Analyzing Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses

Analyzing Love in Ovid's Metamorphoses

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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; her fingers' hands' and wrists are unsurpassed; her arms-more than half-bare- cannot be matched; whatever he can't see he can imagine." (Ovid p.900)

Daphnes 'unadorned' hair already enchants Apollo, and dreaming it all made up would simply be breathtaking. " Certainly, the next detail, that Daphne's eyes sparkle like stars,clues us into the fact that Apollo is in love.

The difference between love and lust, however, is that to the one in love, that person is truly beautiful both physically and on the inside, but the to the one that is lustful, that person is just a mere sex object. For example, in the myth of Io and Jove, Jupiter never comments about Io's beauty, but only that she would make some lucky male happy in bed.

" Another defining attribute among many of Ovid's love-struck protagonists is their loss of rational control,as believably characteristic of a person in the heights of love." (Chen) For example, while Dapne is fleeing from him, Apollo asks her to slow down before she hurts herself. He even suggest that he will slow down too, so that she doesn't need to go so fast. But when she doesn't, all he does is speed up.

In trying to talked to the loved one, the shunned lover uses any rhetoric available, whether rational or irrational, because often the lover is so overtaked by love that reason fails him. "Such irrationalities in thought lead to special pleading, inconsistency in bargaining, and ultimately failure to convince the adored one.

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Related Searches

" ( Chen) In the end, Apollo his so love sick that when Daphne is trying to run away from him, he doesn't understand that it is because she does not love him.

Sources Cited

Chen, Jenny. "On love and the gender of Daphne's voice in Ovid's Metamorphoses." Logos Journal. Boston University. http://www.logosjournal.net/papers/chen_2002.html

Ovid. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpeices. Ed. Sarah Lawall. : W W Norton and Company, 1999. p.900.
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