Forewarning: I often make bad jokes and puns.
Greek Mythology Challenge
Day 7 - Pair of Lovers
Pygmalion and Galatea
Pygmalion was an expert sculptor who vowed to remain a bachelor. The reason why is probably unknown, some say he was disgusted by prostitutes he saw once, others say he was just disgusted by women in general.
Either way he was married to his work and one day he made a woman out of ivory. Normally, this wouldn’t have phased him, but for some reason this statue was extraordinarily beautiful. Far more beautiful than any woman of flesh he had seen. And slowly, with each chisel, Pygmalion felt himself falling in love with his creation. He brought her gifts, talked to her, and brought her clothing, all the while knowing that his love can never be returned.
The Festival of Aphrodite was going on around this time and Pygmalion went to her temple to celebrate and give his thanks. Aphrodite saw him and took pity on the man and gave him a sign in the form of three bursts of fire.
Pygmalion went home, confused by what he saw but ignored it and went to lavish affection on his statue. But, something was…different. She felt warm and soft and she glowed. Finally he realized what the burst of flames meant. Aphrodite heard his prayers and granted them, she gave his creation life and given her the name Galatea.
These lovers were given Aphrodite’s blessing to marry and had a son named Paphos, which is a city in Cyrus that was sacred to Aphrodite. The couple never forgot who made their love possible and brought her offerings throughout their life, and she never stopped blessing them with happiness and love.
Ok so I just have to say how much I love this myth! Not only is it nearly every artist’s dream to have their work of art come to life but also because of how sweet and simple it is.
Aphrodite is known for being cruel to people who’s wishes she grants, but in this one myth she allows Pygmalion to have his wish, no strings attached. Why she did that, is open to interpretation but I believe it is because Pygmalion suffered enough. He fell in love with something that could never return his love. And that is one of the worst kinds of suffering. And for her to just give him his love, reminds the readers that despite her temper and acts, she is still the Goddess of Love.