Journal 23

Journal 23 - demanding, deceitful, barbarian sorceress and...

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After reading Book 7 in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, I finally realized that Ovid is pursuing the same goals and expectations of what a myth is and how it should be told just like the playwrights and Homer did in the hundreds of years before. Even though Ovid takes on a new form of myth, the myths that he implores in his book are the same ones that have been written and orally told for the past hundreds of years. What he does, which is in effect what every person does when reciting or retelling mythical stories is that he keeps the original myth the same but changes the context and structure to relate to the society and lifestyle of the people of his time. One myth which is an example of this occurs within the first half of Book 7- the story of Medea. The myth stays the same, in the simplest form- Jason and Medea fall in love, Medea kills her children and the new wife of Jason and she flees. Instead of Medea being this sorrowful wife and vengeful killer as described by Euripedes, Ovid really characterizes her as the
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Unformatted text preview: demanding, deceitful, barbarian sorceress and princess that she is. This really makes Ovids interpretation quite masterful because he takes this myth and play and changes the focus directly to the acts of Medea while keeping the original myth intact. Medea thinking about this love for Jason says, a force that I have never known before impels me now In this one line, the reader realizes if they have any knowledge of the myth of Medea that Ovid is about to describe Medea completing horrific and barbaric tasks that are against the laws and ways of society in order to gain revenge against Jason. As also seen by Euripedes, Medea pervades the meaning of love into hate while Ovid also, in a way, praises Medea for her witch-like ways and her justification in her acts. Ovid lifts up Medea as this one who has this unrecognizable power and uses it for her advantage, disgrace, downfall and then exile which was not seen in the original myth or play....
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2011 for the course CLAS 131 taught by Professor James during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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