© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses

by Ovid
 Table of Contents

The Metamorphoses Foolishness and Folly Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

(The Sibyl:) "[Apollo] said: "Now, just express your wish – and that, Cumaean virgin, will be the gift I give.' I gathered up a little heap of dust and, holding that, I asked that I be granted years to match the number of those grains; but I forgot to ask that I stay young through all that span – I was a fool. Yet even then he would have given me that, too – unending youth – if I had yielded to him. I did not. […] The day will come when this long life will leave me shriveled; worn away by age, my limbs will shrink to trifles; no one then will dream that I'd been loved – and pleased a god." (14.135-142, 147-150)


No! Weren't you listening? We just said: don't promise to give mortals anything they wish for. They can't handle it. They don't have the foresight to see all the possible consequences. Oh well. The Sibyl foolishly wishes for eternal life, but also foolishly forgets to wish for eternal youth. What happens to the Sibyl here parallels the ancient Greek myth of Tithonos; you can read about that here.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement