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Laura Jane Wey

Lec7_oct1 Ovid’s Story of Pygmalion  Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) (43BC-17AD?) o Author of Metamorphoses (8 CE; 15 books) o Exiled by Rome’s first emperor Augustus in 8 CE, ostensibly for “a poem and a mistake”  Ovid’s telling of the Pygmalion […] Summary:  He is a sculptor that makes a statue with his own hands; he thinks its really beautiful and spends all his time with her. He thinks its against the gods to marry the statue. Venus the god of love grants his wish to bring the statue to life. Ovid’s “Pygmalion”: Main Points for Consideration  Theme of artistic creation (232-233) o “marvelous triumphant artistry…” o “gave it perfect shape… his masterwork fired him with love…” o “such art his art concealed…”  Theme of piety o Pygmalion makes an offering and prays to Venus on her feast day (233) o He “dared not say” that who he wanted was really his ivory girl (233) o He “poured his thanks to Venus” …”in words that overflowed” (234) o Contrast with the Propoetides (in immediately preceding section), who “deny Venus’ divinity” (232)  The sexual politics of Ovid’s “Pygmalion” o The statue is nameless o The statue’s motionlessness is attributed to “modesty” (233) o The statue is completely passive when Pygmalion courts it (233)  Awks/weird o The statue’s coming to life is compared to melted wax that can be “shaped by practiced fingers into many forms, and usefulness acquires by being used” (233- 234) o The newly-come-to-li
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