The figure of Eros in Greek mythology: representations and role

In Greek mythology, Eros is the god of love and sexuality. He is often depicted as a winged young man, armed with bow and arrow to arouse passions and desires. But beyond his physical appearance, Eros occupies an important place in mythology and in the history of love relationships. In this article, we'll explore the different roles and representations of Eros in Greek mythology, as well as his interpretations in Greek philosophy, Christian theology and psychoanalysis.

Representations of Eros

Eros is often depicted as a naked young man, with wings and a quiver full of arrows. His arrows are sometimes separated into two categories: those that inspire love and those that inspire desire. In some representations, Eros is also accompanied by one or two people, either Psyche (his wife) or his mother Aphrodite.

The role of Eros in love relationships

In Greek mythology, Eros is best known for his role in love stories and relationships between the gods. He is often the trigger of amorous passions, using his arrows to arouse desire in the hearts of his targets. For example, in the story of Psyche and Eros, Eros is the instigator of the love between the two characters, even if their love story is tumultuous and fraught with pitfalls.

Beyond mythological stories, Eros also plays an important role in human love relationships. In modern society, the idea of a passion for love such as that aroused by Eros is ever present. We often seek to be overwhelmed by our emotions and passions, to feel transported into a state of bliss or intense happiness.

Different interpretations of Eros

In Greek philosophy, Eros was often seen as the force uniting human beings and the gods. It was considered the driving force behind all human desires and passions . Greek philosophers such as Plato often used Eros as a symbol of love and beauty.

Eros is also present in Christian theology. However, the conception of love in Christianity is different from that of Greek mythology. Passionate love is seen as an impulsive and human impulse, to be overcome in favor of a deeper, more ethical love. Thus, Eros is replaced by agape, i.e., selfless, unconditional love .

Finally, in psychoanalysis, Eros is considered one of the forces of the human soul. It is associated with the life instinct, love and desire. According to Freud, Eros is often in conflict with its opposite force, Thanatos, which is associated with the death instinct.


Throughout history, the figure of Eros has evolved and been interpreted in different ways. But one thing is certain: Eros remains an important figure in Greek mythology and in our modern culture. Through his iconic representations and his role in love stories, Eros invites us to explore our deepest desires and passions. Beyond all this, Eros gives us permission to love ourselves and others unconditionally, whether in our personal relationships or in our relationships on a larger scale.