The Importance Of Power In Tales From Ovid
In “Actaeon”, the young hunter Actaeon suffers a cruel, unfair fate because of Diana’s impulsive and unjust use of her powers. In Tales from Ovid, by Ted Hughes, Ovid conveys that when people abuse their power it victimizes others and as a result hurts innocent people because people with power are void of compassion.
In one of the myths that support Ovid’s purpose, “Callisto and Arcas,” Jove abuses his power to forcefully take advantage of Callisto, and leaves her deeply disturbed, pregnant, and later changed by his wife, because Jove hadn’t thought of Callisto and was selfish. The hunting goddess Diana’s favorite nymph, Callisto, is bitterly deceived by Jove disguised as Diana. In the middle of the forest, she is raped by him. Because Callisto is left pregnant, she is looked down upon by her friends and Diana, making her leave the group. Then she is absent-mindedly transformed by Juno, Jove’s wife, into a bear after having the child. Arcas, her child, then hunts his own mother right before they are both turned into constellations by Jove. This part of the myth emphasizes …show more content…
The young hunter Actaeon accidentally stumbled upon the goddess of hunt, Diana, and her nymphs bathing in a secluded area in the forest. Diana, afflicted with embarrassment and fury, does not think twice about transforming Actaeon into a stag with a flick of water. The Actaeon suffers, voiceless in the cold woods, and is gruesomely pulled apart by the hounds he had once hunted along with. As stated by the narrator, “These three pinned their master as the Pack poured onto him like an avalanche. Every hound filled its jaws Till there was hardly a mouth not gagged and crammed With hair and muscle Then began the tugging and the ripping,” (Hughes, Pg. 102-103). There is a harsh touch to the story with this part and its irony. The fact that Actaeon’s own hounds don’t know who he truly is and keep eating away shows how Actaeon cannot blame them for his fate, and his consequences are completely unfair. There is also a simile that enforces the already disturbing imagery. When the hounds “pour onto him like an avalanche”, it paints an image of them being unable to control their nature and hunger, and how Actaeon cannot do anything about it since he is helpless. The irony makes a great impact on the reader by showing how Actaeon couldn’t save himself, how he had to forcefully meet his fate as he