Essay PreviewMore ↓
Ovid's Metamorphoses is an example of chaos versus order. I think that is what makes it hard to follow. There is just so much chaos moving from one book to another with barely a transition. I think what the anti-epic is trying to show is that everyone has flaws.
In the beginning of time a flood changed the earth. The earth was made pure and two by two it began to prosper and grow again. This was chaos followed by order. The poem continues with Cupid being angry with Apollo and shooting him with his arrow. Apollo sees the beautiful Daphne and begins to chase her. This was the human instinct of desire and the power of love. She pleads with her father to change her form and help her to escape. She is changed into a laurel tree, but that does not stop Apollo from claiming her as his property. Apollo's son Phaethon drives the chariot of the sun and spins out of control, another example of chaos.
"Book One of Ovid's Metamorphoses establishes the book's theme of metamorphoses with a tale of creation that progresses into human stories leading to the current breed of man. The creation piece is followed by a flood story and a discussion of the ages of mankind. The ages of mankind - gold, silver, bronze, and iron - describe man's slow progression from a good, wholesome society into a miserable, self-destructive one. The next stories concern tales of gods and goddesses and their manipulations of the human population and each other. Book one ends (appropriately) with Phaethon's journey to meet his father, the sun, thus establishing Ovid's theme of quests for change."(auburn. edu)
The book continues with man's desire. Desire can rule the head and cripple the heart. These actions can lead to punishment. We are guided by our feelings. Juno is the jealous wife of Jove. Jove attempted to hide his rape of Io from Juno by transforming her into a white heifer. I don't know if it was love or shame that helped Jove give up Lo. Jove gave her up to Argus. Io could not ask for help because she could not speak. This is symbolic of rape because if she says something it might happen again. Rape changes you physically and mentally. Io's own father Inachus could not help her.
How to Cite this Page
"Ovid's Metamorphoses: An Example of Chaos Versus Order." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jan 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
836 words (2.4 pages)
- The Distinct Epic Format of Ovid's Metamorphoses Ovid's "Metamorphoses" is sometimes argued as a non-epic as well as a true epic. It is mainly viewed as a non-epic because Ovid's subject matter is far from the heroic themes of the "Illiad", "Odyssey", and the "Aeneid" (Keith 237). Ovid was different and was motivated to push the epic beyond its previous boundaries (Ovid). Perhaps in hopes to confirm the structure of his work, Ovid declares that he will undertake "one continuous song in many thousands of verses" (Keith 238-239).... [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]
489 words (1.4 pages)
- 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]
409 words (1.2 pages)
- Jealousy and Desire in Ovid's Metamorphoses Passionate lust is a blinding force. When jealousy and desire control actions, the outcome is never what it is envisioned to be. Ovid's Metamorphoses provides an clear example of love turned terribly wrong. Throughout the novel, overwhelming desire controls actions and emotions, leaving behind sadness and grief wherever it strikes. With this kind of love, nobody gets what he or she wants in the end. The first strong example of unsatisfactory endings can be found in Book Four, in the story of "The Sun-god and Leucothoe." Phoebus has a strong desire for Leucothoe, and the two begin a fiery affair.... [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]
821 words (2.3 pages)
- Ovid's Devaluation of Sympathy in Metamorphoses Ovid reveals two similar tales of incest in the Metamorphoses. First, he describes the non-sisterly love Byblis acquires for her twin brother Caunus. Later, he revisits the incestuous love theme with the story of Myrrha who develops a non-filial love for her father, Cinyras. The two accounts hold many similarities and elicit varying reactions. Ovid constantly tugs at our emotions and draws forth alternating feelings of pity and disgust for the matters at hand.... [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]
1789 words (5.1 pages)
- Theme of Revenge in Metamorphoses Revenge is a recurring theme in the book Metamorphoses. It is usually the cause of whatever transformation the stories are explaining. The gods are always avenging themselves and changing mortals into animals or plants so that they can prove their own superiority. The first instance of a revenge transformation is when Jove turns Lycaon into a wolf. Lycaon met Jove in a mortal form but didn't believe that he was actually a god. Lycaon tried to kill Jove while he was sleeping.... [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]
761 words (2.2 pages)
- 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]
429 words (1.2 pages)
- Confessions in the Ovid's Metamorphoses Byblis and Myrrha, two of Ovid's impassioned, transgressive heroines, confess incestuous passions. Byblis yearns for her brother, Caunus, and Myrrha lusts for her father, Cinyras. Mandelbaum translates these tales effectively, but sometimes a different translation by Crane brings new meaning to an argument. As Byblis and Myrrha realize the feelings at hand, they weigh the pros and cons of such emotions. Despite the appalling relationships in question, each young girl provides concrete support and speaks in such a way that provokes pity for her plight.... [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]
1528 words (4.4 pages)
- 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]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- Tracing Changes in Pythagoras' Speech in Ovid's Metamorphoses Change in Ovid, as well as in life, seems to be the only constant. Change is the subject of the Metamorphoses and Ovid's purpose in recounting myths is established from the very beginning: "My intention is to tell of bodies changed to different forms... with a poem that runs from the world's beginning to our own days" (1.1-4). From this foundation, Ovid launches into his stories, using metamorphosis more as a vehicle for telling his stories than as an actual subject matter. Although he retells religious myths, Ovid is not writing a religious manuscript. Rather, the product is a work of literature. Ovid is conscious tha... [tags: Ovid Metamorphoses Essays]
1389 words (4 pages)
"Book Two of Ovid's Metamorphoses focuses on the concept of punishment caused by either unattainable desires or merely the selfish desires of the gods. Both Phaethon and Ocyrhoe were punished because they refused to heed the warnings and/or commands of the gods regarding Apollo's chariot and the prophesying of future events that were to be kept secret. The gods also dealt punishment to those who interfered with their divine wishes; such as with Nonacris, who discovers Jove's affair, Aglauros, who was punished because of envy of Jove's love for her sister, even though it had been given by Minerva, and Battus, who was a witness to Mercury's crime. Also, the nymphs were transformed into ravens for being too outspoken about the gods' indulgences. These contrasting forms of punishment reveal a double standard between what is permissible for the gods versus that permissible for humans which are a recurring theme throughout the entire Metamorphoses."(auburn.edu)
When Jove returns to heaven his father asked him to find the land where his mother's star shines the brightest. Jove returns in the form of a bull. Agenor's daughter Europa is fascinated by the stately bull. She has a strong desire to be with the bull. Love can be so strong that it can cloud judgment and it can place us in dangerous situations. I think the symbolism of the black birds means that evil can do more harm than good.
"The five stories in book five of Ovid's Metamorphoses are tied together by a common thread in which passions such as pride, jealousy, and uncontrollable desire lead to conflicts between characters. These conflicts never go unresolved, and the resolutions always conclude with the unkind fate of another of Ovid's physical transformations. Phineus' anger at Perseus over the loss of his wife, the nine sisters' hubris in challenging the muses, Pluto's and Ceres' incessant desire for Proserpine, Alpheus' longing for Arethusa, and Lyncus' jealousy of Triptolemus are illustrations of these overwhelming passions. Emotions such as these lead to Phineus men being turned to stone in a fight with Perseus, the nine sisters becoming magpies upon losing to the muses, Arethusa morphing into water to escape Alpheus, and Ceres saving Triptolemus by transforming Lyncus to a lynx. Over two hundred transformations occur in book five as a result of these characters' overwhelming passions, and the graphic, violent nature of these five stories sets them apart from stories in other books of the Metamorphoses."(auburn.edu)
There are always innocent victims who get caught up in the moment of desire. The imagery in the epic helps to guide through the stories and change our emotions. It is the continued theme of desire, punishment, chaos and order.
"Book IX of Ovid's Metamorphoses consists of eight tales of birth, death and forbidden love. The plot begins with Hercules defeating Achelous along with Nessus in the name of his bride Deianira. The Hydra's poison that destroys Nessus also brings down Hercules, who does not die but is made a god. Upon his death, his mother, Alcmena, retells the story of Hercules' birth to Iole, and in turn she tells the story of her sister Dryope who was transformed into a tree once she touched the shrub-the nymph Lotis. Unusual love inhabits the last two stories in which Byblis loves her own brother, and Iphis, a girl in love with Ianthe a girl, is made a boy."(auburn.edu)
In Book IX Ligdus and Telethusa had a little girl, but in order to protect her; she was disguised as a boy. Ligdus wanted a boy because girls required more. Telethusa told the nurse to tell everyone that she had a boy. She even named the girl a neutral name, Iphis. The story begins leaning toward homosexuality. That is not normal in my opinion. I was glad when the metamorphoses began. The power of prayer and the desire to be something different was a good thing in this instance.
"Book X of Ovid's Metamorphoses begins with the death of Orpheus' wife Eurydice and his failed attempt to bring her back from the Underworld. Stricken with grief, Orpheus went to a hill and sang songs "Of boys beloved of gods and girls bewitched / by lawless fires who paid the price of lust" [Melvil1e, X, 52], charming the trees to the hill as he played. He recounted how Jupiter abducted Ganymede, how Apollo accidentally killed Hyacinth, how Pygmalion fell in love with a statue he made, and how Myrrha seduced her own father. He then recounted how Venus fell in love with Adonis and why she warned him to not hunt wild animals. She had helped Hippomenes win the heart of Atalanta and had turned them into lions for defiling an ancient shrine; but despite her warnings, Adonis killed himself hunting a boar."(auburn.edu)
Pygmalion has problems with his mind in Book X. He loves his own body. Sometimes we expect too much of ourselves. He desires his art and thinks it is real not ivory. He has a fetish with his art because of its beauty. He prays to the gods for a wife like the ivory girl. She lets him do whatever he wants without saying a word. I think this is strange. Venus finally grants his wish and the ivory girl becomes human. Pygmalion had a son named Paphos and Paphos had a son named Cinyras. The daughter of Cinyras, Myrra had an incestuous passion for her father. She attempted suicide, and was rescued by her nurse who promised to help her. The nurse took her to father and she slept with him. She became impregnate and fled to Sabaea. She knows it is a forbidden love and that she must be punished. She is turned into the myrrh-tree and tears seep. Adonis is born from the tree. Venus is pricked from Cupid's arrow and wants Adonis. Atalanta and Hippomenes turned into lions. She warned him to avoid savage creatures. He ignored her warning and is killed by a wild boar. This is violent sexual imagery. His blood was transformed into a windflower, the anemone.
This was truly a metamorphoses ever changing.
Hopkins, David Ovid Selected Poems
Phoenix Press Copyright 2003
Lawall, Sarah The Norton Anthology World Masterpieces Seventh Edition Volume 1
W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. Copyright 1984