Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Pygmalion and Galatea
Originally Greek,but Ovid tells it too.
The story has the same ending, but its told slightly differently. In Robert Graves' Mythology Vol I myth 65, basically Pygmalion fell in love with Aphrodite (Greek Goddess of love) but she wouldn't have him. So instead, he created a woman that looked exactly like Aphrodite and Aphrodite brought it to life as Galatea.
Together they married and had a son and a daughter; Paphus and Metharme. Paphus is the father of Cinyras who founded the Cyprian city of Paphos and built a temple dedicated to Aphrodite.
In Edith Hamilton's version, Pygmalion was a sculptor who abhorred all women and vowed never to marry anyone. However, despite his hatred, he created an exquisite statue of the "perfect" woman. He isn't satisfied and soon he fell in love with his own creation, pining and unhappy.
He bought gifts, clothes, trinkets for her, often dreaming of her thanking him. He took her to bed with him like a child, and often caressed the statue. Venus, the goddess of love, has heard of his plight and became amused by him.
Soon, one of her festivals came up and Pygmalion came up and asked her to help him meet a woman as beautiful as the one he created. Venus consensted and as soon as he came home, he started touching his creation and felt her come alive.
When they married, Venus graced their wedding with her presence. He named the maiden Galatea and very soon the two had a son named Paphos who gave his name to Venus's favorite city.
I thought it was a sweet myth, but this is perhaps a well known one when a man tries to make a woman the way he wants her to be, hence Pygmalion and Galatea.
Romeo and Juliet qualities:
Honestly speaking it doesn't have Romeo and Juliet type qualities in my opinion, except maybe love and the fact that a woman isn't her own person so to speak.