From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Analysis: Tone

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?

Witty, Humorous, Malicious

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 purposes, making them look ridiculous, or fixating on details that are strange or grotesque. The trick to pulling this off is a witty, humorous tone. By keeping things light, the poet lets the reader in on the joke. At the same time, however, Ovid also deals with some pretty heavy stuff, and sometimes he does seem to take a strange amount of pleasure in his characters' suffering. For this reason, we also think there's a streak of maliciousness in his tone.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement