This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Metaphysics Of Ovid And Dante Essay

999 words - 4 pages

Ovid wrote the Metamorphoses nearly two thousand years ago and Dante wrote Purgatorio 1600 years after that - two pieces of literature that dealt with topics which transcend humanity's perceived reality. Each piece of literature attempts to arrive at a truth concerning the essence of human existence, Dante seeks answers within the confines of Catholic dogma while Ovid approaches existence from a paganistic perspective. This demonstrates two very different approaches to the same exact query. Mankind has questioned the existence of a metaphysical realm for generations and consequently shapes the nature of the supernatural world.

The complex pagan religious system of the Romans mirrored that of the Greeks, but what Ovid sought to create was a solid (nearly Bible-like) account of the formation of the world and the source of the multifarious gods. Essentially, Ovid is seeking to rationalize and dogmatize the dozens of deities. Ovid believed that the relationship between the gods and man was reciprocal; they depended on each other for existence:

Many are loud in favour of Jove's speech / And spur his anger; many give quiet assent; / But all deplore the loss of humankind, / And ask what would the future be like / Bereft of mortals? Who would cense their shrines? / Can Jove intend to abandon earth's domain / To the brute beasts to ravage and despoil? (Ovid, 8)

Without humanity, there is no one to worship the gods and likewise without the gods the "brute beasts" would "ravage and despoil" the earth. The physical world, then, is dependant on the supernatural world.

Clearly, there is a distinction between the world of the Roman gods and the world that everyday people live in. Man, according to Ovid, has experienced a gold, silver, bronze and iron age while the gods looked on, not intervening:

So in the marble council-chamber sat / The gods; and Jupiter above them throned (Ovid, 6)

It was not until this moment when Jupiter directly intervened in the world and sent a flood to destroy all of mankind. The two survivors of this flood, Deucalion and Pyrrha, then spawn the rest of humanity.

Jupiter and Neptune eliminated all of mankind because they did not actively worship the gods or remain true to the laws of the gods. Ovid advocates the active participation of the gods in the physical world; so, at this point the supernatural and the physical become intertwined. The Roman gods and humans have a definite connection to one another. They are very similar in making and reacting to situations, however, they still retain a quite different nature as the gods are immortal and humanity is mortal. In fact, the gods actively participate in the occurrences on earth and thusly help to explain natural phenomena.

Dante Alighieri, on the other hand, takes separating the supernatural world from the physical world to great lengths. Simply the setting of the book in a place which does not physically exist anywhere on earth, but...

Find Another Essay On Metaphysics of Ovid and Dante

Analyzing Dante and Machiavelli´s Characteristics of a Good Leader

2115 words - 8 pages Dante and Machiavelli were both writers who felt that society and leaders were greatly mislead in their approach of operating the state. Yet even they had very contrasting beliefs in their view of what was ideal for a society to function properly. Machiavelli judges religious or political leaders is based there’s ability to maintain order and unity, regardless of whether one or not need these leaders put there morality and ethics aside for this

All Roads lead to Rome, and Rome to Virgil and Ovid: A Comparative Essay of Two Great Roman Poets

2618 words - 10 pages Love and loss, duty and romance, the foundation of a country and the myths that changed it, there are two great poets that come to mind when one thinks of Rome, each as similar as they were different: Virgil and Ovid. Virgil was more serious in his works and creator of Rome's epic. Ovid seemed more joking in his words, and was much a comic as a romantic. The two were different, yet found inspiration in the myths that clouded Rome's culture and

Dante and Virgil: The Influence of the Aeneid on the Divine Comedy

1018 words - 5 pages Virgil is not only an influence on Dante as a character of Dante's fashioning and in terms of the poem, but he is also (perhaps more importantly) an incredible inspiration to Dante as a fellow poet. It seems clear that there are many similarities between the Aeneid and the Divine Comedy - what at first glance may seem indefinite is the importance of those similarities. Virgil's Aeneid is intimately intertwined with Dante's Divine Comedy in the

Dante Alighieri importance in literature and how did his work reflected "the spirit of the Renaissance"

728 words - 3 pages Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 in Florence, Italy, to a family of moderate wealth that was involved in the complex Florentine political scene. Around 1285, Dante married a woman chosen for him by his family. Despite this, he remained in love with another woman named Beatrice, and continued to yearn for her even after her sudden death in 1290. Three years later, he published Vita Nuova (The New Life), which describes his tragic love for

Divine Comedy - Dante and Virgil's Relationship in Canto XIV of Dante’s Inferno

842 words - 3 pages Dante and Virgil's Relationship in Canto XIV of Dante’s Inferno In Canto XIV of Dante’s Inferno, Virgil describes the statue of the Old Man of Crete. Dante uses the Old Man of Crete as a metaphor for Virgil’s legacy in order to elucidate the nature of Dante’s and Virgil’s relationship. In the beginning of the metaphor, Dante carefully and methodically illustrates the grandeur of the Greek empire and Roman civilization. "[Mount Ida] was

This essay compares the writing of Dante Alighieri Giovanni Boccaccio and, Francesco Petrarca

2165 words - 9 pages The Renaissance period is an era to be remembered for a variety of reasons, including the production of great literary pieces of work. Many famous writers became prominent during this period. Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarch, and Giovanni Boccaccio are a few good examples of these types of writers. All three of them shared the same views in respect to how "life is a journey". However, each individual expressed theirs views differently. All

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami, 100 Years of Solitude, by Macondo, and Inferno, by Dante Alighieri

1160 words - 5 pages the other hand, Inferno by Dante Alighierdo does resort to more magically realistic traits that Woods describes.
 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami certainly exemplifies irrefutable qualities of magical realism, the author raises more questions than answers and certain parts the ambience of the book show magical realism. Yet the fact that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle does take place in a real city, tells of the exact dates (insert dates

Philosophy Metaphysics Essay: Distinguish between the doctrines of fatalism and determinism; can one be a fatalist without being a determinist and vice versa?

1031 words - 4 pages When it comes to the philosophy of metaphysics, the doctrines of fatalism and determinism are both closely related doctrines questioning the certainty of events and the existence of free will. Due to the two doctrines being so closely related, there is often confusion as to whether the two overlap and whether one can be a fatalist without being a determinist and more importantly if a determinist can possibly avoid being a fatalist; where I agree

Iliad’s dilemmas with the definition of Piety

1306 words - 6 pages across Charon while he was crossing the first river to get into hell. Finally, in Canto four when Dante meets the great poets of all time including Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, who helped him to enter the Citadel of Human Reason in the first circle of hell. In Canto two, during a conversation between Dante and Virgil, it is revealed that Beatrice is the one that sent Virgil to help Dante through hell. This example shows that Minos warning was

A Love Mentality

920 words - 4 pages depravity. Ovid’s Metamorphoses demonstrates a physical description of love and desire, and promotes this representation of lustful and passionate love to its readers, whereas Dante’s Inferno portrays desire, passion, and infatuation as immoral and debased, and points readers in the direction of a more spiritual and thoughtful form of love intended for God alone. In the divine comedies written by Ovid and Dante, they create worlds that revolve

Sympathy for the Sinners

883 words - 4 pages the Virtuous Pagans, here recedes the great poets Homer, Ovid, Lucan, and Horace, who not only greet Dante but sees him as one of their own. In the second circle of hell (Lustful) we see Dante sympathy towards the damned, as he listens to Francesca’s story of adultery “And all the while one of the two spirits spoke these words, the other wept, in such a way that pity blurred my senses; I swooned as though to die, and fell to Hell’s floor

Similar Essays

The Characterization Of Medea In Euripides And Ovid

1560 words - 6 pages The Medea by Euripides, Heroides XII: Medea to Jason by OvidBoth Fifth century B.C. playwright Euripides and Roman poet and dramatist Ovid tell the story of Jason ditching Medea for another woman; however, they do not always share a perspective on the female matron's traits, behavior, and purpose. Euripides portrays a woman who reacts to injustice by beginning a crusade to avenge all who harmed her which she is prepared to see through even if it

Metaphysics Comparison Of Aristotle And Aquinas

2588 words - 11 pages In human history there has been a great deal of people who have devoted their lives seeking answers to questions that bring logic to our world. These questions are outside of our physical realm and often difficult to comprehend; theories to these questions are categorized under a branch of philosophy called metaphysics. The founding father of this branch, Aristotle, was born in 384 BCE in northern Greece. His works have changed the way a lot of

A Brief Survey Of Presocratic And Platonic Metaphysics

1663 words - 7 pages Stepping in the Same River Twice:The Metaphysics of Plato and the PresocraticsHe who cannot draw on three thousand yearsis living hand to mouth- GoetheThe SS Sardine is a fine, sea-going vessel. Its owner however, is quite bent on wanting an entirely new boat. Instead of investing the money into buying a whole boat, she figures that she will simply transform the Sardine into a new boat herself. For a period of twelve months, the owner replaces

Dante And Montaigne: The Epitomes Of Their Time Periods

1271 words - 5 pages During the middle Ages and the Renaissance there were two magnificent writers who demonstrated epitomic belief and thought of their eras. One brilliant writer, Dante Alighieri, wrote the Divine Comedy during the Medieval Ages. During the Renaissance period Michel de Montaigne wrote the Essays. Montaigne is thought to have made the modern day essay. Although, these two different writes wrote in two completely different time periods, their pieces