What are the basic differences between gods and mortals in The Metamorphoses of Ovid?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I haven't read Ovid's Metamorphoses in the longest time, but when I read your question, my first thought was this: power. The gods are really a whole lot like humans. For example, they're driven by passions, they grow angry or fall hopelessly in love... Consider the case of Apollo,...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

I haven't read Ovid's Metamorphoses in the longest time, but when I read your question, my first thought was this: power. The gods are really a whole lot like humans. For example, they're driven by passions, they grow angry or fall hopelessly in love... Consider the case of Apollo, for example, who is supposed to embody reason but is overcome by a jealous, possessive love of Hyacinthus. The gods differ from mortals, of course, in that they can bring about transformations of humans into flowers, beasts, and so on. (Some mortals in the story have extreme power, too, such as Pygmalion, but it still seems to me that power -- along with immortality, of course, which may be even a better answer than "power" -- is the big difference between gods and mortals in that work.)

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team