Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – popularly considered by many to be the quintessential love story of all time – is a play that we are all familiar with in one way or another. Whether it be through the plethora of portrayals, adaptations and performances that exist or through your own reading of the play, chances are you have been acquainted with this tale of “tragic love” at some point in your life. Through this universal familiarity an odd occurrence can be noted, one of almost canonical reverence for the themes commonly believed to be central to the plot. The most widely believed theme of Romeo and Juliet is that of the ideal love unable to exist under the harsh social and political strains of this world. Out of this idea emerge two
In comparison, of Terence’s Andria (The Girl from Andros) and Ovid’s Metamorphosis (Transformations), the audience can understand two distinct roles of women from these authors’ works. Additionally, the audience can also come to see a general role of women in Roman literature. The role of women within these works show slight changes in plays and poetry to represent stronger female characters and developing their own voice.
Women during this time period were often dictated by men. Juliet is constantly being told what to do by her father but goes against it by seeking love from Romeo. “Yea, noise...let me die:” (Shakespeare5.3.182-184)
In Scene 2 of Act 2, Romeo’s attraction to Juliet motivates him to take any action he feels is necessary to secure her as his own; his idolization of Juliet exacerbates his impulsive and melodramatic nature. He goes to her home and lies outside her window, pining for her and remarking to himself about her perfection. In lines 15-17 Romeo states, “ Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, having some business, do entreat her eyes to twinkle in their spheres till they return.” These lines are an example of Romeo’s utter infatuation with Juliet, he goes so far as to paint her as some divine and celestial being, rather than a teenage girl. Although on face value this seems like a benefit to their relationship, Romeo was easily persuaded by his emotions into throwing caution to the wind and making bad decisions in his pursuit of Juliet. As dramatic as Romeo is during the entirety of the play, these incidents are detrimental to his ego and his character's development. In addition, in lines 23-25 Romeo again states, “See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand that I might touch that cheek!” This elucidates to the theme of Romeo willing to secure and treat Juliet like a feather. He treats her as if she’s a newborn
Ovid’s Metamorphoses is unlike any other work of literature; it depicts many different genres and divisions in multiple stories. But overall, the narrative displays an underlying theme of transformation throughout. Many modern works today such as novels, films, comic books, TV shows, etc., resemble the work of Ovid in Metamorphoses in some way. Whether they refresh old stories, put new or comic spins on the tradition genre, or stitch together stories to illustrate an overall theme, they can be compared to Ovid’s work. One modern work that resembles Metamorphoses could be the TV show; Family Guy. This animated sitcom puts a comic spin on the traditional household television show and combines multiple stories to illustrate a mutual theme.
An Eros lover has a warm relationship with their family, falls in love at first sight, and idealizes love. In Juliet’s case, she has a warm relationship with her nurse, father, and brother. In the beginning Juliet was not anxious to fall in love, but when she met Romeo, everything changed. On her balcony, after her encounter with Romeo, she confesses her love for him. Even though she just met him she claims it is love at first sight, a characteristic in Eros lovers. In addition, she is desperate to have sexual intercourse with Romeo and compares herself to, “an impatient child that [had] new robes/ And [could] not wear them” (III.ii.88). In other words, she had married but was still a virgin. At this time she is idealizing the idea of love. Also, she considers love the most important activity, which is shown when she spends the entire day in bed waiting for Romeo.
What can be sweeter than a mother's unconditional love? In most nuclear families, the family members interact with each other to support and construct a home with values of love and prosperity. However, not every home can be categorized as loving and bountiful as certain circumstances can cause an unfortunate crisis that impacts family members to change how they perceive one another. Revenge, being an approach to handle some circumstances, is a very common topic in Greek mythology which, leads the characters to take justice into their own hands by any means necessary— to restore their honor. In Ovid's poem the Metamorphoses, tales of grandeur and unpleasant fates are retold in sequence, revealing heroic people, lessons, and origins from stories
The build up of Ajax’s story, and its resolute end, remain consistent in both Ovid’s and Sophocles’ versions, but the circumstances around the reasons of Ajax’s emanant suicide, change, resulting in the Sophocles version no longer being Ajax’s own decision. True, both versions have Ajax’s life coming to an end by his own hand, but when another person influences one’s thoughts and actions, are the resulting decisions truly one’s own?
Ovid, whose full name is Publius Ovidius Naso, was born just one year after the death of Julius Caesar in 43 BC. He grew up as the Republic of Rome was coming to an end, and after a long battle between Augustus and Antony, the Roman empire began when Ovid was just 12 years old. He was raised not far from Rome in a city called Sulma, and eventually moved to Rome to pursue politics as his father wished. When Ovid realized his passion was with poetry and not politics, his family was disappointed and worried since most poets did not tend to obtain much wealth or fame. When Ovid was in his lower twenties, though, he was able to publish his first work called the Amores. He continued to write poetry throughout his life in Rome, with his last piece
In all the epic stories we read, it suggests that Gods and goddesses feel a strong attraction for humans. This attraction helps explain the interest the gods take in human lives and the tendency of gods goddesses to force themselves upon humans. They lose control when it comes to love, because love is something they can’t control just as much as we all humans can’t and in the epic of homer’s, Virgil and Ovid, we see that happening.
The narrative, Metamorphoses, is an exceptional epic poem written by Roman poet and author, Ovid. The poem contains 15 extraordinary books that demonstrate to its readers the constant dangers, terrors, and woes that the characters in Ovid’s various stories undergo. For example, the dreadful circumstances of the Four Ages, Echo, Daedalus and Icarus, and Midas are explained in such vivid detail that one could almost imagine they were experiencing their unfortunate situations firsthand. In fact, all throughout the book, Metamorphoses, one can find tales that essentially prove that change is a most dreadful thing. In the end, Metamorphoses is a perfect example as to why one should not be open to change because change almost always leads to the
Ask someone about the roles of women during the times of ancient Greece and Rome, they will almost certainly tell you about the ideal women of that time period. A woman who stays at home, stays out of politics, raises children, possesses feminine traits, and so on so forth. Likewise, upon asking about men, they would describe a man who is active in politics, a warrior, a ruler of the family, etc. These gender representations are broken (not completely) in Vergil’s poem, the Aeneid, and in Ovid’s Heroides VII. Both intentionally portray Dido and other women as a threat to gender roles in Roman society while also providing an example of the ideal Roman values. The Aeneid is used as a means to describe the nationality of the Romans and to serve
‘Perspective’ can be defined as “a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.” (Oxford English Dictionary, 2010) In the realm of literary form and structure, perspective deals with how the reader understands a body of work. If a story is in the perspective of an omnipotent narrator, we can look into the minds of secondary or third characters, to further our knowledge on their dispositions—their thoughts, beliefs and emotions on specific situations within the work. When we can only see, hear, feel, and understand the thoughts of a singular character in a story (usually the main character), certain things are not able to be perceived. We cannot understand what the other characters are thinking or feeling. As critically
Catherine Belsey looked at Romeo and Juliet as a good example of how “Though there can be no doubt that Renaissance culture was profoundly and distinctively patriarchal, one sphere in which Shakespeare’s women are perfectly equal to men is their capacity to experience sexual desire”(65). Shakespeare uses this to create a situation where Juliet wants to have sex with Romeo as bad as he wants to have sex with her. Belsey mentions how though most people attribute extreme sexual desire to men, in Shakespeare’s works, women many times experience similar or even more powerful urges. Juliet is fooled by the magic of breaking the rules and the pleasure of sex. Shakespeare creates the “perfect world” for the two “lovers” to live in. But it is all a fantasy. “Hie you to church. I must another way, To fetch a ladder, by the which your love Must climb a bird's nest soon when it is dark. I am the drudge and toil in your delight, But you shall bear the burden soon at night” (Shakespeare II.V.77-81) She states herself she wanted him to take her virginity “I'll to my wedding bed, And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead” (Shakespeare III.II.148) She makes it clear that she wants to “prove her love” through
I really enjoyed learning about the myth of Pygamlion and his love for sculpting. I have never heard of this myth before and I found it very interesting. I also found it interesting that you liked Ovid’s story in Metamorphoses better than Apollodorus’ version. I too chose a myth that was from Metamorphoses and Apollodorus and found that I liked Ovid’s version better for similar reasons. Ovid was much more descriptive and attentive to detail with his tale and you seem to have found the same attributes in your stories as well. Ovid might just be a more detail-oriented writer than the ancient Greeks, which make his stories more appealing than the original ancient Greek myths.