Desire In The Metamorphoses Of Ovid

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In The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Ovid interprets etiological myths focusing on desires’ impact on the human form. I will focus on the daughters of Minyas and the stories they tell during this essay. All of the characters in these passages have a desire that cannot be fulfilled because their human form or human social conventions place limitations on them. Refusing to live with their desires unfulfilled, the characters’ attempt to push the limits, but are always met with resistance. Unable to resolve the tension between who they are and what they want, the gods intervene in the characters’ lives. The gods attempt to fulfill the characters’ desires by transforming the characters’ bodies into shapes that are better suited to the desires they …show more content…
Pyramus and Thisbe were “forbidden by their parents” to marry, and a wall between their houses meant that they could only express their love through words (111-112). As any lovers would be, their desire for each other is unfulfilled. The social conventions that demand parental approval prevents them from becoming man and wife. Their parents’ rules drive them to the wall. The wall, also a human construct, is a second barrier for the lovers. Not only are they forbidden to marry, but the wall even prevents them from expressing love to one another in any physical form. Despite the wall’s strength, it has a crack in it that allows the two to speak, which in turn means that their love strengthens. As their love grows, their separation becomes increasingly problematic. The wall and its crack symbolize both the strength and imperfect nature of social conventions. While the conventions are strong enough to keep the two from being married, the convention of obeying parents also leaves powerful voids in the two lovers’ hearts. While a commonly accepted social convention that kept the two lovers apart, the three sisters are controlled by an idea they create. Because they believe that Minerva is a “much finer deity” than Bacchus, they believe that leaving their work at the loom would be impious. Minerva, nor her priestesses, set this law because the rest of the women attended the festival. While they seem to only have desire for the loom, they admit that the work is “tedious,” which indicates that they have a negative attitude toward their work (110). Also, they each choose to tell a story that explores the nature of desire. Telling the stories allows each of them to experience desire vicariously through the characters in their stories. Together, these two choices show that are not entirely fulfilled by sitting at the loom. Whether accepted by a few or by many,

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