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Lecture 10

Lecture 10.docx

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Regina Hoeschele

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CLA204H1 Lecture 10
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Ovid, Metamorphoses 6-7
Second Pentad realm of Gods to realm of Hereos
How does is connect a one continuous song?
Athena leads into the Book 6, Minerva asks about the magpies
Contests of the arts
Will turn into a spider, after considering herself better than the goddess
Motif with the first half of book 6 (someone being better)
Arachne vs. Minerva
Description of art: the way she creates a tapestry is described to the creation
of the cosmos in Book I
Threads are reminiscent of the creation of earth, reminder last week how the
creator of the universe is an artist
Uses a slender spindle and fine thread (referenced to polished and refined)
Calimachean everything small vs. Homeric epic
Tradition of Calimachean writing: someone refined in her art
Their art is very different; Minerva is classical, symmetrical (contest of
Minerva and Poseidon) in the middle, and the corners of how women
stupidly challenge the gods. Olive branches ironically represents peace
Arachne erotic liaisons of gods and their transformation; complete chaos.
Small poetry
Remember song of Pierides gods turning into animals out of fear
A bit stupid to do this representation, because they appear ridiculous
Aligned with the story of the muses
In the case of Minerva, every god is easily identified with his or her attribute.
Work of Minerva is ordered, epic poetry in the manner of Virgil and Homer
Scholarly observation:
Moment of transition of predominately divine to predominantly human
Punished into a spider, and condemned to weave for the rest of her life
Death of Niobe’s children
Did not learn from Arachne’s mistakes, challenges Apollo and Diana. Niobe doesn’t
think Leto doesn’t need to be challenged, Niobe gives birth to 14 children. Word
usually to characterize is hybris (to do something that does not become you)
Apollo and Diana punish her; 7 boys are dead but when girls die when she
thinks she still had remainder of children
Regrets her hybris and turns into stone
Not the only punishment to human
Transition story first narrator from Lycia, Lycian peasants, then Marsyas
Latona and the Lycian peasants
Going around town with her twins
No land was willing to let her give birth due to Juno’s rage
Even after giving birth, she is still not welcome; wanders around and is
thirsty asks permission for water.
Peasants will jump into water and make dirty after refusing
Pure water vs muddy water
Nasty nasty creatures
Turns peasants into frogs because of their noise
Photo of fountain in Versailles, France; representation of transformation into
o Quamvis sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere temptant
o Even though they’re underwater, they still try to insult
Minerva invents flute, but notices when she plays looks really ugly
He finds flute and challenges Apollo
Apollo declared winner, and Marsyas’ skin is torn apart
Statue of what looks as if he’s hanging from a tree
Gruesome description
“Why tear me from myself?”
When reading Homer, there are gruesome scenes, Ovid takes it to another level and
makes it so cruel that it’s funny
Back to story of Niobe, who deserved her fate. Only person to relate is Pelops, her
brother (father Tantalos), punished for tricking the gods by cutting son into tiny
pieces and served him to the gods, but the shoulder was missing. Demeter who was
distressed after the loss of her daughter, accidently eats should. Son has ivory
Transition into human world
Tereus, Procne and Philomela
Story told most frequently outside of Metamorphoses
Thracian King, Northern part of Greece marries daughter Procne
She misses her sister Philomela and asks to visit
Fails in love with Philomela, Tereus takes her into the cabin and brutally
rapes her
o Cuts out her tongue so she cannot say what happened
o Episodes that’s terribly gruesome; uses tongue and cuts off with
o Continues to works his will
Procne doesn’t know what happens, Philomena gets a hold of weaving wool
and uses a tapestry. Begin to plan revenge
Same story of Atreus, cuts up child to serve to Tereus
Tereus chases them and all turn into birds; swallow, nightingale, hoopoe
Think of tongue being cut out; similar to Titus Andronicus who cuts off tongue and
arms (Lavinia) will take pen in mouth and write in ground.
Two sons of Zeto both take part in Argonautica exposition
Part of a journey
Helle and Phrixus riding the golden ram
Apollonius of Rhodes most well known of the Argonautica
Focuses on details and obscure little myths
Jason sent to recover Golden Fleece; what is it?
Athamus, husband of Ino, originally in love with cloud (Nephille) and had
Saves children by sending a ram with golden wool that can fly, Helle unable
to fly and falls into the sea The Hellespont. Phrixus comes to Colchis lives
in the palace or Aeetes father of Medea, son of Helios (sun rises in the east)
Fleece guarded by dragon
Pelias’ rightful heir to the throne to recover fleece, test but really wants him to be
killed. Argonuats sent out to Corchis. Cross Mediterranean, into Black Sea and in the
palace, Aeetes, does not want to hand fleece immediately.
Plough a field with bulls that breathes fire
Medea a witch will help with his tasks
Image- Jason removes the Golden Fleece, while Medea puts the dragon to sleep
Book 7
Betrays father and family to help Jason
Rejuvenates Aeson (and the nurses of Bacchus) an old man
Medea tricks’ Pelias’ daughters into killing him
Flight to Corinth
Medea kills her children, flees to Athens and marries Aegeus (father of Theseus)
Jason falls in love with a Greek women Creusa, gives a poisoned garment. One of
Euripedes most famous plays torn for love of children, and revenge against Jason
Theseus not present because grows up outside of Athens, owns sword of Aegeus,
slays soooo many bandits
“Theseis” – epic stories of Theseus
Founding hero of Athens
Medea recognizes son of Aegeus, and is threatened because he could be heir