Trapped by Apollo's unwanted advances, Daphne prays to her father, the river god Peneus, who turns her into a laurel, the tree sacred to Apollo.
It is the first of several unsuccessful or tragic love affairs for Apollo.
A variation is found in The Kingis Quair, a 15th-century poem attributed to James I of Scotland, in which Cupid has three arrows: gold, for a gentle "smiting" that is easily cured; the more compelling silver; and steel, for a love-wound that never heals.
complaining that so small a creature shouldn't cause such painful wounds.
The multiple Cupids frolicking in art are the decorative manifestation of these proliferating loves and desires.
During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire.His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart." These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville (d. Cupid is also sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary.As described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1590s): Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is shown drawing his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day.The Romans reinterpreted myths and concepts pertaining to the Greek Eros for Cupid in their own literature and art, and medieval and Renaissance mythographers conflate the two freely.Cupid continued to be a popular figure in the Middle Ages, when under Christian influence he often had a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love.In the Renaissance, a renewed interest in classical philosophy endowed him with complex allegorical meanings.Venus laughs, and points out the poetic justice: he too is small, and yet delivers the sting of love.The story was first told about Eros in the Idylls of Theocritus (3rd century BC). The untiring deceiver concocted another battle-plan: he lurked beneath the carnations and roses and when a maiden came to pick them, he flew out as a bee and stung her.Cicero, however, says that there were three Cupids, as well as three Venuses: the first Cupid was the son of Mercury and Diana, the second of Mercury and the second Venus, and the third of Mars and the third Venus.This last Cupid was the equivalent of Anteros, "Counter-Love," one of the Erotes, the gods who embody aspects of love.