Ovid’s theme is the transforming power of passion over gods and mortals. These transformations, or metamorphoses, are not sweetly romantic; they are dramatic, terrible and irrevocable. They can represent divine punishment, as when Diana turns Actaeon into a stag; they can provide escape, as when Daphne turns into a laurel tree to flee Apollo’s advances. Through these bodily transformations, the universe is portrayed as a place of continual turbulence. Yet the ultimate shape-shifter is the poem itself. In Ovid’s sinuous and witty narrative, each story flows seamlessly into the next, in a structure that still feels revolutionary.
Metamorphoses also had a major influence on English literature of the 16th century, thanks to the translation by Arthur Golding published in 1567. To translate Ovid was almost as great a milestone as translating the Bible, and Golding’s translation put classical mythology within the reach of those without Latin or Greek. It expressed a new confidence in English as a suitable language for epic poetry. Shakespeare himself drew on Golding’s Ovid in plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.
Comparison compare contrast essays - Comparing the Flood and Creation in Ovid's Metamorphoses and Genesis. Start studying Ovid Metamorphoses Baucis and Philemon Translation. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.