"Lord, what fools these mortals be!" These words, spoken by Oberon in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, would apply to many episodes in The Metamorphoses. The only problem is that his gods aren't much better. Time and time again, Ovid portrays a particular situation: a god promises to give a mortal anything they wish for. Then the mortal wishes for something ridiculous and extravagant that ends up destroying him or her and, often, others as well. At other times, humans are duped by their belief in newfangled medical treatments (the daughters of Pelias), or by the desire to appear tough in front of their friends (Eryx). Do these situations sound familiar? There's no doubt about it: stupidity springs eternal.
Ovid portrays gods and mortals as equally foolish.
Ovid thinks foolishness is avoidable.