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The Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses

by Ovid

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

Third Person (Omniscient), First Person (Central Narrator), First Person (Peripheral Narrator)

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, be they mortals, or gods, or mortals transformed into animals. Because Ovid likes to be tricky, however, he also often lets characters tell their own stories, or let characters tell other peoples' stories, or tell stories other people told about themselves, and so on. In this way, all three of narrative techniques listed above are represented in Ovid's work.

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