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Analysis: Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

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 Rome. Unfortunately, this play has not survived. If you have some spare time, you could try your hand at writing a play about Medea the way Ovid would have imagined it. Or you could do it your own way. (Source)

In William Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, a troop of incompetent actors performs a dramatic reenactment of the story of Pyramus and Thisbe from Book 4 of the Metamorphoses. This scene (Act 5, scene 1), can be found here.

The Victorian English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne wrote a play, called Atalanta in Calydon, based on events from the Metamorphoses.

T. S. Eliot's famous poem The Waste Land incorporates many motifs from Ovid. We don't want to spoil you fun in finding them out, but this website, which features a hypertext of the poem, can help.

The English poet W. H. Auden wrote a famous poem entitled "Musée des Beaux Arts" ("Museum of Fine Arts") based on the painting "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" by the Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder. (Check out our "Best of the Web" section for a link to this painting.) Brueghel's painting depicts the death of Icarus from Book 8 of Ovid's Metamorphoses. You can check out Auden's poem here. Do you think that Ovid would have agreed with Auden's reflections on human suffering?

The English poet and author Ted Hughes wrote a collection of free verse adaptations of motifs from Ovid's poem entitled Tales From Ovid.

The Irish poet Ciaran Carson adapted motifs from Ovid's Metamorphoses in his 1994 book First Language; he used Ovid's depictions of violence to comment on the history of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. (Source)

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