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Ovid's Phoebus and Daphne Compared to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Since the beginning of time, in most love stories, a man chases a woman after love. Society tells us that it’s a man’s job to go after a woman he loves and woo her. In Ovid’s story of “Phoebus and Daphne” the lustful Phoebus (Apollo) chases after the nymph Daphne who rejects love due to Cupid’s arrow. Centuries later, author William Shakespeare wrote A midsummer Night’s Dream where it is a woman who chases after a man. Helena is a woman in love with Demetrius yet he is in love with a woman called Hermia. In Shakespeare’s story, the typical love chase is reversed, he turned Ovid’s story around but still keeping most of the key elements, just in reversed gender roles. In Ovid’s “Phoebus and Daphne”, Phoebus was shot with an arrow…show more content…
It doesn’t matter how bad his master treats him, a dog will always be loyal and love his master. Helena also refers to Ovid’s story by saying “Run when you will. The story shall be changed: Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase; the dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind makes speed to catch the tiger. Bootless speed when cowardice pursues and valor flies” and “We cannot fight for love as men may do, we should be wooed and were not made to woo”, this means she knows it is not modest of her to try woo Demetrius. She knows that it is a man who chases the woman, not the other way around. Ovid’s “Phoebus and Daphne” A Midsummer Night’s Dream do keep some elements alike, such as, the chase of love, and that some people would do anything for love, or like Daphne, to escape love. Even though the stories are kind of similar, they do have some different factors. Some obvious factors like the reversed gender roles, the different metaphors and how the characters pursuit love. Other factors are not so obvious like the fact that in Ovid’s story Daphne escapes love by turning into a tree which is a fantasy element, and in Shakespeare’s story, Demetrius flees Helena love by leaving her alone in the woods, which doesn't include any fantasy elements. Both stories are classical stories, and have the same main idea, the pursuit of love. How the characters pursuit love, why they do it, and the outcome of it change with the stories. We do know one thing, A Midsummer
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