Sexual Ideals as seen in Ovid's Metamorphosis

Length: 6 Pages 1425 Words

The stories in Ovid’s Metamorphosis explore many elements of human nature, including love and sexuality. Many of the myths involve a god falling in love with a girl, as Zeus does with Io (pg. 21). They may also involve a girl not wanting anything to do with love in any way, idolizing Diana, Goddess of the Maidens. There are many sides to love and sexuality in the book. Metamorphosis explores ancient Roman and Greek ideals about individuals, the way that love was perceived, and how the people of that time saw gender as pertaining to love. Many of the stories imply that women had no say in sexual encounters; it was always up to the man what happened. Many times, in fact, the women were forced into sexual situations that they wanted no part in. Ovid divides his book up in several different ways. He changes from gods hurting human, to humans hurting humans, to humans becoming gods. He also divides it up in that the first sections were about gods in love, then he moves on to gods avenging themselves and others, and then to the pathos of love, and finally to the history of Rome. In dividing the book up in these ways he helps to show the importance of individuals as compared to gods or the creation of their city. For example Continue...


When she hints that she will tell someone Tereus cuts off her tounge and leaves her there to go be with his wife. 70)! Nemisis "judged that the plea was righteous (pg. They valued the reverence of the gods over their own ideals and morals, they valued men more than women, they seemed to want no equality. 70), so she made Narcissus fall in love with his reflection. He stops at nothing to get what he wants, he even goes as far as to kidnap Philomela and rape her in a cottage by the woods. It happens on countless occasions throughout the entire book. For example the issue of homosexuality is addressed on more than one occasion in the book, one of the most notable ones being "Iphis and Ianthe. The gods have complete control over what happens to mortals, and what course fate takes. Love and erotic desire is far more often the cause for revenge. If it was necessary to conform to some ideal or custom, then they would, whether they agreed with it or not. For example Echo loves Narcissus desperately, yet he wants nothing to do with her. One could go as far as to assume that women were not allowed to have wills of their own. Often in the Metamorphosis love is not returned when asked for it. In many cases individuals are faced with challenges and obstacles that they must try to overcome. Iphis was born a girl to a father who wanted no female child.