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Ovids Metamorphose Analysis Essay

While Bearsley describes the artist as an ephemeral agent in material, supplanting pastoral, aesthetic experience; within the Ovidian oeuvre, particularly the ‘Metamorphoses,’ a diuersae artis (diversity of arts) is often portrayed as a vehicle by which to transcend mortal suffering – occurring in spite of artistry – on the “lore legar populi” (“lips of the people”) [Met. 15. 877].

Predominantly, however, in the fabulae of Marsyas [Met. 6. 382], Daphne [Met. 1. 452], Pygmalion [Met. 10. 243], Morpheus [Met. 11. 633], Byblis [Met. 9. 454] and Philomela [Met. 6. 451] we encounter a number of contradictory representations of ublunary artistry, equally facilitating and purging the dolour of the human condition, with both aspects frequently highlighted within the same narratus.

Clearly, by exploring the progression of these fabulae, we see that each artist has an underlying aetiological function; the flaying of hubristic Marsyas obliquely resulting in the formation of that eponymous river; which – like Ovid’s forlorn exile to Tomis – serves to affirm, and indeed juxtapose, the divine metamorphoses: that is, between anguish (either as an outcome of, or independent to, artistry) and bliss (the perenniality offered by art), vitae and mortem.

Hubris, love, duality Certainly, Ovid employs the “harrowing and repulsive” flaying of Marsyas (emblematic of the Civilised Mind) as a device for presenting the terrene struggle for bliss. Primarily, the caesura “venae;” [Met. 6. 390] during the enargeia works with the strident “V” to produce a cacophony, denoting the satyr’s distress as a result of artistry; this could be said to be demonstrated in Ovid’s life by his famous “carmen et error” , the duality between artistic and humanistic suffering.

Although Galinsky suggests that the explicit transition from past to present tense, third to second person, functions to emphasise he surface detail of the narratus (the “cruor”), rather than Marsyas’ agony; contestably, the dissonance formed by the harsh alliteration “clamanti cutis” [Met. 6. 387] expunges the protagonists skill by subsuming the harmony of the “tibia” with screams of excruciation – resulting from artistry.

Nevertheless, the enjambment “fauni/et”, “Olympus/et”, “illis/lanigerosque” on lines 391 to 394 serves to evoke a profound sense of pathos, both within readers and the nymphs effectively transforming Marsyas into the river bearing his name, gaining artistic immortality in spite of suffering. Whilst, the trope “non est’ lamabat ‘tibia tanti. ” [Met. 6. 86] superficially works as a satirical juxtaposition with Augustine progression artis , ideologically eternising imperialist views through art; arguably, the terminal end stop “. “, stressing the rejection of the flute (mankind’s carnal hubris), in addition to the repetition of the alveolar consonant “t” – catalysing the meter to foreshorten those sanguine “nervi” – functions to elaborate upon the suffering of the human condition in spite of artistry.

Potentially, however, Lacan’s phallus provides a lens through which Ovid strongly accents the significance of artistic rejection (as a result f skill), displacing masculine sexuality, the “tibia,” with the suffering embodied by gender instability beneath the conservative gaze of the princeps. Furthermore, spurning the ‘worth’ of the “tibia” emphasises a dismissal of the very uis that is, Cupid – beneath Ovid’s artistic creation, highlighting Liveley’s comment that Marsyas is “punished for his art,” as the poet is for his “carmen. Structurally, Ovid mirrors this sense in Daphne’s rebuffal of Apollo during the climax of Book 1; the latter being a frustrated elegiac lover, an artist within the liminal ‘Ars Amatoria’; employing the repetition of the verb fugias” [Met. 1. 515] as a device for evoking the suffering of both constructs, Apollo the discarded artist and Daphne (the vehicle by which Ovid effectively aestheticizes our locus amoenus , one ‘supplanting pastoral experience’ with that aetiological “laure”) exhibiting the artistry of the desired figura .

Though Fieldherr indicates that the challenge of comprehending metamorphosis “compels the reader to make a choice between different interpretations”; perhaps, inter alia, artistry acts as a powerful mechanism for representing the suffering of transformation, exploding the poem into literary, theological and political iscursive levels – as suggested by the juxtaposition between the verb “velox” (swift) and “pigris” (sluggish), the moment of artistic mutation [Met. . 551]. Nonetheless, the expulsive synthesis between the consonant “V” and plosive “” emphasises the discordance of the human condition both before and after representations of artistry – that is, suffering in spite of skill. This could be said to represent the duality of the Ovidian oeuvre, reflected in the contrasting personae of lover and exile distinguishing the poet’s work before and subsequent to 8 BCE.

Infatuation, fetish, dream Fundamentally, Ovid challenges the mechanisms of elegiac sexual unattainability, limned in the narratus of Daphne and Apollo to facilitate suffering, through the syuzhet of artistic expression, liberating Pygmalion from that “consorte carebat. ” Undoubtedly, this effect is enhanced by the employment of the alliterative couplet “coniuge caelebs/.. consorte carebat” on the previous line [Met. 10. 45], the repetition of the consonant “c” forming a cadence (reflecting the motion of decent) that works with the structural parallelism to produce an overwhelming unity, in discord, between the lines – representative of life’s onotony despite artistry. In foregrounding this “looking glass world” Ovid highlights the use of the third person schemata, “vivebat” (‘he lived’), displacing the reader further from the ‘protagonist in order to fully subvert the proximity (bringing joy) of the artistic form.

Whilst Quinn suggests that Pygmalion’s “infatuation with himself” (promoted by carving HIS “eburnea virgo”) represents both aesthetic “triumph” over the elegiac lover in addition to the chains of suffering; contestably, Ovid strongly employs the morphemes “mea” and “nae” on line 276 in order to produce an assonant, demonstrating not the ouissance of artistry through a euphony, but the rather perversity of lustful artistic creation (highlighted by the careful use of the preposition “similis”), foreshadowing the trappings of suffering in spite of aesthetic talent.

Clearly, this process of fetishization is embodied by Ovid’s frequent use of simulacra , equally within the poetic economy and in the poet’s own pursuit of “mutates… formas” – the unattainability of bliss. Although, Liveley suggests that undermining the operations of aspiration through the construct of ‘Galatea’ functions to embody conceptions of artistic “happ[iness]”; potentially, Ovid effectively mploys the noun “caelo” [Met. 10. 94], a homonym both for the “sky” and ‘Pygmalion’s’ “sculpting tool,” as a device for representing the gaze of Galatea – that is, through her creator’s eyes – ultimately initiating the processes of self-objectification, of bodily suffering as a consequence of art (beauty).

Structurally, this licentia (poetic anarchy) within the embedded narratus is mirrored by Orpheus’ own sorrow – artistry both replicating and foregrounding death – to “retain his own revived Eurydice” and further, of Ovid’s desire to “ferrum demittere in artus” (“plunge the iron into [his] dead limbs”) [Pont. . 16. 1]; the hardening of the poet’s mind and body (a consequence of that “carmen”), in contrast to depictions of the mollescent “statue” (see Figure 2 for edification), Pygmalion’s “eburnea virgo”, subsumed by the personae Galatea – an aetiological representation of profound anguish (rather than bliss) in the loss of the perpetuity facilitated by artistry. Principally, Ovid powerfully reinforces the temporal nature of grief, combatted by the traits of artistry, through the figure of Morpheus during Book 11, acting as a device for limiting the material, contrary to creative, suffering of Alcyone.

Although Habinek draws upon Lucian to suggest that Morpheus himself is the “proto-typical. pantomime performer”, one whose artistic mimesis serves to sponge the waters of heartache (as opposed to exuding his own); arguably, understanding the ‘dream’ as a vehicle for Freud’s “wish fulfilment” highlights that Morpheus is the product of Alcyone’s own recurrable suffering, channelled into her own artistic representation.

Certainly, this sense is embroidered by the semantic fields of long vowels and diphthongs (“quaeque,” “praeterit,” “aequore”), retarding the meter of the verse in tructural juxtaposition to the rapidity of the dream schemata; the enjambment “unum/… Somnus” working (in addition to 27 other examples of enjambment between lines 616 and 666) with the vowel ““u” to produce a monosyllabic rhyme reflective of Alcyone’s misery breathing – while the construct Ceyx does not.

Nevertheless, like the grief racking her, Ovid’s own “Tristia” and, indeed, the translation imperii (transfer of rule) away from Rome, this form of torment is correspondingly capricious, occurring as a consequence of artistry, while ultimately producing the aesthetic bliss of the alitibus which Alcyone and Ceyx metamorphose.

Elegiac, letter, revenge If, however, “immortality becomes a source of horror” for personae within the narrative economy – as we shall explore in the case of Byblis – together with projections of Ovid as the “archpriest of transgression,” rather than that playful elegiac, then the influence of artistry may be viewed as one subject to its own metamorphoses and therefore to its own suffering; that is, as Martindale comments, “the poet’s fate becomes their art. Yet, Ovid demonstrates remarkable faith in the power of fate through the repetition of the allonym “Byblis”, during the xposition of the narratus, working to mould reality to the poet’s imago; though this sense functions superficially to denote the significance of appellations; beneath, the bilabial consonant “b” serves to expel the rhapsodists breath as both Ovid and Byblis are exorcized from the locus amoenus, Rome.

Undoubtedly, this revisionist assertion is emphasised within Byblis’ constructed epistle, the interrogative “quantum est, quod desit” (“what’s missing is easily reached? “) functioning with the seme “desit” as a device for abstracting sexual expression, a vehicle for artistic bliss in spite of suffering.

Whilst Burrow suggests that this manifestation allows us to “ponder the effects of art”; potentially, the cretic “sumtas ponit positasque” works with the sibilant “s” to denote the inherent entrapment, leading to suffering, within the artistic form. Nonetheless, like Ovid, Coknaye’s “The Tragedy of Ovid” employs the letter form as a tool for artificing the significance of love; effectively deploying the epithet “Gracious Princess Julia” to reflect the artist’s speculative “error” – that is, a dalliance leading to suffering in “confin’d… ile. ” Intrinsically, then, no reader of Ovid could forget that the poet was banished for his “carmen et error,” like Caunus (depicted turning away in Figure 3) who cannot forgive Byblis’ “libidine”, the lateral “l” forming a rolling sensation that mirrors both the “frenzy” of the latter, as a consequence of artistry, in addition to the moralistic movement away from the Ovidian oeuvre during the Romanticist period – an artistic suffering.

Structurally, however, foregrounding the narratus with what Raval refers to as “literary incest”; Byblis’ (meaning ‘book’ in Greek) serma and actions consist wholly of elegiac literary tropes; serves to supplant the legacy of that aetiological “fontem” with a perverse – yet blissful – artistic dualism.

Profoundly, Ovid reinforces this sense of contrariety in suffering through the portrayal of Philomela, during the falling action of Book 6, employing connective paralipsis as a device for cyclically evoking the suffering of Daphne, for as Livelely reminds us this narratus “marks a key shift in the… focus of the poem”, superseding the golden, but undeniably teratoid, “orbis” of gods, nymphs and satyrs with the gelid iron of mortality.

While foregrounding this exempla with the simile “mutilatae cauda” (“serpent’s severed tail”) [6. 8], to describe Philomela’s withered tongue, works with the repetition of the cacophonous unvoiced consonant “t”, in the same line, to produce the effect of suffering (both phonetically and metaphorically) in spite of artistry; Ovid’s subsequent use of the verb “intexuit” (meaning “wove”) necessarily functions to strongly define the role of the ireful protagonist – that is, both a women and a poet – in challenge to patriarchal domination, paralleling that of the princeps, through the empowering mechanisms of artistry.

It is these contrivances, which Roisman et al. suggest, serve to overcome Philomela’s suffering, in censorship, through the means of creativity – like Ovid in the publication and revision of the ‘Metamorphoses’, ‘Tristia’, and ‘Epistulae ex Ponto’ during exile. Arguably, however, in the act of filicide (a cathartic device for bliss mirroring Ovid’s desire to burn the ‘Metamorphoses’), marked by the passive action “iugulum ferro Philomela resolvit” (“Philomela hacks the throat”) [6. 3]

Ovid powerfully employs the definitive article “iugulum” as a satirical polysemy for Augustus destroying the entire gens (a hallmark of Roman foreign policy) of artistry in the poet’s own expulsion; functioning to suggest that through the instruments of creativity Philomela, Procne and Ovid (via his “carmen”, likely to be the ‘Ars Amatoria’) have all assumed the figurative monster they strived to subsume – that is, perennial suffering.

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