The Poet and the Prince: Ovide and Augustan Discourse.
Metamorphoses Ovid Latin poem, 8 a. Ovid's Metamorphoses is regarded as a masterpiece among the great classical Latin poems. Unlike Virgil's Aeneid, which preceded it by twenty-one years, it is elusive and ironic, mythic rather than historical, and, as its name suggests, continually shifting its shape.
Rather than chronicling and celebrating the monumentality of Rome and the grandeur of its emperor, Ovid here examines and reflects upon the passions and inner strengths and weaknesses of individuals. The Metamorphoses is a collection of tales rather than one complex story or set of adventures.
Many scholars argue that it is unified by the recurring themes which weave in and out of the individual tales, by the presence of the poet narrator who speaks throughout the poem in a voice which is humane and compassionate—but also elegant, witty, and ironic—and by the physical transformations which mark the climax of each story.
The Metamorphoses is acclaimed not only for its narrative wit and grace and for Ovid's genius in composing elegiac verse that shaped and enriched the Latin language, but also for its enormous contribution to the development of Western literature.
Ovid is credited with creating characters who have become symbols embodying psychological states and ethical or philosophical problems.
The stories in Poetry essays love ovid Metamorphoses have served as the basic components for works of literature and art since they were composed, and the list of writers, painters, sculptors, and philosophers who are indebted to the poem is formidable. Textual History Ovid completed the Metamorphoses in 8 a.
The reasons for his exile are not entirely clear. In the Tristia, a collection of poems he wrote in exile, Ovid reports that his despair was so great that he threw the manuscript of the Metamorphoses into the fire upon learning of his punishment.
It was not the only copy of the poem, however, as the Metamorphoses was well known throughout the Middle Ages. William Caxton, the printer, first translated parts of the Metamorphoses into English in InArthur Golding issued the first complete English version. The poem was immensely popular and went through six printings during Shakespeare's lifetime.
The Neoclassical eighteenth century poets valued the Metamorphoses for its metric skill and for its analysis of passion.
In the twentieth century what Victorians saw as Ovid's immorality did not shock, and interest in the Metamorphoses revived, with several new translations. Popularity of the text continues into the twenty-first century, with several more editions produced in recent years.
Plot and Major Characters Lacking one overarching and unifying plot, except for the fact that the separate stories can be interpreted as allusively relating to each other, the Metamorphoses is a compendium of tales whose plots and characters are familiar even to people who have never read the fifteen-book poem.
They include the story of Narcissus, the youth who scorned the Nymph Echo, but fell in love with his own reflection; Pygmalion, the sculptor who was rewarded by Venus for his devotion to her when the statue he fashioned and desired became flesh; Daphne, the nymph who fled Apollo and was saved from his rapacity by being transformed into a laurel tree; Midas whose touch turned everything to gold; Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and tumbled to earth when the heat melted the wax which cemented his wings; Pyramus and Thisbe, who became the mock Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Arachne, who beat Athena at a weaving contest and was turned into a spider by the angered goddess; and also Medea, Orpheus, Achilles, Hercules—characters who populate the Metamorphoses.
Major Themes While each story contained in the Metamorphoses is different, the whole is unified and made coherent by the theme of transformation as the defining element of creation. Ovid's idea of transformation ought not to be mistaken, however, for continuous mutation.
Rather, the Metamorphoses demonstrates that things seem to go from transience to immutability, that characteristic tendencies can harden into reality. The poem's final transformation, in the Epilogue, is of the poet Ovid himself—becoming his poem, and so, immortal.
Critical Reception Since the Metamorphoses lacks both the forthright implication of purpose of the Aeneid, which converts history into prophecy in order to trumpet the predestined sovereignty of Rome and the glory of Augustus, and since it is composed of a disparate collection of sometimes intertwined stories, scholars and critics have historically grappled with the poem, with the aim of determining not only its unity but also of finding a single point of view.
Implicit in most considerations of the Metamorphoses is the critical question of whether it is a sincere work. Does it point to Augustan Rome as the terminus to which all transformation was tending, or is the poem actually an ironic commentary about Augustan values, subversive not only of Roman glory but also of divine benevolence?
Frances Norwood regards the very variety of the poem as the source of its unity because of the rhythm created by thematic variations running through the tales. The critic also accepts Ovid's glorification of Augustus as a culminating transformation. Charles Segal discerns a unifying factor in Ovid's narrative ability to depict the humanity of his characters even though the situations in which they are presented are strange and fantastic.
Robert Coleman interprets the poem as a mock epic in which the context of the tales often subverts their heroic content, and in which Ovid repeals the homage to Augustus even as it is bestowed. Garth Tissol regards the very idea of metamorphosis as a subversive principle, with the decay of Rome implicit in its grandeur.
Patricia Johnson contends that the role Venus plays in the rape of Proserpina foreshadows condemnation of Augustan political imperialism.A Comparison between the Poetry of Homer and Ovid Essay.
The comparison of these battles will give s a better understanding of these poets different views on the Trojan War. Ovid's next poem, the Medicamina Faciei, a fragmentary work on women's beauty treatments, preceded the Ars Amatoria, the Art of Love, a parody of didactic poetry and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, which has been dated to AD 2 (Books 1–2 would go back to 1 BC).
Latin poem, 8 a.d. Ovid's Metamorphoses is regarded as a masterpiece among the great classical Latin poems.
Unlike Virgil's Aeneid, which preceded it by twenty-one years, it is elusive and ironic. On March 20, 43 BC, Publius Ovidius Naso, better known to modern readers as Ovid, was born at Sulmo, 90 miles from Rome.
Ovid's father, who was a respected member of the equestrian order, expected Ovid to become a lawyer and official and had him schooled extensively for that purpose. Love, particularly sexual love, is a central theme in Ovid, and its influence is rife in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer.
One of the fullest studies of Ovid’s influence on the English poet and his. Ovid's next poem, the Medicamina Faciei, a fragmentary work on women's beauty treatments, preceded the Ars Amatoria, the Art of Love, a parody of didactic poetry and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, which has been dated to AD 2 (Books 1–2 would go back to 1 BC).