The Humphries 's ' The Metamorphoses '

1419 WordsOct 30, 20166 Pages
In The Metamorphoses, Ovid depicts an entire range of human nature in his myths, such as love, hatred, jealousy and pride; each of which lead to reckless and illogical behavior. Many different forms of human nature are displayed, but the outcome is always consistent. The transformations that result are not unpredictable, but serve to reveal the true character of the persons involved. Ovid’s view of human nature is one where humans and gods alike succumb to their emotions, which then leads to a transformation for the worse. In the introduction, Humphries claims Ovid’s work is a series of love poems, displaying love’s great power. He argues that although Ovid’s work can become a bit sadistic, Ovid’s love “for this daedal earth, its people, its phenomena” are what fuel his writing, thus showing his fascination with human nature (vii). Humphries also argues that Ovid’s poems of hate are used for contrast to the ones about love. He goes on to say Ovid’s ability to capture a scene through detail proves how powerful his fantasy writing is, “The great virtue of this writer of fantasy, of improbable events, is that both his people and places are real, the landscape and motives credible, so that, in the end, the impossible event takes on the truth of symbol, becomes—of course! Perfectly natural”(viii). He believes Ovid’s outlook on the world is quite favorable, and while the myths may be “sadistic” at times, unlike Virgil, Ovid is able to “snap out of it”(viii). Although Ovid uses

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