The Metamorphoses of Ovid Book XI: Questions and Answers

Ovid

Book XI: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why did the Ciconian women kill Orpheus?

2. What happened to his body and his ghost?

3. How did Bacchus respond to the acts of his crazed devotees?

4. Identify Midas, Eumolpus, and Silenus.

5. What was the foolish wish of Midas? What was the result?

6. How did Midas acquire “asses’ ears?”

7. What did Princess Hesione and the goddess Thetis have in common?

8. Why was the punishment of Daedalion appropriate to his personality?

9. Why was the punishment of Aesacus appropriate to his behavior?

10. What is the origin of the expression “halcyon days?”

Answers
1. The Ciconian women resented the fact that Orpheus avoided women. Also, they were drunk and drugged.

2. Parts of his body were washed up and were venerated; his ghost went to Dis and was reunited with Eurydice.

3. Bacchus punished his crazed devotees by turning them into trees. He was rather inconsistent; earlier, he had punished Pentheus for not participating in his orgies.

4. Eumolpus was a devotee of Ceres; Silenus worshipped Bacchus, his foster-son. Midas found the tipsy old man and restored him to Bacchus.

5. Midas foolishly asked that everything he touched might turn to gold. As a result, he could neither eat nor drink anything.

6. Midas insisted that Pan was a better musician than Apollo; his ears were made into asses’ ears as a punishment.

7. Princess Hesione was awarded as a prize; the goddess was given in marriage against her will. Both were treated by males like chattel.

8. The punishment of Daedalion was appropriate because he was an aggressive person and therefore was turned into an aggressive bird.

9. The punishment of Aesacus was appropriate because he repeatedly dove into the sea and therefore was turned into a diving bird.

10. The term “halcyon days” originated in the fact that Alcyone and her husband were turned into birds which brood over quiet waters.