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 pondmakin it muddy.
-Latona even says she wants to drink the pure spring untainted...
-these peasants, nasty creatures, they talk and shout and insult latona.
-Latona gets real pissed off, turns them into frogs cause they are making such
noises since frogs are noisy creatures.
-so pure spring tiny fountain = calamachhean poetry
-big muddy river = stands for epic tradition: loud and noisy and not refined.
Quamvis sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere temptant = most famous
line of this scene...it's in latin, it sounds like frogs when you say it... it says
'even when you under water, they still try to insult' (about the frog)
-otematoprag = i.e. meow (about cat).. in this case its so genius, replicating
sound of frog just by saying the sentence..
-what hapened here is pallas minerva invented the flute, she saw her reflection
and that her cheeks were blown up and ugly. She throws away the flue,
Marsyas the satyr plays it and gets really good and challenges Apollo sayin hes
-Apollos declared the winner, and as punishment of Mrsyas, his skin gets
teared off.. the flaying of Marsyas.
-Ovid's description of the scene was quite nasty, quite detailed and quite
gruesome, but Ovid loves to revel in the cruelty. He likes to take it over the
top in his cruelty, prof says it gets very funny cause its so ridiculous.
Transitional Moment: (Pelops)... where Ovid says let's go back to the
story of Niobe, and the only person to really mourn her was Pelops
-Pelops = brother of niobe, they are both children of Tantalaus.
-Tantalaus took his son pelops, cut him into various pieces, served them to the
Gods, the Gods noticed what they were eating, put him back together, but the
shoulder was missing, this was Demeter who ate the shoulder piece cause she
was at the time super sad about Persephone kidnaped.
-Pelops has ivory shoulders for that reason.
.. anyways transition to human world...
Tereus, Procne, and Philomela-all ended up transformed to bird
-statistical analysis found out that this transformation is told most popular in
ancient texts outside of the Metamorphesus
-so in this story, what's going on?