Metamorphoses Essay

Jealousy and Desire in Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay examples

809 Words4 Pages

Jealousy and Desire in Ovid's Metamorphoses

Passionate lust is a blinding force. When jealousy and desire control actions, the outcome is never what it is envisioned to be. Ovid's Metamorphoses provides an clear example of love turned terribly wrong. Throughout the novel, overwhelming desire controls actions and emotions, leaving behind sadness and grief wherever it strikes. With this kind of love, nobody gets what he or she wants in the end.

The first strong example of unsatisfactory endings can be found in Book Four, in the story of "The Sun-god and Leucothoe." Phoebus has a strong desire for Leucothoe, and the two begin a fiery affair. Clytie, one of the girls whom Phoebus had rejected, is insanely green…show more content…

Polyphemus believes that he is in love with Galatea, yet does not think of her feelings, but rather assumes that he could make her much happier than Acis ever could. What Polyphemus fails to realize is that she really and truly loves Acis, not Polyphemus. When Polyphemus sees Galatea with Acis, he becomes angry. Galatea flees to the sea, and Acis is crushed with a huge rock. Again, the result is unfortunate; Acis is killed and Polyphemus doesn't get the girl. No one comes out victorious.

Sometimes it is hard to let go of someone to whom one feels he or she had a special bond, or cared about a great deal. Such is the case in Book Five: "The Fighting of Perseus." Phineus, angry that he has lost his bride to another man, takes an army to Perseus' palace to reclaim his woman. Phineus was told to let it go, she wasn't worth it, but still, Phineus persisted. As a result, hundreds were killed in a battle, and Phineus was turned to stone. Before he was turned to stone, he says, "No hate for you, no lust for power drove me / Into this fight; it was my bride I fought for" (Ovid 114). Letting go of someone can be tough to do, but one has to realize that sometimes it is in the best interest of everyone if he or she just moves on with his or her life.

Desire and jealousy can turn people

Show More

Apollo's Human Gardening in Ovid's Metamorphoses Essays

1108 Words5 Pages

Apollo's Human Gardening in Ovid's Metamorphoses

In Ovid's epic poem Metamorphoses, he uses many transformations of humanoids to explain the existence of many natural entities such as animals, plants, rivers, and so forth. Ovid uses the Roman gods to be the active agents in many of the metamorphoses, although some of them are caused simply by the will of the being. In the Melville translation of Metamorphoses, the stories "The Sun in Love" (book IV, ln226-284) and "Hyacinth" (book X, ln170-239) have occurrences of both agencies of transformation of people into plants. Apollo is the catalyst that causes the metamorphoses in each of the stories. The metamorphoses involved support the concepts of the "Great Chain of Being" and the…show more content…

Leucothoe's transformation into a frankincense shrub is Apollo's grant of immortality to her through the life of the plant. The deep roots and piercing shoots are representative of Leucothoe because she was buried into the ground and her fornication with Apollo. Clytie's transformation into a heliotrope flower represents her passion and lust in that the flower has red petals, her longing and desire in that the head of the flower follows the sun, and that she has a green stalk holding her to the ground because she was envious and static for the last nine days of her human existence. Both of these women's metamorphosis into a plant because becoming a plant is representative of death. The representation of death granted by their becoming plants also acts on another level that there is life after death in some form or another.

The Great Chain of Being that Lakoff and Turner propose has a hierarchy: humans; animals; plants; complex objects; and natural physical things. In the story "The Sun in Love," Clytie and Leucothoe are connected at a basic level with the plants they change into. Going along with this, Lakoff and Turner introduce the idea of a "Maxim of Quantity" which has the author - Ovid - being as "informative as required and not more so." (pg 171) Motive for the transformation is given in the line "Yet you shall touch the sky!"(Book IV, ln252), but motive for changing her into a frankincense shrub is not

Show More


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *