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Metamorphoses

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Title: Metamorphoses
Author: Ovid
Year: circa 8 A.D.

Of bodies chang’d to various forms, I sing:
Ye Gods, from whom these miracles did spring…

The message that Ovid is trying explain in his Metamorphoses can be summarized in two words: omnia mutantur, ‘everything changes.’ It is one of Ovid most famous works, and is a true classic that has stood the test of time.

Many of the tales told in the book are very well known. There in the story of Daedalus and Icarus, Narcissus and Phaethon to name a few. Ovid takes these myths and uses them to tell his tale. Having a basic understanding of Greek and Roman myth will definitely help a lot in understanding Ovid’s points.

This book is not a light read! I found some of the tales hard to understand, since I did not have a basic idea of how they were supposed to go. For these sections, I often had to read the verse multiple times. The version might have contributed to the problem since it is written in rhyme. If you want to see if you will enjoy reading and epic, read Dante’s Inferno first. If you can’t handle that one you won’t even finish Metamorphoses.

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