voices you hear are your servants and shall obey all your commands with our utmost care and diligence. Voice 2: Retire, therefore, to your chamber and repose on your bed of down, and when you see fit, repair to the bath. Supper awaits you in the adjoining alcove when it pleases you to take your seat there. (Psyche obeyed the voices and she found everything prepared, though she cannot see anyone but herself. Her ears too were feasted with music from invisible performers; of whom one sang, another played on the lute, and all closed in the wonderful harmony of a full chorus. She had not yet seen her destined husband. He came only in the hours of darkness and fled before the dawn of morning, but his accents were full of love, and inspired a like passion in her. She often begged him to stay and let her behold him, but he would not consent. On the contrary he charged her to make no attempt to see him, for it was his pleasure, for the best of reasons, to keep concealed.) Psyche: Are you leaving again? Please, won’t you stay longer here with me? I do want to see you. Is there any reason to hide your face? Cupid: Why is it that you wish me to stay? Just to see what I look like? Is my love not enough to make you doubt me? When you see me, perhaps you’d fear me, or maybe adore me. But all I need is your love. I would rather you would love me as an equal than adore me as a god.
Narrator: This reasoning somewhat quieted Psyche for a time, and while the novelty lasted she felt quite happy. But at length the thought of her parents, left in ignorance of her fate, and of her sisters, precluded from sharing with her the delights of her situation, preyed on her mind and made her begin to feel her palace as but a splendid prison. When her husband came one night, she told him her distress, and at last drew from him an unwilling consent that her sisters should be brought to see her. Psyche: I am really happy here with you but I want to see my family. Please, let my sisters come here. Cupid: This is a dangerous thing to do. You never know what might happen if you bring them here. Psyche: But they’re my sisters. I’m sure nothing bad would happen. Cupid: This is not about the being your sisters. Psyche: I know they love me. They won’t hurt me. Please, I beg you; I really want to see them. I miss them. Cupid: Very well then. If you insist, I’ll let you see them. (The sisters came and they embraced each other) Psyche: Come, enter my home and refresh yourselves. (The sisters were shocked at the beautiful place) (The sisters looked at each other. They were so jealous) Sister 1: So, where is your husband? Psyche: Uhh.. He went hunting. He only comes home at night. Sister 2: Really? So he is a hunter. Tell us a bit more about him. What does he look like? Psyche: There is not much to tell. Come, let’s just eat. Sister 1: (raises eyebrow) I’m sure you have so much to tell. You’ve been living with him for quite some time. Sister 2: Yes. I’m sure you’re happy with him. So tell us what you both do here. Psyche: Actually.. I haven’t seen my husband since I came here. He only comes home at night and leaves before dawn. Sister 2: What?! You don’t know what he looks like?! Psyche: Yes. He won’t allow me to see him. Sister 1: Of course he won’t! Because he’s a monster! Psyche: No! He’s very nice and he loves me. Sister 2: How can you say that he loves you when he won’t even let you see him? Sister 1: Yes! He is definitely hiding something. You have to know what that is before it’s too late. Sister 2: He might be a monster who’s trying to impress you then in the end, he’ll eat you. Psyche: What shall I do? Sister 1: Before he gets home, hide a lamp and a knife. Wait for him to fall asleep. Then light the lamp and see what he looks like. If he is a beast, don’t hesitate to cut his head.
(The sisters said their goodbyes and Psyche was left with wandering thoughts. She hesitated to follow what her sisters told her but she cannot deny her own curiosity so she hid a lamp and a knife. At sunset, her husband came. When he had fallen into his first sleep, she silently rose and uncovering her lamp beheld not a hideous monster, but the most beautiful and charming of the gods, with his golden ringlets wandering over his snowy neck and crimson cheek, with two dewy wings on his shoulders, whiter than snow, and with shining feathers like the tender blossoms of spring. As she leaned the lamp over to have a better view of his face, a drop of burning oil fell on the shoulder of the god. Startled, he opened his eyes and fixed them upon her. Then, without saying a word, he spread his white wings and flew out of the window. Psyche, in vain endeavoring to follow him, fell from the window to the ground. Cupid got near her.) Cupid: Oh my dear Psyche. Is this how you repay my love for you? To doubt it? I disobeyed my mother for you and now, you plan to cut off my head? Go, return to your sisters since their words are much more precious than mine. I inflict no other punishment on you than to leave you forever. Love cannot dwell with suspicion. (Cupid left) (Psyche looked around and the beautiful garden and big castle were gone. She cried and cried then went home.) Psyche: (crying) My husband left me. I doubted him. I thought he was a monster but alas! I should have trusted him. Sister 1: Tell me, sister. Who is this husband of yours that you cry so much for him? Psyche: Cupid. (continuous to cry. Sister 1 hugged her and looked at Sister 2 and they smiled at each other.) (Psyche slept. The two sisters talked to each other.) Sister 2: Let’s go get the treasures that we saw in her palace. Maybe we’ll see Cupid also. Sister 1: I hope so. We can have everything on our own. Maybe he’ll even choose one of us. (evil smile) (With this idea, without saying a word of her intentions, each of them rose early the next morning and ascended the mountain, and having reached the top, called upon Zephyr to receive her and bear her to his lord; then leaping up, and not being sustained by Zephyr, fell down the precipice and was dashed to pieces. Meanwhile, Psyche searched for her husband until she came across Ceres who helped her find her way.) Ceres: Oh Psyche, truly worthy of our pity, though I cannot shield you from the frowns of Venus, yet I can teach you how best to allay her displeasure. Go, then, and voluntarily surrender yourself to your lady and sovereign, and try by modesty and submission to win her forgiveness, and perhaps her favor will restore you the husband you have lost. (Psyche went to the temple of Venus.) Venus: My dear Psyche. So you have remembered that you have a mother-in-law? Or have you come to find your husband who is sick and wounded because of your ill-favored and disagreeable behavior? Psyche: Please. Let me see my husband. Venus: Huh! You are a shameless mortal! After what you did, you want to see him? You want him back? There is no other way but for you to prove that you are worth it. That is to show your diligence and industry. Psyche: I will do anything you ask me. (Venus ordered Psyche to be led to the storehouse of her temple, where was laid up a great quantity of wheat, barley, millet, vetches, beans, and lentils prepared for food for her pigeons.) Venus: Take and separate all these grains, putting all of the same kind in a parcel by themselves, and see that you get it done before evening.
(But Psyche, in a perfect consternation at the enormous work, sat stupid and silent, without moving a finger to the inextricable heap. While she sat despairing, Cupid stirred up the little ant, a native of the fields, to take compassion on her. The leader of the anthill, followed by whole hosts of his six-legged subjects, approached the heap, and with the utmost diligence taking grain by grain, they separated the pile, sorting each kind to its parcel; and when it was all done, they vanished out of sight in a moment. Venus at the approach of twilight returned from the banquet of the gods, breathing odors and crowned with roses.) Psyche: I finished everything my lady. Venus: This is no work of yours, wicked one, but his, whom to your own and his misfortune you have enticed. You shall eat nothing but this black piece of bread which is fit for a mortal like yourself! (The next morning) Venus: Not far from here is a river and on its banks are sheep without a shepherd. Go and get me their golden fleece. Narrator: Psyche almost drowned herself in the river because of her sorrow, but a reed spoke to her and suggested that she collect the golden pieces of fleece from the thorny briar that catches it. Psyche followed these instructions and returned a sizable quantity to Venus. Venus: (furious) I know very well it is by none of your own doings that you have succeeded in this task, and I am not satisfied yet that you have any capacity to make yourself useful. But I have another task for you. Here, take this box and go your way to the infernal shades, and give this box to Proserpine and say, 'My mistress Venus desires you to send her a little of your beauty, for in tending her sick son she has lost some of her own.' Be not too long on your errand, for I must paint myself with it to appear at the circle of the gods and goddesses this evening. (Psyche left. On her way, she heard a voice.) Voice: How unlucky you are to be ordered to go to the underworld. I came to help you. Go through this cave so that you won’t meet any danger on the way. But I warn you, when Proserpine returns the box to you, never ever look inside. (Psyche followed the cave) Proserpine: Who goes there? Psyche: My name is Psyche, wife of Cupid, the son of Venus. Proserpine: And what is it that you need from me? Psyche: My mistress Venus desires you to send her a little of your beauty, for in tending her sick son she has lost some of her own. (Proserpine gets the box then returns it. Psyche went to Venus.) Psyche: (looks at the box) I should get some of this beauty and put it on myself. That way, I will look more beautiful in the eyes of my husband. (Psyche opened the box) Narrator: She found nothing there of any beauty at all, but an infernal and truly Stygian sleep, which being thus set free from its prison, took possession of her, and she fell down in the midst of the road, a sleepy corpse without sense or motion. But Cupid, being now recovered from his wound, and not able longer to bear the absence of his beloved Psyche, slipping through the smallest crack of the window of his chamber which happened to be left open, flew to the spot where Psyche lay, and gathering up the sleep from her body closed it again in the box, and waked Psyche with a light touch of one of his arrows.
Cupid: Again, you perished because of your curiosity. Whatever shall I do with you? But this time, it was a task imposed by my mother. I shall take care of the rest. (Cupid went to Jupiter) Jupiter: What is it that you want from me? Cupid: If it is not too much to ask, I hope you can grant my prayer. My wife, Psyche, is a mortal. My mother would not approve of her. She sent my wife to do tasks that not an ordinary human could surpass. If you may, I beg you to convince my mother to make our marriage perpetual. Jupiter: I see your mother’s laments. The child is a mortal and you know that quite well. Cupid: That is actually the biggest favor that I ask from you. Jupiter: I see what you mean. I shall talk to your mother. (Cupid left) Jupiter: Your son came to me. Venus: And so I’ve heard. Jupiter: I trust you know the reason. Venus: If it’s about his marriage to that mortal, I say you could not convince me to approve it. Jupiter: I sent Mercury to fetch her. I have here the cup of ambrosia. Venus: If that’s the case, then I’d say yes. (Psyche came) Jupiter: Drink this, Psyche, and be immortal; nor shall Cupid ever break away from the knot in which he is tied, but these nuptials shall be perpetual. Narrator: Thus Psyche became at last united to Cupid, and in due time they had a daughter born to them whose name was Pleasure.