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March 20th 2012.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
H
Semester
Winter

Description
March 20 2012 Lecture 10: Ovid, metamorphoses 6-7 Book 6  Beginning of second pentad where we move from the realm of the gods to the realm of the hero. Arachne and Minerva  First story to be told is of Arachne, she is transformed into a spider.(Arachne greek for spider)  Art of transition is very crucial to the metamorphosis  Book 5 ends with a contest of the arts and Book 6 also starts with a contest.  Arachne is a very talented weaver and she thinks she is better than the gods, and one should never think they are better than the gods; this might get the gods angry.  Motif of divine anger is in the first half of book 6.  Arachane the way in which she creates the tapestry is similar to the creation of the cosmos “prof reads from text”. The creator the universe is an artist, the illusion to the shield of Achilles and Heapistus (check spelling). Arachne is also a creative figure, slender spindle and fine thread – something polished and something fine is understood on a potalogical (?) level- art of poetry.  Callimachean- small and refined not a big Homeric epic. Arachne – not a big epic creator but someone who is very refined in her art.  Minerva’s tapestry is classical and symmetrical and ordered with an olive branch boarder (branch of peace – ironic in this context, due to competition). Fixade (?) – something which is easily identifiable, ordered and no chaos. Arachne’s work stands for Flux – for change, she represents erotic lesions of gods and how they rape women, gods transformation into animals for sex, complete chaos no ordered structure to it.  Song of the peraedious(?) to which they challenged the muses. (look this up)  Minrva’s weaving every god is easily identifiable by their attribute, where as Arachnes’ is not. Gods appear out of force.  Archne shows Europa cheated by the bull’s disguise, a real bull you would think. It’s not a real bull it is just Zeus transformed into a bull. Ovid says that Arachne’s bull is so vivid that it looks like a real bull, however even if it were a real bull it would not be a real bull because it actually Zeus, this is Ovid playing.  To summarize work of Minerva stands for ordered epic poetry, in the work of Virgil and Homer for example. Work of Arachne stands for small poetry in the Callimachean tradition.  Arachne with the human perspective and Minerva with the divine perspective and then a pivotal moment where we leave the world of the gods and enter the world of human heros. Arachne as form of punishment is condemned to weave for the rest of her life in the form of a spider. Death of Niobe’s Children  Ovide transitions to another famous myth. Niobe knew of Archane’s punishment but did not learn anything. Niobe also challenged a goddess.  Leto mother of Apollo and Dianna. Leto wasn’t worshiped in her city and Niobe says I don’t know what the big deal about Leto is she only gave birth to two children where as I gave birth to fourteen – 7 boys and 7 girls, I am much better. Niobe is filled with pride, hybris is used to describe this behaviour - more important than you really are and you offend a divine being (god/goddess).  Niobe’s hybristic behaviour is punished by Apollo and Dianna they decide to take her children away from her. Apollo and Dianna shoot the 7 boys, but she is still filled with pride, and they shoot the 7 girls. Niobe now grieves, and she turns into stone from her grief from losing her children.  Ovid says new tales bring back old ones. Way for Ovid to bring in other myths into the metamorphosis. Latona and The Lycian Peasants  Complex narrative structure, after Niobe’s story other individuals remember similar stories. And we have an instant narrative about what somebody has told him.  Alter, and the Lycian guy tells us that.. Leto was going around with her two newborn twins Apollo and Dianna. When she was about to give birth she ends up at Delos, her problem was that no land would let her give birth because of Hera’s rage. Even after she gives birth she wanders around, and now she is Lycia, and she is really thirsty so asks to drink some water. The peasants say no way, and jump into the water and make it muddy. Can be read on a potelogical (?) level, because Chamelicus(?) said I only want to drink from the pure fountain, something that’s never been touched before. Muddy water of the big river stands for epic, we got clash of potelogical (?) imagery. Pure spring (very refined, Callimachean )vs. Muddy water (loud and noisy not very refined, epic poetry) .  Peasants are very nasty and they talk and they shout and make Leto angry, and she turns them into a frogs. One the most famous transformations in Ovid’s work.  Fountain in Versai, surrounded by frogs explains the story in Ovid’s metamorphosis.  “Quamvis sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere temptant” – in Ovid’s metamorphosis. It sounds like a frog croaking. It means, even though they are on water or under water they still try to insult. Marsyas  Briefly mentioned, Minerva invented the flute she saw herself and her cheeks look really ugly. She throws it away, Marsyas a satyr plays it and he is really good. Marsyas challenges Apollo (not a good thing). Eventually Apollo is declared the winner of the contest, and as a result punishes Marsyas. Apollo tears away his skin of Marsyas. “Why tear me from myself.” Ovid loves to describe every detail.  Ovid makes it so cruel that he makes it funny; he takes it over the top.  Ovid goes back for a brief moment to Niobe’s story. The only person to really morn for Niobe is Pelops they are brother and sister- father Tantalus. Tantalus is a sinner who is punished in Hades. Pelops' father was Tantalus cuts Pelops into pieces and serves it to the gods. Demeter, deep in grief after the abduction of her daughter Persephone by Hades, absentmindedly accepted the offering and ate the left shoulder. The other gods sensed the plot, however, and held off from eating of the boy's body. Pelops was ritually reassembled and brought back to life, his shoulder replaced with one of ivory made for him by Hephaestus. Tereus, Procne and Philomela  Transition once and for all in the human world. All three end up being transformed into birds, this story is told most frequently in ancient text aside from the metamorphosis.  Tereus was a Thracian king, the son of Ares and husband of Procne. Tereus and Pronce live happily together for some time up until Philomela, Procne’s. Tereus desired his wife's sister, Philomela. He forced himself upon her in the most brutal way, and then cuts her tongue out and held her captive so she could never tell anyone. He told his wife that her sister had died. Philomela wove letters in a tapestry depicting Tereus's crime and sent it secretly to Procne. Pronce free
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