The Different Perspectives of Being Caught in Ovid’s Myth: Diana and Actaeon

The Different Perspectives of Being Caught in Ovid’s Myth: Diana and Actaeon

Length: 923 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses the myth of “Diana and Actaeon” is written using descriptive diction and symbolism. The symbolism creates ambiguity leading to many possible interpretations of the myth. One symbolic line is that shows the fear expressed by Actaeon and Diana is: “so deeply blushed Diana, caught unclothed” (Ovid, III, 188). Both Diana and Actaeon become caught figuratively and literally in the myth. Caught prey reacts instinctively and both Actaeon and Diana react likewise. By viewing the myth from Diana and Actaeon’s individual perspective they both experience mental anguish for being caught.
Diana presents the female perspective of the situation. To strengthen the male and female divide Ovid feminizes the water, and surrounds Diana with nymphs, feminizing the sacred grove. The females in the grove, Diana and the nymphs, feel violated by Actaeon’s presence. The nymphs try desperately: “clustered round Diana to clothe her body with their own”(183-4). Yet it was impossible for the nymphs to clothe Diana and so she was left exposed. This creates a series of strong negative emotions in Diana. First because she is a huntress who is now caught prey making Actaeon a better hunter. This enraged Diana who “so deeply blushed”(188) but it is further emphasized by the nymphs. The nymphs are equally gripped by rage “the nymphs beating their breast filled the grove/with sudden screams”(182-3). The nymphs are meant to reinforce Diana’s emotions. The rage is an instinctive reaction that is replaced with fear that leads to mental anguish for Diana.
Therefore the second emotion that grips Diana is fear because her chastity has been compromised. Since Actaeon has looked at her with her breast exposed and is able to relay the scene to ot...


... middle of paper ...


...e Diana’s emotions and in Actaeon’s perspective Ovid helps to reinforce Actaeon’s suffering. Ovid does this by using vivid diction, imagery and giving many details.
Very little is said from either Actaeon or Diana and so their mental anguish is illustrated through their actions. Both give reasons for their mental suffering placed in a position where they are unable to relieve their suffering themselves makes us sympathetic to both characters. By being sympathetic to both characters it is easier to see how there are two interpretations to the myth. The myth does have a happy ending, even though Actaeon dies at the end. Being caught created the inner suffering for both characters and at the end both are freed from their suffering by Actaeon’s death.






Works Cited
Ovid. Metamorphoses. Trans. A.D. Melville. New York: Oxford Univeristy Press 2008. Print.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Female Reader’s Perception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses Essay

- While Ovid’s female characters become physically and mentally enslaved in Metamorphosis, I will be arguing that a female reader of Ovid’s epic poem can empathise with her female counterparts, as she is frequently confronted with disturbing and problematic circumstances within Ovid’s text. The idea of entrapment therefore can be extended from character to reader. Whether reading the Metamorphoses for pleasure or for academic purposes , it can be argued that a modern female reader will in some way feel challenged by the themes Ovid presents to her – scenes of rape, male dominance and frequent victimisation of female characters....   [tags: Ovid, Metamorphoses]

Better Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about Examining Mumia's Guilt in White's 'Caught in the Crossfire'

- After more than 28 years, amidst the controversy surrounding Mumia's guilty conviction and later receipt of the death penalty, there are those who are not convinced. Many Mumia supporter and some advocating for abolition of the death penalty believe corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department, coupled with a flawed judicial system, backed by racist judges, have lead to a conspiracy to commit murder on the part of the State. Abu-Jamal Mumia, a well known journalist and community activist from Philadelphia has been on death row since 1983 for the shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981....   [tags: Caught in the Crossfire]

Better Essays
684 words (2 pages)

Foreshadowing and Duality in Ovid’s take on Spurned Love: The Vengeance For Vanity

- Ovid was a much respected Roman poet, who lived in the Augustan period, from 43 B.C to 17 or 18 A.D. He greatly influenced literature in the Antiquity period, the Middle Age, and even Modern periods of literature. He was enthralled by the themes of love and eroticism and therefore, he used it frequently in his poetry. Therefore, in much of the Metamorphoses, he explores themes of love lost, love betrayed and love rejected as popular themes. Unsurprisingly, the story of Echo and Narcissus presents a tale of love that is spurned....   [tags: narcissus, echo, ovid, matamorphoses]

Better Essays
1668 words (4.8 pages)

The Similarities and Differences Between Greek and Roman Literature of the Myth of the Abduction of Persephone/Proserpine

- In Ovid Metamorphoses, the Roman literature described the ruthless act of Pluto of rape, to seize and carry away Proserpine without the consent of Ceres and in parallel in the Homeric Hymns of Demeter; Persephone was seized and carried away by Hades without the consent of Demeter. The invariant theme that was identified in both the Greek and Roman literature was the loss of innocence of Persephone/Proserpine. Despite the various differences the story was presented, it reinforced the innocence that was stolen from the god of the underworld, Hades or also known as Pluto....   [tags: Roman Literature, Ovid Metamorphoses]

Better Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)

Analyzing Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay

- Analyzing Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses There are many differences in the behavior of the lover and the rapist characters of the Metamorphoses. " The standard markers of a love relationship include the initial 'love at first sight' scene, often followed by a personal elegy of the loved one's heightened qualities." (Chen) When one falls in love, everything about that person is wonderful and beautiful, including their inner being as well. The admirer uses frequent and excessive metaphors and compliments to describe the favorite: " He looks at Daphne's hair as,unadorned, it hangs down her fair neck, and says: "Just think,if she should comb her locks!" He sees her lips and never tries of them;...   [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]

Free Essays
429 words (1.2 pages)

Ovid's Metamorphoses Book II Essay

- Ovid's story of Erysichthon is told in the epic Metamorphoses at lines 738-878 in book 8. Erysichthon was a man who is guilty of a sacrilege involving the sacred grove of the goddess Ceres. The goddess punishes him by casting the dreadful Famine upon him, where she would hide and consume Erysichthon with a voracious hunger. This punishment for cutting down the sacred oak of Ceres is severe indeed, bringing misfortune not only to him, but upon his whole country. He even resorts to selling his own daughter for money to feed himself as a result of his ravenous desire for food....   [tags: Ovid]

Free Essays
1535 words (4.4 pages)

Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay

- 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)....   [tags: character analysis, ovid]

Better Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Comparing the Myth in Ovid’s Echo and Narcissus and Wilde’s Dorian Gray

- Contemporary Ancient Myth in Ovid’s Echo and Narcissus and Wilde’s Dorian Gray          Each time a story is told, elements of the original are often changed to suit new situations and current societies, or to offer a new perspective. Over the centuries, Ovid’s tale of "Echo and Narcissus" has been told many times to new audiences, and in the late nineteenth-century, it took the form of The Picture of Dorian Gray. "Echo and Narcissus" is the tale of a beautiful boy who fell in love with his reflection in a pond, and spurned others who loved him because he was so fixated upon himself....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Better Essays
3138 words (9 pages)

The Concept of Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay

- The Concept of Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses In Ovid's Metamorphoses, the concept of love seems to vary from character to character. In one case, a god in the form of a man desperately seeks a particular woman and refuses to relent until he has her. In another instance, a female goddess cares deeply for a man and goes to great lengths to protect him from danger. In yet another case, both who are arranged to be married seem indifferent about the matter. This anti-epic certainly does not follow the adventurous theme of the epic....   [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]

Free Essays
409 words (1.2 pages)

Transformations in Ovid's Metamorphosis Essay

- Transformations in Ovid's Metamorphosis Transformations from one shape or form into another are the central theme in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The popularity and timelessness of this work stems from the manner of story telling. Ovid takes stories relevant to his culture and time period, and weaves them together into one work with a connecting theme of transformation throughout. The thread of humor that runs through Metamorphoses is consistent with the satire and commentary of the work. The theme is presented in the opening lines of Metamorphoses, where the poet invokes the gods, who are responsible for the changes, to look favorably on his efforts to compose....   [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]

Better Essays
1371 words (3.9 pages)