The Unfortunate Story Of Actaeon Essay

1531 Words Oct 1st, 2016 7 Pages
The unfortunate story of Actaeon, as recorded by Ovid, unfolds as follows: As the sun nears its peak on a warm day, Actaeon calls a halt to his hunting party, using the break to wander through an unknown area of the forest. During his exploration, he stumbles across the hunting goddess Diana naked. As punishment for what Actaeon has seen, Diana transforms him into a stag and wills him away into the forest. Soon after his hunting dogs catch his new scent and unknowingly kill their previous owner, thus completing the punishment of the goddess. Preceding this account, Ovid claims that “destiny was to blame for Actaeon’s misfortunes, not any guilt on his own part.” In other words, Ovid’s interpretation of blame is that Actaeon is free of guilt because his encounter with Diana is not deliberate. Though his act in itself was evil and he is punished for it, the evil did not originate in Actaeon but in destiny, which is uncontrollable by man. I, on the other hand, contend that Actaeon indeed was responsible for his own demise and that the evil of the act emerged from Actaeon himself. What Ovid ignored in his assessment of this evil’s inception was that the sequence of events actually derived from an element within Actaeon, a characteristic that is shared in all people, curiosity. I will defend my thesis that Actaeon was curious and therefore not innocent foremost by defining curiosity; then I will use examples from the text, a comparison with a similar Bible account, and…

Related Documents