Essay on Theme of Revenge in Ovid's Metamorphoses

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Theme of Revenge in Metamorphoses

 

Revenge is a recurring theme in the book Metamorphoses. It is usually the cause of whatever transformation the stories are explaining. The gods are always avenging themselves and changing mortals into animals or plants so that they can prove their own superiority.

 

The first instance of a revenge transformation is when Jove turns Lycaon into a wolf. Lycaon met Jove in a mortal form but didn't believe that he was actually a god. Lycaon tried to kill Jove while he was sleeping. After that he boiled human flesh and tried to feed it to Jove. This is the reason for Jove's revenge and Lycaon's transformation.

 

Io was a young girl who Jove raped, and Juno had suspected
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Because Battus didn't keep his promise, Mercury turned him into a touch-stone.

 

Minerva took her time to exact revenge upon Aglauros for breaking her promise to the goddess. Instead of immediately transforming the girl, Minerva let Aglauros' cunning put her in the perfect position for Minerva to get revenge. Minerva didn't even have to do the dirty work. She sent Envy to poison the girl and then Mercury changed Aglauros to stone because she would not let Mercury into Herse's room. Minerva had planned her revenge very precisely.

 

Another instance of revenge is when Actaeon was walking through the woods after he had been hunting. He walked into a clearing that had a lake. In the lake was Diana, and she was naked. Although this was an accident, Diana punished Actaeon by changing him into a deer. As Actaeon was running away, his hunting dogs saw him and ripped him to pieces.

 

Arachne was a Maeonian girl who boasted about her ability to spin and weave wool. Minerva came in the disguise of an old woman and challenged Arachne to a weaving contest. They both wove beautiful scenes. Minerva was furious that Arachne had woven something so flawless. Minerva hit Arachne in the head until Arachne finally hung herself.

 

Nessus was a centaur who had tried to help Hercules by carrying Deianira across a river. Hercules heard Deianira scream and he shot Nessus. The centaur had his revenge on Hercules because he

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