The Metamorphoses of Ovid Book VIII: Questions and Answers

Ovid

Book VIII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What was the guarantee of Nisus’ being able to keep his kingdom?

2. Ovid dismisses the outcome of the war in half a line. What was it?

3. What was the punishment of Scylla?

4. How did Minos show his gratitude to Jove?

5. What was the double relationship of Minos to bulls in the myths?

6. How does Ovid suggest in advance that Icarus will die?

7. How is the behavior of Meleander different from that of most other men with respect to women?

8. What was the dilemma of Althaea?

9. Wherein lies the injustice in the fate of Perimele?

10. What role does Pirithous perform during the tales of transformations?

Answers
1. Nisus had a single purple lock; his ability to retain the kingdom depended on it.

2. Ovid says of Minos simply, “his enemies were conquered.”

3. Scylla was changed to a bird, pursued by another bird, formerly her father.

4. He sacrificed a hundred bulls, as he had vowed to do.

5. Minos’ mother, Europa, was abducted by Jove in the guise of a bull; his wife Pasiphaë became enamored of a bull and had offspring by him: the Minotaur.

6. Daedalus kissed his son. (Goodbye, if he had known it.)

7. He treats Atalanta with respect even though he is attracted to her. He acknowledges her role in the success of the hunt and awards the trophy to her. When criticized for this, he defends his actions.

8. Althaea feels she has to avenge the murder of her brothers, even at the price of killing her own son, whom she loves dearly.

9. Perimele was ravished by Achelous and was murdered by her own father for “unchastity.”

10. Pirithous plays “devil’s advocate.” By expressing doubts about the possibility of someone changing shapes, he induces first Lelex, then Achelous to tell more such tales.