Ovid, S Metamorphoses And Hesiod's Theogony

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Roman and Greek mythology consist of multiple interpretations of how the creator, be it the gods or nature, contributed to the birth of the world. These stories draw the backgrounds of the gods and goddesses that govern much of classical mythology. Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Hesiod’s Theogony are two pieces of work that account for how our universe came to be. A comparison of Theogony with Metamorphoses reveals that Hesiod’s creation story portrays the deities as having an omnipresent, powerful function who are at the center of the universe’s creation whereas, in Metamorphoses, the gods do not play a significant role; rather the humans are at the center of the creation. The similarities and differences are evident in the construction of the …show more content…
Theogony initially begins with conveying that the universe was in chaos, thereby already informing the reader that a solution is essential. Similarly, in Metamorphoses, Ovid describes the world as “featureless, —what men call chaos: undigested mass of crude, confused, and scumbled elements” (Ovid 3). However, chaos did not necessarily relate to disorder, but a dark, purposeless space from which the universe was created—a vital aspect that both authors outline. The gods mating with each other could resolve this disorder, according to Hesiod, and the offspring are playing a crucial role in the foundation of the universe. This is demonstrated in ‘ Other Early Gods’ and ‘The Birth of the Olympians, ' gods that later play a substantial role in creating and sustaining the universe. The Olympian gods are therefore equal with the order of the universe and hence the universe itself. This puts an emphasis on the idea that the actions, the will of the immortals, and its effects influenced creation: resulting in a world that is naturally governed by the gods. On the contrary, Ovid’s interpretation of the universe consists of the mortal being a crucial aspect and its actions having a direct effect on the world. To begin with, Ovid does not focus on describing the origin of the Olympian gods; rather he explains how man is made in the image of God. Ovid describes it as “An animal with higher intellect, more noble, able—one to …show more content…
Hesiod’s version of the Ages of Man is allotted into five distant phases—the Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroes, and the Iron Age. In contrast, Ovid’s poetry has four different stages- Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Age. A striking difference, however, lies in the interpretation of the Silver Age. Hesiod describes the Silver Age as a result of an act of vengeance by Zeus to humankind because they disregarded their responsibility as devotees. The mortals, according to Hesiod “…could not bring themselves to serve the immortals, nor sacrifice at their altars…Cronos’ son, got angry and did away with them. Because they weren’t giving the blessed Gods their honour.” (Hesiod 165). The gods, in Hesiod’s interpretation, were ones to be feared by man and hence must be appeased. Conversely, in Ovid’s interpretation, the Silver Age is described as a stage where humans are coping with the changes in nature and trying to evolve and develop. This emphasizes that mortals, in the face of change are adaptable and hence can cope with a dynamic universe that is always changing. Ovid does not depict the Olympian gods as a factor of trepidation, but as figures that create change. Jove in the Silver Age introduced the four seasons, “Jove’s rule began; the silver age…The air was incandescent, parched by blazing heat…men sought—for the first time—the shelter of a house” (Ovid 7). Another important difference

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