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Married Mortals in Ovid's Metamorphoses

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Title: Married Mortals in Ovid's Metamorphoses
Author: Keogh, Aileen
Advisor: Baertschi, Annette
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Classics
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: The myths of ‘Procne, Tereus, and Philomela’, ‘Procris and Cephalus’, and ‘Ceyx and Alcyone’, all tales of very different and doomed relationships between mortals in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, provide structure for the poem. Ovid uses narrative techniques, intertextual clues, tragic and epic devices, and metamorphosis, to increase emotional pull of each myth. The three myths are set against the backdrop of the famous couples of epic and the divine relationship of Juno and Jupiter. The relationships are progressively more successful with each story but end in tragedy and transformation, while Juno and Jupiter’s contrasting relationship is immortal and improving throughout the work. Each of the three myths differs greatly from the others in content and themes aside from the fact that they revolve around mortal relationships. Nevertheless, the stories are not as distinct from each other as they initially appear. Each story appears as a single narrative at the end of its respective book and is introduced by a series of shorter yet related episodes and each is an example of the creative liberty that Ovid takes with familiar myths. By changing the emphasis, or picking and choosing the plot of each story, Ovid reveals that he is telling each for a specific purpose. Ovid develops and changes well-known myths to create his own moving stories driven by character, love, and revenge that explore the power dynamics between mortal husbands and wives.
Subject: Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D. Metamorphoses
Subject: Married people in literature
Subject: Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D. -- Characters -- Married people
Subject: Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D. -- Criticism and interpretation
Access Restrictions: Open Access
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Keogh, Aileen. "Married Mortals in Ovid's Metamorphoses". 2010. Available electronically from

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