Ovid Essay

The final will ask you to write on two of the following:

1. The Metamorphoses teems with speakers and poets, craftspeople and inventors. To what extent do these internal artists, and the reactions of characters to these makers, influence how we understand—or how Ovid might intend us to understand—the Metamorphoses.

2. Describe the genre of the Metamorphoses. Your discussion should situate the poem within the constellation of Roman literary genres (or at least more than one) and may include discussion of Ovid’s narrative and rhetorical strategies, as well as the structure of the work.

3. Until its concluding books, the world of Ovidian myth seems impossibly remote from contemporary Rome. Yet most of Ovid’s other works are quintessentially Roman poems, either in setting or their self-conscious separation from the city and its urban culture. Do the final books of the Metamorphoses represent a nostos, a return to Rome for a reader set adrift in Greek myth? Or are Roman concerns present throughout the work?

4. Describe the role of landscape and space in the Metamorphoses. You may wish to consider some or all of the following: Why does Ovid begin (end nearly conclude) with a detailed cosmogony? What are the typical—and atypical—settings for Ovidian myth? Is landscape merely a stage on which Ovidian myth takes place or can it function as a narrative agent in its own right?

5. Ovid is on trial. In the spring of 2015, students at Columbia University penned an opinion essay that questioned whether the Metamorphoses should continue to have a place in the university’s required Core. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, they wrote:

“is a fixture of Lit Hum, but like so many texts in the Western canon, it contains triggering and offensive material that marginalizes student identities in the classroom. These texts, wrought with histories and narratives of exclusion and oppression, can be difficult to read and discuss as a survivor, a person of color, or a student from a low-income background” (Johnson, Kai et al. “Our Identities Matter in Core Classrooms”, Columbia Spectator,4/30/2105).

Defend the reading of the Metamorphoses by undergraduate students. An effective essay will aim to convince readers skeptical of Ovid’s durable value. Note this need not be a defense of Ovid but a defense of the value of reading his work.

Ovid the Metamorphoses Essay

1275 WordsDec 4th, 20126 Pages

Joey c.

The Metamorphoses: Why Jupiter’s feelings that humans are evil is misled and hypocritical.

“And I reckon them that are good must suffer for it the same as them that are bad.”― William Faulkner. Faulkner’s ideology is prevalent in the story The Metamorphoses, by Ovid, as the poet tells of the god Jupiter destroying all man kind (except for Deucalion and Pyrrha) because of the actions of one, Lycaon. Ovid describes Jupiter's destruction as an effort to protect all the gods who do not live in the heavens. However, Jupiter's actions are not justified in any way presented in the book. In the story there are multiple cases where Jupiter and other gods cause danger and torment on the lower class of gods. Examples of rape,…show more content…

“Jupiter is too overcome with anger, too quick to punish and too abusive of his authority as king of the gods to provide an unbiased version of the truth” (Balsley). Jupiter’s anger clouded his mind from seeing the good that others might have and that Lycaon’s actions are the reason why Jupiter flooded the world, not by mankind's evil. With the flood, two people survived, Deucalion and Pyrrha. These two were examples of the honorable and just men and women that Jupiter neglect to consider as he tore apart all human kind. “...Jupiter realized the world was now thoroughly inundated, and observed only a single man and woman left out of the many thousands there had been, and that they both were blameless and devout...” (The Metamorphoses: Book 1, 447-451). These two individuals proved that Jupiter was too quick to action in his decision and made a major mistake in believing all man kind is evil. These two major parts of The Metamorphoses show Jupiter’s action as ignorant, but it is also Jupiter's hypocrisy seen through his own wrong doings which presents the flaws of Jupiter's justification on the flood. A major justification of why Jupiter washed out humanity is to protect the gods that lived on the earth, however this is a hypocritical desire as there are multiple cases in The Metamorphoses where he caused the earth dwelling gods’ torment. In book 2 of The Metamorphoses, Jupiter seeks out Callisto and rapes her. “...as she began recounting the day’s hunt, (Jupiter)

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