Essential Quotes

Essential Quotes by Character: Jove

Essential Passage 1: Book I

When Saturn fell to the dark Underworld
And Jove reigned upon earth, the silver race
Replaced the gold, inferior, yet in worth
Above the tawny bronze. Then Jupiter
Curtailed the pristine spring and led the year
Through winter, summer, autumn’s varying days
And brief precarious spring in seasons four.
Then first the blazing sky with torrid heat
Sweltered, and ice hung frozen in the gale;
Then men sought shelter—shelter under caves
And thickets and rough hurdles bound with bark;
Then in long furrows first were set the seeds
Of grain and oxen groaned beneath the yoke.

Summary

In the beginning there was nothing but Chaos, a disordered mass of matter. Then Nature began the process of Creation by separating the elements, the air, and ether from the land and water. Plant life and animal life were set forth on the earth, followed by the creation of Man, who looked up to Heaven, as the animals looked down to earth. There were five climatic regions of the earth (equatorial, two temperate, and two polar zones), yet there were still no seasons. Human beings found shelter in caves or rude shelters. Over all this ruled Saturn, the king of the Titans. It was the Golden Age, when all was at peace. No conflict existed between the elements or living things.

However, in the divine realm, there was discord. Saturn was killed by his son Jove (Jupiter). The Golden Age came to an end and gave way to the Age of Silver, with Jupiter as its king. During this age came the seasons of winter, spring, summer, and winter. Mankind was still at peace. They had learned to gain food from toil in the ground, and to build houses. However, their gains came at a cost: freedom for man meant enslavement for animals.

Essential Passage 2: Book II

The Almighty Father made the anxious round
Of heaven’s vast bastions to ensure that none,
Enfeebled by the fire’s assault, should fall;
And seeing all were sound, their strength intact,
Surveyed the earth and the affairs of men.
His own Arcadia was his weightiest care;
Her springs and rivers, fearing still to flow,
He primed anew, gave verdure to the fields,
Leaves to the trees and bade the ravaged woods
Grow green again. And as he came and went,
Busy, there caught his eye a country nymph
Of Nonacris and love flared in his heart.
She was no girl to spin soft skeins of wool
Or vary her hair-style; a buckle held
Her dress, a plan white band her straggling hair.
She carried a light spear—sometimes a bow—
Diana’s warrior; none so high as she
In Dian’s favour on the mountain slopes
Of Maenalus; but favourites soon fall.
One afternoon, the sun still riding high,
She found a glade deep in the virgin woods
And there unstrung her bow, took off her quiver,
And lay down on the grass, the coloured case
A pillow for her head. Jove saw her there,
Weary and unprotected and alone.
‘This prank’, he thought, ‘my wife will never learn,
Or should she, all her scolding’s worth the prize.

Summary

Phaeton, the son of the sun god Apollo, has come close to destroying the earth by fire, having taken...

(The entire section is 1394 words.)

Essential Quotes by Theme: Change

Essential Passage 1: Book II

The years rolled on; Arcas was now sixteen,
His mother lost, her fate, her name unknown.
One day, out hunting in the forest glades
Of Erymanthus, as he placed his nets,
He chanced to meet her; seeing him she stopped
Stock still, seeming to recognize his face.
He shrank away; those eyes, unmoving, fixed
For ever on his own, froze the boy’s heart
With nameless fear, and as she moved towards him
He aimed his javelin to strike her dead.
The Almighty stayed his hand and swept away
Both son and mother—with the threatened crime—
Whirled in a wind together through the void,
And set them in the sky as neighbouring stars.

Summary

Jove, inspecting his birth place of Arcadia after the destruction caused by Phaeton’s fiery ride across the heavens, sees the nymph Callisto, a warrior in Diana’s service. Jove seduces and impregnates Callisto, thus earning for her the enmity of Diana as well as the ire of Jove’s jealous wife, Juno, who turns Callisto into a bear. Sixteen years later, her son, Arcas, is out hunting in the forest and encounters a bear. The bear stops, recognizing that the boy facing her is her own son by Jove. Arcas raises his spear to kill the bear but is stopped by Jove himself. Rather than have Callisto, his favored one, be killed by their son, Jove turns both Callisto and Arcas into star constellations—Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

Essential Passage 2: Book VIII

Philemon briefly spoke with Baucis, then
Declared their joint decision to the Gods:
“We ask to be your priests and guard your shrine;
And, since in concord we have spent our years,
Grant that the selfsame hour may take us both,
That I my consort’s tomb may never see
Nor may it fall to her to bury me.”
Their prayer was granted. Guardians of the shrine
They were while life was left, until one day,
Undone by years and age, standing before
The sacred steps and talking of old times,
Philemon saw old Baucis sprouting leaves
And green with leaves she saw Philemon too,
And as the foliage o’er their faces formed
They said, while still they might, in mutual wards
“Goodbye, dear love” together, and together
The hiding bark covered their lips. Today
The peasants in those parts point out with pride
Two trees from one twin trunk grown side by side.

Summary

Theseus returns from...

(The entire section is 1081 words.)