The Metamorphoses of Ovid

by Ovid

Start Free Trial

What two reasons explain the endurance of The Metamorphoses of Ovid? What three primary ideas does it convey about God and humanity?

Expert Answers

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

Ovid predicted that his poem would be eternal and it has been. There are several reasons for this. First, his poetry itself is beautiful and creative. To read Ovid is to read a master. Second, the themes that he addresses are the very ones that resonate with humanity. They are time tested. For example, he writes about love (Orpheus and Eurydice), honor (the contest between Odysseus and Ajax), loyalty (the story of Medea and Jason) and everything in between. Third, he reworks the classics. In other words, most of his stories are retellings of Greek and Roman mythology.

As for what the poem tells about the gods, I think we can say that a few things. First, the gods are just like men and sometimes even worse. For example, Apollo lusts for Daphne and Jupiter ravishes Io. Second, the only way people can transcend all the changes and flux of the world and even overcome the gods is through creativity. Think of Daedalus and his escape by flying. In short, Ovid has a negative view of the gods.   

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial