PowerPoint Presentation - Ovid's Metamorphoses

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					            Practice Question
What do the Cyclops, Argus, Oedipus and the
Graiae have in common?
a) They are all characters in Athenian tragedy.
b) They are all characters from the Odyssey.
c) They are all creatures of fantasy.
d) They are all deprived of their sight.
e) They all are tricked.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses

     Poet as Hero
• Roman poet 43 BC - 17 AD
• Educated, sophisticated, witty
• Extensive references to both Greek and Latin
• A favourite theme: erotic love
  – Contrast Virgil
• Exiled by Augustus in 8 AD
• Epic poem, 15 books
• Ambitious: the history of the world from
  creation to Augustan Rome (chaos to order)
• Unifying theme: changing forms
• Special focus on myths of metamorphosis
• Narrative structure reflects theme
• An important source for later writers and
  artists (e.g. Shakespeare)
• Creation and the Four Ages (962-965)
   – Compare Hesiod
• Lycaon (evil) and the flood (965-969)
   – Compare Gilgamesh
• Deucalion and Pyrrha (virtue) (969-972;
• Apollo and Daphne (972-975; review)
• Perseus (980-984; review)
• Orpheus and Eurydice (984-989)
• Apotheosis of Caesar (989-992)
         Ovid’s Story of Creation
•   Chaos, a shapeless confusion
•   Order: separation and boundaries
•   Animals
•   Humans can look up to heaven
                     Four Ages
• Golden (Saturn)
   – Peace, abundance, spring
• Silver (Jupiter)
   – Seasons, houses, agriculture
• Bronze
   – War
• Iron
   – Evil, violence, greed, mining, impiety, injustice,
     assaults on Heaven
           Lycaon (966-968)

• Assembly of gods, Jupiter’s tale
• Lycaon an example of evil, hybris
• Resists worship, serves flesh of his
• Lightning and metamorphosis
• Plan to eradicate human race
             Flood (968-969)

•   Inversion of natural order
•   Deucalion and Pyrrha alone survive
•   Repopulation of earth
•   Metamorphosis: stones into humans
    Apollo and Daphne (972-975)
• Cupid vs Apollo
• Apollo cannot heal his wound
• Metamorphosis into laurel tree
        Orpheus and Eurydice

• What is Orpheus’ “heroic” quality?
• Reason for katabasis?
• Compare with:
  – Aeneid
  – Odyssey
  – Bacchae
  – Homeric Hymn to Demeter
     Deification of Julius Caesar

• How is Julius Caesar deified?
• What has he done to deserve
• How does Ovid incorporate Virgil and
  Greek myth into this story?
• For what accomplishments is Augustus
             Epilogue (992)

• What is the place of the poet in the
  order of the universe?