Ovid Metamorpheses 6-7
now we move into realms of the heroes
-first story is the story of Arachne
-how Ovid connects all the stories
-end of book 5, Minerva asked about magpies and shit,
-so book 5 ends with the contest of the arts
-book 6 begins with the weaving contest, Arachne so good at it she considers
herself better than the Gods.
-the motif is divine anger here, the 1st half of book 6
-Niobe also angers God,
-Marsyas thinks hes better flute player than Apollo
arachne and minerva
-the way she weaves is similar to way to the cosmos creation
-this globe has to be formed and fashioned and the thread that has to be spung
is similar to how creator created the universe in book 1
-the creator of universe is artist, like the illusion to shield of achilles and now
we have Arachne as creative figure
-significance: something polish something fine. Remember the proeum to
metamorpheses, the continuous song, the epic, the big narrative, to lead , to
spin in a fine polished way.
-Poitlomelogical, means what does it say about the poem. You got big epic of
Ovid vs Callmichaic Arachne's fine art, specialzed.
-so look at the tapestry of minerva, it's totally symmetrical, classical, in middle
you get the contest between minerva vs neptune, and then in four corners you
got women who stupidly challenged the Gods and turned into things, then you
got olive branch (peace) wrappin around.
-Arachne's tapestry different from Minerva = stands for eroticness of females,
of flux, of changes, of chaos. it is the Callimichean way of writiing. Remember
the song of the Pierides, also showed that Gods in an undesirable state turning
into animals out of fear of giants. In the Arachne's tapestry, Gods turn into
animals out of sexual lust.
-also what distinguishes the 2 tapestries, in case of minerva's weaving, all the
Gods easly identifiable through the symbols of the Gods, but for arachne, the
Gods are not easily identifiale, its just part of the fluidity, the flux.
-Ovid describes Arachne representing Europa and the Bulls. Significance of
this is that first of all, it's not a real bull, it's just Zeus transforming himself to a
bull. Second is that the tapestry's fashioned in so real that you think its real.
The taspos (when you think its so well done its like real bull/real zeus)
-to summarize we can say Minerva art = ordered epic poetry
-Arachne = small subverting big classical literature, flux changing chaotic kind
-Minerva and Arachne as transition point, departing from God (minerva) to the
world of the humans heroes (arachne's story)
Death of Niobe's Children
-she knew of Arachne, also challenged to goddess,
-Niobe boasting about her 14 children, 7 boys 7 girls, that she's much better,
thus punished by Apollo and Diana.
-hybris = do something that doesnt become of you, that you think you're more
important than you really are.
-Niobe's hybristic behaviours punished as mentioned....
-when the 7 boys dead, she was still ok, then the 7 girls die, then she gets
-she's learned her lesson, grieves and regrets having been sooo hybristic, she
soooo grieved she turnes into a stone.
-Latona (mom of Apollo and Artemis)
-once this happens to Niobe, people thought and recalled something similar
happened (this is how ovid can use this narrative to bring up next story
Latona and Lycian peasants
-lycian says that once about a time leto was hoing arond with diana and
apollo. Even after she gave birth, she was still wandering about, now in Lycia,
she's thirsty and sees some pond and asks to take a sip of water, she asks
permission of the peasants.
-these nasty peasants are like "nah min... fuck you" and even jump into pond