Emily's Reviews > The Metamorphoses of Ovid

The Metamorphoses of Ovid by Ovid
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's review
Apr 16, 2009

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bookshelves: classics
Read in April, 2009

This translation (by David Slavitt) has beautiful imagery and descriptive language. He also really captures the "read-aloud" feel of this epic poem.

Each story is connected to the one before it and after it, sometimes by the thinnest of threads, but Ovid manages to make them all flow together in a (mostly) logical order. The theme of changing (metamorphoses) shines through every tale. Most, if not all, of the stories had some unfortunate turning into an animal or a tree or turned to stone by Medusa's head. So many characters and relationships between them that it's hard (if not impossible) to keep them all straight.

I had forgotten how much of Greek and Roman mythology is based on rape and violence. Lots of rape. And very gory explicit violence. The gods were some of the worst offenders on both counts - talk about a sense of entitlement. I always wondered what it reveals about a culture that their gods were so capricious, self-centered, vindictive and inconstant.

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