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