Ovid Essay - Ovid uses the title Metamorphoses to connect a...

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Ovid uses the title ‘Metamorphoses’ to connect a series of mythological stories, which have an underlying theme of transformation. However there are various types of transformations that occur to the characters, and how these transformations occur vary as well. This essay will look at how the primary theme of metamorphoses is played out by comparing and contrasting four stories in Ovid’s collection (Apollo and Daphne; Diana and Actaeon; Pygmalion; Pereus and Andromeda) that have ‘metamorphoses occurring because of the influence and power Gods/Goddesses have over mortals’ One aspect that is evident, which leads to a series of events in two of the six mythological stories, is revenge. ‘Apollo and Daphne’, ‘Diana and Actaeon’ and ‘Perseus and Andromeda’ all have the aspect of revenge intertwined into their storyline, which triggers the power of a God/Goddess to transfigure a mortal. In the story of ‘Apollo and Daphne’, Apollo returns victorious from a battle and mocks his younger brother Cupid (God of Love) because of his smaller bows and arrows. In revenge, Cupid hits Apollo with an arrow to fill him with love for Daphne. Daphne is also hit with an arrow from Cupid, but instead, the arrow was to stop her from ever accepting love. Apollo was deeply in love with Daphne and during one particular night, he chased her through the forest, scaring Daphne. As she was running, she called upon her father (a river god) to ‘Open the Earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger.’ As a result, Daphne was transformed into a tree. Although Cupid wanted his revenge against Apollo, it was the mortal Daphne who was transformed. Had Cupid not taken revenge against his brother, Apollo would not have fallen in love with Daphne, and she would not have begged her father to transform her body. So although Cupid’s revenge did not directly target Daphne and intend to transform her, indirectly, his retribution led to the alteration of Daphne’s form. It can therefore be said, that Cupid did have power and influence over the mortal Daphne, and her metamorphoses did occur because of the power of a God over a mortal. Like many of Ovid’s stores, Apollo and Daphne also had a feature of love involved with the story. However, ‘Diana and Actaeon’ is one story, which has absolutely no aspect of love
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2012 for the course ENGL 101 taught by Professor Mr.dale during the Spring '12 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Ovid Essay - Ovid uses the title Metamorphoses to connect a...

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