“The Frog King” by the Brothers Grimm and “Cupid and Psyche” by Lucious Apuleius are two pieces of literature that tell opposite tales. Several similarities can be found among the many differences between the fairy tale and the Greek myth.
The difference between the two stories is their type of literature. “The Frog King” is a fairy tale which is sort, has a lack of detail, and is action-based. “Cupid and Psyche” is a Greek myth which is longer and involves much more detail and involves the Greek gods and goddesses. The princess in “Cupid and Psyche” is given a name along with a majority of the other characters whereas in the fairytale, no character is given a name. The story line of each tale is different, but when you read between the lines, you can see the similarity between them.
One similarity between both stories is that of the princess. The princess is the most beautiful daughter of the king and queen. In “The Frog King”, the princess “was so beautiful that the sun itself, which had seen so many things, was always filled with amazement each time it cast its rays upon her face,”(Grimm, 2). In “Cupid and Psyche”, the beauty of the princess “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,” (Apuleius par. 1).
A common motif in both tales is the number three. The king and queen both have three daughters. Each princess must also accomplish three things in order to receive her prince. Venus challenges Psyche to do three things: separate all the grains she has been given by evening, collect wool from the back of every sheep in the herd, and deliver and box and message to Proserpine. In “The Frog King”, the princess is ordered by the frog to lift him up to the chair next to her, eat with the frog, and sleep with him.
Another common element is the concept of the beast. The princesses are destined to be companions with beasts. Psyche’s fate is to be married to a “monster”. The Grimm’s princess is to be a companion of the frog who retrieved her beloved golden ball. Their inner beasts come out as well. Psyche’s comes out after she receives advice from her sisters who tell her to kill her husband with a knife if her truly is a monster. The other princess’s inner beast is shown when she refuses to care for the frog and throws him against the wall. They overcome their dark side and marry their “beasts”.
“The Frog King” and “Cupid and Psyche” are two very different tales, but share commonalities. While reading stories, it is important to look deeper and in between the lines in order to understand their lessons and symbols to get a better perception of them. Even though these two tales are different in terms of the story line, they share the theme of beauty and beast as well as symbolic meaning.
Apuleius, Lucius. “Cupid and Psyche.” Cupid and Psyche. N.p., 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.
Grimm, Jacob, Wilhelm Grimm, Jack Zipes, and Johnny Gruelle. “The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich.” The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. New York: Bantam, 2003. 2-5. Print.