Essay on Comparison: The Hymn to Demeter & Ovid's Metamorphosis

Essay on Comparison: The Hymn to Demeter & Ovid's Metamorphosis

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The depiction of the Greek and roman myths are given unique insights from different authors. The Hymn to Demeter and Ovid's Metamorphosis provide and insight to Demeter's love for her daughter, Persephone, and explores its affect on the surrounding environments. The theme of separation and isolation is present in both of these myths, however, in Ovid's Metamorphosis, he symbolizes the environment in important events, has characters playing different roles, and empowers female deities.
In the Hymn to Demeter, the rape of Persephone starts with her picking flowers and she comes across the hundred headed narcissus which "Gaia made grow as a trick for the blushing maiden" (HHDem. 8-9). This trick is set into motion by Zeus, but since Gaia plays the role of protecting the youngest generation, this is a foreshadowing that Persephone's ordeal will be for a good cause. Hades moves in to take Persephone when the grounds gapes open and she begins to cry aloud. Demeter hears her daughters screams but she is powerless against Hades, hence the separation of distance between them. The grief stricken Demeter goes through an experience which plays out the role of a symbolic death. this is because the relationship between the mother and daughter ends at a wedding.
Demeter shows the theme of isolation when she disguises herself as an old woman of no childbearing and lives among the mortals, shunning herself from the gods and turning her grief into anger against Zeus. So when she arrives at Elusis, she take upon the duty of raising the child of Keleus and Meraneria, Demophoön. The part of the myth show Demeter's anger when she attempts to make Demophoön into a god. It symbolizes the fact the she is replacing a female child with a males, meaning...

... middle of paper ...

... challenged by the Pierides, to Minerva. The story is told by a woman to a goddess, about another goddess. So the reason for Ovid's empowerment of women may be for Calliope to satisfy a great, powerful audience, the Pierides and Minerva.
Briefly speaking, the Hymn to Demeter is similar in playing out the theme of separation and isolation by depicting Persephone picking flowers in and isolated space. In Ovid's version, the empowerment of women plays an important role by the story being told by a woman, Venus being the mastermind, and Ceres being a strong confident woman and taking swift action. Also, the roles of the gods are switched with the nymphs, and the symbolist use of the environment is seen in the abduction of Proserpine.

Works Cited

Homer. The Homeric Hymns. Newburyport: R. Pullins, 1995. Print.
Ovid. Metamorphosis. St Ives Plc: Clays, 1986. Print.

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