Final Essay complit

Final Essay complit - Elizabeth Pirinis December 14, 2009...

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Elizabeth Pirinis December 14, 2009 Final Research Paper The Power and Wrath of Woman in Ovid’s Metamorphoses The dynamics of gender relations is a theme that is explored in Ovid’s Metamorphoses . As we know from reading the stories, the Gods are significantly more powerful than the mere mortals. Humans in the Metamorphoses are constantly being controlled and punished by the Gods and are unable to fight their determined fate. Although males seem to have the power and authority in the books, Jove being the supreme God and having control over the universe, the woman in the stories have a formidable influence. The relationship between Juno and Jove highlight this power that women have as Juno consistently challenges her husband and attacks anybody who dares to anger her. Woman are able to attain their power and authority in the books by either being independent of men and not having love in their lives or by having been scorned and rejected by a man. In the latter, the women are still separated from men and love so therefore end up retaliating against those that rejected them with violence. In either case, the women who have power are those that use power and violence to inspire fear. The violence that these women are not afraid to impose elevates them to the level of men.
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Jove strays from Juno to have affairs with mortal women on several occasions but always attempts to hide these from his wife. She however always finds out what he is doing and punishes the women that are involved. The fact that he works to hide his affairs says something about his respect for Juno and his fear of the repercussions. In Book I there is the story of Jove’s affair with Io. After raping this young girl and covering the earth in darkness in order not to be seen by his wife, he turns Io into a cow in the hope that Juno will not find out about his digression. Despite this transformation, Juno still believes that the cow is a girl so she asks Jove if she could have it. Believing this will satisfy his wife’s suspicion, he agrees, “It is shame which persuades him on the one hand, love dissuades him on the other. His shame would have been subdued by his love; but if so trifling a gift as a cow should be refused to the sharer of his descent and his couch, she might {well} seem not to be a cow” (Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book I Lines 601-688). The extent that Jove does not want Juno to find out the truth gives her the power in this situation. Even after Juno finds out that Io is indeed a girl, she drives her mad in scorn of Jove and does not allow him to turn her into a nymph (to end her suffering) until she is completely satisfied (Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book I Lines 724-779). This story introduces the degree of Juno’s vengefulness which fuels her power. The dynamics of the relationship between Juno and Jove are introduced early on in this story, giving us a glimpse of Juno’s power in comparison to her husband’s.
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This note was uploaded on 11/21/2011 for the course COMPLIT 201 taught by Professor Gradstudent during the Spring '09 term at Emory.

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Final Essay complit - Elizabeth Pirinis December 14, 2009...

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