Journal 26

Journal 26 - Ovid uses many myths and the incorporation of...

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Book XIII starts with the debate between Ajax and Ulysses deciding who will receive the arms of the dead Achilles. Most would think that the main point of these first two stories is too hear the orators debate each other for the prize of the arms. However, as a reader of Ovid, I realize that the main point is not as described. Within the speeches given by each of Ajax and Ulysses, they both refer to numerous events that have led them from their home, to sea and eventually to war. Along with Ovid’s main purpose of revealing the changes throughout time, his Metamorphoses are a collection, a history if I may, of human origins and how they are culturally and socially significant to the Romans of his time. With this, his purpose in the first two stories is not only to show who and how Ulysses won Achilles arms, but to uncover countless smaller myths that are important to the progression of stories and events within the poem and to the society. Instead of just having one plot and one myth per story per character,
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Unformatted text preview: Ovid uses many myths and the incorporation of all these myths forms a story within each of the characters lives and shows the significance of the myths to the Romans. Ajax makes reference to his ancestry, Philoctetes, Palamedes, his deeds as a soldier and others. Ulysses references to his persuasion of Achilles to fight, his initial efforts in gathering troops and trying to win the war by helping the king, Iphigeneia and Agamemnon and his battle feats. By doing this, both characters tie the loose ends about the myths they mentioned, they help the reader or audience understand how they are related through the history of myth and if they were not heard before, they are made known to everyone. Ovids effectiveness in writing the Metamorphoses in such a distinct and original way makes him able to accomplish more with his story than what a modern novel does today,...
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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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