The Eros and Psyche myth has, over the course of the twentieth century, received nearly as much attention from depth psychologists as has the Oedipus story. In their attempt to better understand this popular story, scholars have proposed various interpretations, which have generally followed eithether Freudian or Jungian theories about the nature of the psyche and its development.
This elaborate work provides serious students of psychology, religion and mythology with a detailed account and analysis of what has been accomplished in the spychological interpretation of the Eros and Psyche myth to date. It emphasizes how psychological theory determines the direction of interpretation much more than does the literary context of the myth itself. It also examines the strengths and weaknesses of these psychological interpretations (five Freudian and six Jungian) of the Eros and Psyche myth in order to lay the groundwork for an interpretation which (1) avoids the rigidity of both Freudian and Jungian dogma and (2) restores the myth to its rightful literary and religious context — something which has been ignored by most psychological interpretations.
``Gollnick has collated and made accessible a large number of interpretations of an important myth. This in itself is an invaluable service in respect to Freudian material which is out of print.... Second, this study opens the way to other comparative studies of psychodynamic interpretations of myth.... Finally, Gollnick's comparative study of the Psyche and Eros myth demonstrates the value of the contemporary psychological study of myth.''