Introduction to Western Literature and Arts
Lecture Note-3: Ovis's Metamorphoses Book 1& Book 2
1. Structure of Metamorphoses
2. A table of Metamorphoses in GGGM (Who is transformed into what by whom and for what motivation)
3. For your interest: A Ovid-link by Jim O'Hara
The following goddesses in Greek & Roman Mythology are personification of the Greek
and Roman thinking of causality and justice. To figure out the significance of the
stories of transformation in Ovid's Metamorphoses, you can about the causation of
bodily transformation in terms of certain psychological need. These psychological
need, maybe orientated toward ethical order, or toward unconscious wish fulfillment.
Themis (Law) : Thetis delivered oracle at Delphi until Apollo took place.
Moerae (Fates) : The Moerae are three sisters who decide on human fate (the length of life). They give human their share of lot. They supervised fate rather than determined it. Though Zeus was superior to all other divinities and was the father of the Moeare, he could not alter Fates' decrees. Zeus was often depicted as holding a balanced scale to discover what fate ordains, placing the respective lots of the hero on both sides of the scale and seeing which way the balance will fall. In this way, Zeus plays the role of the executor of fate, and not determiner of fate.
Erinyes (Furies) : Three goddess of vengeance and retribution. They are especially significant in Greek Tragedy. Eg. Aeschylus's Orestes Trilogy
Nemesis (Goddess of vengeance, retribution (報應)): The goddess of vengeance and retribution. She was a Titaness and earlier than Erinyes.
Themis's parents (Two versions)
|1.Uranus & Gaia|
|2. Titanis & unknown|
Themis's Mate & Offspring
(Fates: 3 goddesses)
|Atropos: She carries a shear and cut the thread of life.|
|Clotho: She carries a spindle and spins the thread of life.|
|Lachesis: She carries a globe or a scroll and determines the length of life.|
(Hours, Seasons: 3 goddesses)
|Dice = justice|
|Eirene = peace|
|Eunomia = order and wise legislation|
|In English poetry, she is the symbol of innocence.|
Erinyes's parents (Two versions)
|1.Uranus's blood & Gaia|
|2. Acheron & Nyx (Night, daughter of Chaos)|
Erinyes = Furiae (Latin), the three Furies 復仇三女神
|The names of the 3 Furies and the correspodent meanings||Alecto||unresting|
|3 different names of the 3 Furies||in Heaven||Dirae|
Nemesis's parents (Two versions)
|1.Nyx (Night) alone|
|2. Oceanus & Tethys|
|Nemesis's Mate & Offspring|
Ovid: Metamorphoses, B1, B2
--The Ovid Project
Reading Book 1: The Creation and the Four Ages
1. According of Ovid's Metamorphoses, what distinguish human from other animals?
2. Essay Question:
Compare the story of the flood in Sumerian epic (Gilgamesh), Hebraic myth (Genesis), and Greco-Roman myth (Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book 1). Discuss the following elements of the flood stories: a. The cause of the flood. b. The process of the flood. c. the meaning of the flood to human d. the relation of God (Gods, Goddesses) to human.
Reading Book 2: The Love of Gods and Goddesses
If the story of Lycaon's transformation is about the punishment for profanity, and the survival of Deucalion and Pyrrha from the flood is about god's gift for piety, then what do the stories of the loves of the gods (Apollo, Jupiter) suggest to you about the quality of Greco-Roman gods? What is your opinion about this arrangement?