Analysis of the Structure of Book 10 in Ovid’s Metamorphoses Essay

Analysis of the Structure of Book 10 in Ovid’s Metamorphoses Essay

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Ovid’s Metamorphoses sees a case of links throughout the books and his work as a whole. Book ten is no different to this and the structure of book ten relies on the same idea of links throughout the text. The links can parallels in characters and their situations both from within the book and interaction elsewhere in the stories. We can also compare the thematic links like love, madness and betrayal in the story. But the biggest link throughout the texts is the transformations themselves which do have an effect on the structure of book ten as a whole.
One key idea in the books that Ovid explores in great detail throughout book 10 is the idea of love, both tragic and the madness of it. Orpheus is the secondary narrator of most of book 10. At the beginning of the book we are introduced to the tragic love of Orpheus and Eurydice, the result being Orpheus losing his love to the underworld for a second time after a failed attempt to get her back. As a result most of the stories Orpheus tells are of tragic love, like his and his doomed love Eurydice’s. The effect is that the stories of book ten have a structural link in the love theme. We see the lovers of Apollo suffer a similar fates as well as Myrrha and Adonis. All of these stories are linked by love that can be described as tragic as it results in someone’s transformation or downfall. However the love can be presented in another light as well. The love Ovid also explores is worrying or mad love. The love is Ate or madness in the hubris cycle in Greek literature. The love causes many negative things to happen. This is explored in great detail with Myrrha and her love for her father. The love is madness and is presented as an illness that resorts in her breaking the norms of society...


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...ch the links of the stories to form a key part of the structure of book ten.
Overall book ten has many links throughout the book and the structure of book ten relies on them to work. Many are theme based that within them are complex and debatable such as the nature of love and whether it is tragic or maddening. How focalisation can change our understanding and representation of a characters situation. How obsession affects the characters and our perception of the text as a whole. As well as the transformation both physically brought on and emotionally in the transformation of the kinds of love. These factors all influence the structure of book ten and how that affects our reading of the book overall. And as a result without them the structure of book ten would suffer.



Works Cited


Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans David Raeburn (2004) Penguin Classics, London. Book 10

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