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

Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay

1291 words - 5 pages

Change is inevitable in life, whether it’s for good or bad. Ovid makes us reflect about something as basic as change, which can alter dramatically our lives, as we know them. According to Lively’s context for Ovid, Ovid in each of his literary career effectively transformed the world of elegy, playfully modeling each and every character along with its personality. He began a new approach of work in which he would change characters into new shapes, a feature of his approach to poetry that would reappear in his most important piece of work, Metamorphoses (3). Ovid’s works of art are all written in Latin, making their translation hard to comprehend when trying to understand the meaning of his stories. Most of the motifs in Ovid’s metamorphoses are juxtapositions such as good and bad, and caring and selfish. Throughout the entire piece of work, we are able to see how Ovid pokes fun at love affairs of gods, enjoyment of personal pleasure and transitory nature of life which leads into the beginning of the story; the creation. Ovid characterizes gods as foolish creatures that are as immoral as they are irrational; gods who have no credit for anything in particular; but for their own unwitty arrangements.
Ovid’s artwork is very intriguing for various reasons; one of them being that he calls on gods for inspiration rather than muses. By calling on the entire god’s at the same time, he doesn’t leave much room for credit to any particular one. Lively states that “it is the gods, who are given the credit or perhaps the blame, for inspiring Ovid… The gods are directly responsible for inflicting numerous metamorphoses upon their mortal victims… occasionally as a punishment, but most often through anger, jealousy or lust” (10). Also, since Ovid wrote these books in Latin there is a lot of poetic style in his work such as, “Air overhangs them, heavier than fire by as much as water’s weight is lighter than Earth” (Kline 1: 52-88).
In the first book of creation, the narrator prays to the gods for inspiration, he lays out his theme, which is metamorphosis, and later on he states his intention to write a single continuous poem that will stretch from the origins of the world to his own day. Men were created from the divine seed. It was molded from earth and rainwater to give it a similar to that of the gods, thus men populated the earth. The first race was the golden age. They practiced spontaneous justice and lived without a recognized government and fed each other with the fruits that the field gave alone; they were not farmers, but they ate wild fruits. The second age, The Silver Age, was worse than gold but, better than the reddish bronze. Jupiter divided the year into four seasons. And for the first time men sought refuge in the caves. Ruthlessness men that lead to violent clashes between them characterized the Bronze Age. The last to appear was the Iron Age, with men predisposed to betrayal, deception, and sailors who sailed the seas. Later men of the...

Find Another Essay On Ovid's Metamorphoses

Ovid's Metamorphoses: The meaning of the myth of Arachne

1345 words - 5 pages ." InternationalJournal of Psychoanalysis 71(1990) 597-609. 15 Feb 2007.Harris, Stephen L., and Gloria Platzner. Classical Mythology. 4thed. California: McGraw Hill, 2004.Kline, A.S.. "Ovid- The Metamorphoses." Electronic Text Center.01 Nov 2000. University of Virginia. 15 Feb 2007.Luyster, Robert. "Symbolic Elements in the Cult of Athena."History of Religions Vol 5, No. 1(1965) 133-163. 15 Feb 2007 .Norwood, Frances. "Unity in the Diversity of Ovid's "Metamorphoses"."The Classical Journal Vol. 59, No. 4Jan 1964 170-174. 15 Feb 2007 .Philips, F. Carter. "Greek Myths and the Uses Of Myths." The ClassicalJournal Vol. 74, No. 2Jan 1979 155-166. 15 Feb 2007 .

The Character Differences of Hesiod's Zeus and ovid's Jupiter

1236 words - 5 pages ' characteristics of fearfulness of female deities, cunningness and use of trickery, and lust in Ovid's Metamorphoses compared to the Theogony are opposed due to Hesiod's true respect of Zeus versus Ovid's lack of respect of Jupiter in Roman mythology. The first difference in Ovid and Hesiod's writings of Jupiter and Zeus, is the god's position with the female deities. In mythology, Jupiter is all-powerful. However, Ovid portrays him as being

In the beginning

1050 words - 4 pages more plain, simple, and organized; not spending time on intricate detail. There seems to be no specific time frame for creation in Ovid's writing, whereas, the Bible states that it takes God six days to complete His creation; resting on the seventh. In Metamorphoses, the creation story is seven stanzas, a compilation of eighty lines. It takes Moses thirty- one verses of Old Testament history to complete his story of creation.There are a few

Ovid Metamorphoses Paper

830 words - 4 pages The phrase “I do” is common during many marriage ceremonies today, but what did earlier societies believe about love? In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, the point is clearly made that love can be controlled. In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick is tricked into loving Beatrice by Claudio and Don Pedro. This is very similar to Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which love is triggered by Cupid inflicting his love, or lack thereof, on both people and

Promoting Morality in the Aeneid and Metamorphoses

1653 words - 7 pages the conflicted Rome of Virgil's youth, Ovid's Metamorphoses lacks the patriotic undertones of Virgil's epic. Instead, Ovid's lighthearted Metamorphoses depicts several mythical stories - some not unlike the etiological justifications found in the early Hebrew scriptures - which chronicle the transitory nature of life and its effect on society. When Augustus defeated Marc Antony at Actium and began the first acts in his rule of what would be one

The Flood Stories: The Validity Debate Continues

2325 words - 9 pages beginning of mankind. For example, the Bible states that it takes the Hebrew God six days to complete his creation while there is no specific time frame for creation in Ovid's writing of the flood. The Old Testament's description of the completion of creation takes thirty-one verses of Hebrew monotheism, while the Book of Metamorphoses intricately details the creation story in seven stanzas, a poetic compilation of eighty lines (The Norton Anthology


733 words - 3 pages Pygmalion was, in Greek legend, the King of Cyprus who fell in love with a beautiful ivory statue, Galatea. The more he looks upon her, the more deeply he falls in love with her, until he wishes that she were more than a statue. Taking pity on him the goddess Aphrodite blew life into the statue and made it come alive as a beautiful woman. The Pygmalion story written by George Bernard Shaw derives from the famous myth by Ovid's Metamorphoses, in

Aether or

718 words - 3 pages Anwar GarvinAncient Myth - Paper 1Theogony was published in 700 BC, Metamorphoses 8 AD and in this relatively short period of time, pious people significantly decreased the phantasmagoria surrounding God(s). It is remarkable that even though the pioneers of modern cosmology had not appeared until the 16th century, Ovid, inadvertently, by believing that God(s) showed a direct, beneficial Providence, prophesied the modern idea of the origin of the

A Comparison of the Divine in Gilgamesh, the Old Testament of the Bible, and Metamorphoses

1164 words - 5 pages God (87). Other aspects seen in Gilgamesh that are similar to the Old Testament are the story of the flood (41-44, 55-58) in addition to the theme of exploring "the complex and perilous relations between gods and mortals and between nature and civilization" (18).   While Ovid's Metamorphoses is a humorous critique and symbolical allegory of the Greek and Roman gods, the epic is still a good example of the belief system Greco-Romans had of

The Rape of Proserpina and Eve's Fall in Milton's Paradise Lost

3785 words - 15 pages the Proserpina myth in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which Dis ravishes Proserpina and carries her off to be his queen in the underworld. Ovid begins: Haud procul Hennaeis lacus est a moenibus altae,nomine Pergus, aquae; [. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ] perpetuum ver est. Quo dum Proserpina luco ludit et aut violas aut candida lilia carpit, dumque puellari studio calathosque sinumque inplet et aequales certat superare legendo, paene

Compare and Contrast the Portrayal of the Gods in Virgil's Aeneid and Metamorphoses

2419 words - 10 pages COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE PORTRAYAL OF THE GODS IN VIRGIL'S AENEID AND OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. There is a significant difference in the treatment of the gods in the Aeneid and the Metamorphoses, even though both authors were writing in the epic tradition. Virgil wrote his Aeneid in the last ten years of his life, between 29BC and 19BC, after the Battle of Actium, in 31BC, which was significant, as it established Octavian as the sole

Similar Essays

Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay

1621 words - 6 pages point was not whether Jesus had been good or bad, but that he had never existed as an individual, and that all the stories about him were mere inventions, simple myths." (p. 5) Here is the problem of revisionist tendencies in written works that we have already seen in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In this case, the author, Ivan, begins with no knowledge of the history or theology, in short the entire significance, that surrounds Jesus. His poem therefore

Jealousy And Desire In Ovid's Metamorphoses

907 words - 4 pages Jealousy and Desire in Ovid's Metamorphoses      Passionate lust is a blinding force. When jealousy and desire control actions, the outcome is never what it is envisioned to be. Ovid's Metamorphoses provides an clear example of love turned terribly wrong. Throughout the novel, overwhelming desire controls actions and emotions, leaving behind sadness and grief wherever it strikes. With this kind of love, nobody gets what he or she

Ovid's Devaluation Of Sympathy In Metamorphoses

1831 words - 7 pages Ovid's Devaluation of Sympathy in Metamorphoses         Ovid reveals two similar tales of incest in the Metamorphoses. First, he describes the non-sisterly love Byblis acquires for her twin brother Caunus. Later, he revisits the incestuous love theme with the story of Myrrha who develops a non-filial love for her father, Cinyras. The two accounts hold many similarities and elicit varying reactions. Ovid constantly tugs at our emotions and

Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay

805 words - 4 pages Peter Paul Rubens’ painting depicts a situation involving survival of the fittest. In this battle Meleager, a human is having difficulty defeating the robust Calydonian Boar. He displays the contrast between the two resilient forces through his use of light and dark shades, alternating them throughout the painting. To portray a battle between good and evil, Rubens gave the boar’s territory a dark, gloomy essence. Thus, to contrast the malicious