Study Guide

Glaucus and Scylla Context

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Mega-awesome Roman poet, Ovid wins the award for most famous version of the tale of "Glaucus and Scylla." In his huge collection of mythological poems, The Metamorphoses, he lays out the whole sad story. Glaucus and Scylla each make separate appearances in other well-known works. The Argonauts get some help from Glaucus, the prophetic merman, in the Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius and The Library of History by Diodorus Siculus. Monster-fied Scylla munches on some of Odysseus' crew in Homer's Odyssey. Much later, in the 1700's, a composer name Jean-Marie Leclaire wrote an opera version of the story called Scylla et Glaucus. (Not the most original title, but okay.)

Nobody's bothered to make a modern movie version of this story, though we think there's really a missed opportunity here. (Come on, Hollywood, this story is gold.) You'll find Scylla in her monster form in pretty much every film version of the Odyssey ever. It's pretty hard for those filmmakers to resist a giant monster that viciously devours a bunch of Odysseus' crew. (Hey, if it puts butts in the seats... ) Glaucus hasn't made an appearance in any movies that we know of, but biologists have used his name for a particularly weird-looking breed of sea slug. Most people would probably not be too honored by this, but we're guessing Glaucus thinks it's cool. He's never been big on looks, anyway.

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