Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Metamorphoses

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Water is a recurrent image in Ovid's poem because it is constantly changing; in this way, water illustrates what Ovid sees as the fundamental truth about the cosmos: that it is constantly changing....

Setting

Even though Ovid starts out by talking about the creation of the whole universe, for most of the poem his focus is more limited: on the Ancient Mediterranean world, including Greece, Rome, North Af...

Narrator Point of View

For most of the poem, Ovid acts as a typical, albeit highly exuberant, third person omniscient narrator, hopping to and fro in space and time, veering in and out of the thoughts of his characters,...

Genre

OK, so on the most basic level, Ovid's poem is a collection of Folklore, Legends, and Mythology from the Greek and Roman cultures. You can tell this from its focus on gods and demigods and their in...

Tone

The most basic thing to keep in mind about Ovid's poem is that he isn't giving a straightforward retelling of the myths he has inherited. Instead, he is constantly twisting them around to his own p...

Writing Style

Ovid has left behind the largest body of work of any Roman poet, and The Metamorphoses is one of the longest surviving Roman poems. To be able to write as much as Ovid did, a poet pretty much has t...

What's Up With the Title?

The original title of Ovid's book was "Metamorphoseon Libri XV," or "Fifteen Books of Metamorphoses." You know how some people think things sound smarter or classier if they're said in French? Well...

What's Up With the Ending?

Ovid's poem ends with three surprising moments. The first surprising moment is the deification or "apotheosis" of Julius Caesar. (Even though it's a mouthful, "apotheosis" is a good word to know; i...

Tough-o-Meter

We gave Ovid's book a 3 on the Tough-o-Meter because of his wide range of classical allusions, which can be tricky if you're not used to them. Thanks to footnotes, encyclopedias, and the internet,...

Plot Analysis

Sorry, folks, we can't give you a Classic Plot Analysis of Ovid's Metamorphoses – because it has no plot to analyze! For an introduction to how Ovid's compendium of over 200 stories is organi...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

We can't tell you how Ovid's Metamorphoses fits into Booker's Seven Basic Plots, because Ovid's poem doesn't have a plot. Or maybe it's Booker's fault for not listing "The Encyclopedia" as one of h...

Three Act Plot Analysis

We also can't give you a Three Act Plot Analysis of Ovid's Metamorphoses. That's because it has no plot – and therefore not even one act! For an introduction to how Ovid's compendium of over...

Trivia

Remember that long sequence of events in Book 7 where Ovid focuses on the character of Medea? It turns out that Ovid actually wrote a tragic play about Medea, which was wildly popular in ancient Ro...

Steaminess Rating

The Greek and Roman myths are lots of fun for the whole family, right? They've got adventure, comedy, tragedy, conflict, love – you name it. Uhhh. OK. We hate to break it to you, but Ovid's M...

Allusions

Homer, the Iliad (13.162-381, 14.477). Ulysses's speech about his deeds in the Trojan War refers to many incidents from Homer's poem; it also includes details that were part of the later tradition...
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