|Cupid and Psyche|
|The Tiger's Bride|
“Cupid and Psyche” and “The Tiger’s Bride” are stories written at very different times and while there are some differences the similarities of both stories outweigh the differences. Both stories follow the same outline of all the other Beauty and the Beast themed stories we read. In all of the stories a person, usually the woman or girl, meets the beast, falls in love with the beast, and spends the rest of her life with him.
These two stories are similar because both Psyche and Bride willingly sacrifice themselves to the unknown beast. While Psyche seems more willing to accept her fate to be delivered to the beast for the good of her family and only because she does not have any other marriage prospects, Bride seems angered at her fate and especially her father who has lost her to the beast. Though their reasons for meeting the beast are different, it does not change the fact that both accept their fate to continue their lives with the beast and away from their families. Also both are obedient to their parents.
Both stories also deal with the women’s fear of the unknown and mystery of the beast though in slightly different ways. Psyche is warned by her sisters that her husband is supposedly a beast which leads to her taking a closer look at him at night despite his warning that she should not do so. In the other story, Bride remembers her nurse maid telling her to be cautious of beasts because they will “gobble you up”. Overall Bride seems less frightened and more active and head strong than Psyche who lets others help her with her tasks rather than challenging the beast to strip first.
On another note, both stories have an element of magic. “Cupid and Psyche” has the interchange between the divine and mortal world as well as Psyche’s travel to the mountain and her life there. In the story of “The Tiger’s Bride” there is the fact that the beast is a tiger-man, the look-a-like doll of Bride, and her transformation by licking of the tiger.
All these common themes as well as the fact that both Psyche and Bride are praised as being very beautiful women, which for Psyche was the cause of her bad fortune, make it possible for them to be viewed together and characterized as a Beauty and the Beast type of story.