ovid - Joseph Angel-Field October 23, 2006 Ovids Art of...

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Joseph Angel-Field October 23, 2006 Ovid’s Art of Love : Then and Now What is truly striking about Ovid’s famous (or infamous) text is how true it rings in modern society. I cannot speak to countries where arranged marriages are the norm, and the body is evil and shameful, but in the context of American society, and the way it defines much of the world’s culture from east to west, Roman culture seems hardly different at all. Ovid’s frame of reference of course, is love. Both a trivial thing, and yet an idea that drives individuals and entire countries through pain and paradise, love in one way or another, defines all human life. That is why Ovid’s text is so paramount, because it teaches us to look at our entire society in an honest and thoughtful way. There is never one single way to represent an entire people. I would hazard to guess, though, that at least aspects of what Ovid had to say, applied to almost everybody’s separate techniques. One of the most amusing things about the text, is how hypocritical, flip-floppy, and undecided the message is. This is probably a good representation of the Roman people, and people in general. On the one hand Ovid dedicates an entire book to keeping a woman, and on the other hand he teaches the ways to be unfaithful, and even justifies it. Love a woman or leave her? Ovid cannot decide for the people, and the people cannot decide for themselves. While avoiding this important philosophical question, Ovid very skillfully covers everything he knows about love and its ways. He goes from satire, to eloquence, to epic allusions, to brutal honesty. It parallels the ways of love, which can be beautiful or ugly, deadly or lively, silly or most serious. Ovid’s poem also teaches us a lot about the pagan religion that we are so interested in. Sometimes he prays to the gods for the things he wants, sometimes he uses
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ovid - Joseph Angel-Field October 23, 2006 Ovids Art of...

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