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Metamorphoses, poem in 15 books, written in Latin about 8 ce by Ovid. The work is a collection of mythological and legendary stories, many taken from Greek sources, in which transformation (metamorphosis) plays a role, however minor. Ovid’s long poem, Metamorphoses, is basically.
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- From the SparkNotes Blog
- Art Theme: Metamorphoses | Burning Man
- Change is in the air
It consists of a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world through mythological tales, starting with a cosmogony and finishing with the deification of Julius Caesar. Published around 8 AD, the Metamorphoses are a source, sometimes the only source, for many of the most famous ancient myths, such as the stories of Daedalus and Icarus, Arachne or Narcisus. Ovid works his way through his subject matter often in an apparently arbitrary fashion; however, the connection between all the seemingly unconnected stories is that all of them talk about transformation.
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Change as the only permanent aspect of nature is the certainty that underlies the work of Ovid, who jumps from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek myths and sometimes straying in odd directions.
The poem is often called a mock-epic. Philomela, however, still manages to inform her sister and, in revenge for the rape, Procne kills her own son with Tereus, cooks his body, and feeds it to Tereus. When Tereus finds out, he tries to kill the women, but they turn into birds as he pursues them.
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Medea magically cures him, only to later trick his daughters into killing him so that Jason can then claim his throne. Medea flees to escape punishment but, when she returns to Jason , she discovers that he has a new wife, Glauce.
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However, Jove has blessed their ruler, King Aeacus, with the creation of a new race of people, and he promises that these men will serve Aegeus bravely and well. Cephalus, before returning to Athens with the promised army, tells the story of how his own jealousy of his wife led him to test her unfairly and almost destroyed his marriage, and then explains how a foolish misunderstanding by his wife led him to accidentally kill her while hunting in the forest.
Minos, however, is disgusted with her act and rejects her. Nisos is turned into an osprey, and his daughter is transformed into a bird. Minos requires Athens to send an Athenian youth every nine years as a sacrifice for the Minotaur, but, when Theseus is chosen as the third such tribute, he is saved by the love of princess Ariadne, who aids him through the labyrinth.
He kills the Minotaur and sails away with Ariadne, although he then abandons her in Dia Naxos and Bacchus transforms her into a constellation. Meanwhile, Daedalus plots to escape Crete with his son Icarus by flying on wings made of feathers and wax.
After his adventures in Crete, Theseus and some other brave Greeks go to fight the Calydonian boar which was sent by Diana to punish the king of Calydon for neglecting her tribute. On his way back to Athens, Theseus takes shelter during a storm at the home of the river god Achelous, where he hears many stories, including the tale of how Achelous lost one of his horns, torn from his head in a battle with Hercules for the hand of Deianeira , which limited his power to change shape.
Art Theme: Metamorphoses | Burning Man
The centaur Nessus then attacked them, only to be killed by Hercules , although before he died Nessus gave Deianeira his shirt which he convinced her has the power to restore love, when in fact it was cursed. Years later, when Deianeira fears Hercules is in love with someone else, she gives him the shirt, and Hercules , consumed by pain, sets himself on fire and is deified.
The story is then told of how Byblis confesses an incestuous passion for her twin brother Caunus, who flees upon hearing of it. Heart-broken, Byblis attempts to follow, but is eventually turned into a fountain in her grief.
When Hymen , the goddess of marriage, fails to bless the marriage of Eurydice and Orpheus , Eurydice dies. Orpheus is given a chance to visit the underworld and restore her to life, and although he manages to soften the hearts of Pluto and Proserpina with his music, he cannot resist looking back for his beloved and she is lost to him forever. Orpheus then tells the story of how Hippomenes won the hand of the swift althlete Atalanta by using golden apples to beat her in a race, and how he forgot to thank Venus for her help in this affair, resulting in both he and Atalanta being turned into lions.
Adonis must therefore ever after avoid lions and beasts like them, but he was finally killed while hunting a boar, and Venus turned his body in an anemone.ergo-docs.therefore.ca/4331.php
Change is in the air
The familiar story of King Midas , whose touch turned his daughter to gold, is then related. In a Bacchic frenzy, women tear Orpheus to pieces as he sings his sad songs, for which Bacchus turns them to oak trees. Ovid next turns to the story of the founding of the city of Troy by King Laomedon with the help of Apollo and Neptune , the tale of Peleus who kills his brother Phocus and is thereafter haunted by a wolf for his murder, and the story of Ceyx and his wife, Alcyone, who are turned into birds when Ceyx is killed in a storm. A tempering or annealing, like metal in a forge or glass in a kiln.
Shedding the dross, revealing the true nature within. A crucible of souls.
We look at ourselves and think: I want to change. My surroundings, my community, my company, my city, my country.
Innovation, modification, diversification. Evolution and revolution. But how much of this is will, and how much destiny? Or must we find some north star, set a course, and lash ourselves to the wheel?