Ovidian Myths Antiquity Has Had Essay
- Length: 5 pages
- Subject: Literature
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #69287474
Excerpt from Essay :
However, people have had a choice, and, while they could have continued to grow their crops peacefully, they preferred to fight endlessly instead, having despair constantly present in the world. It is not certain whether or not people could have actually stopped evil from entering their lives, but it is certain that it would need a miracle for it to disappear.
The poet presents the tyrant Lycaon as being a symbol of the ages in which people had been devoted to engaging in battle without taking into account the fact that it had been extremely ineffective and malicious. Lycaon proved his disinterest for people by offering his own son as a sacrifice for the gods. This act had acted as an offense towards the Gods, which, in their turn, transformed Lycaon into a werewolf-like creature, which had been both man and wolf in the same time. Ovid made a reference to the fact that people that perform evil activities have little humanity remaining in them, as they act similar to how animals due, with little emotional response being present within their minds.
Ovid also chose to relate to the Biblical flood when describing the beginning of the world. However, he changed the story greatly, to the point where the only beings to have survived the flood had been Deucalion, the son of Prometheus, and his wife Pyrrha. Mankind had been punished because of the depravity that they have shown at the time that they made a human sacrifice to Zeus. Even the gods had deemed the act of human sacrifice to be an abomination.
Most probably, Ovid had attempted to provide evidence relating to people being able to change their nature when presented with a critical condition. The two people left had become aware of how little and fragile they were and that it would only require for the gods to command another flood in order for them to perish. Moreover, even with the fact that the couple had been certain of their situation, it became obvious that it had been a divine intervention deciding that "two remain; a species in a pair." Along with the death of the rest of mankind, Deucalion and Pyrrha had changed their nature, wanting themselves and their successors to be certain that such a disaster would never take place again.
Craving to improve their relationship with the gods, humans appealed to a desperate solution. However, they did not realize that the action that they resorted to had been perverted and that it was directed against everything that mankind stood for. In response, the gods decided to end humanity, with the intention of preventing such acts from ever taking place. The interference made by Prometheus demonstrated that people had actually been capable of changing their nature.
Considering both the ages of man and the legend of Deucalion from the Metamorphoses, it would only be natural to conclude that people had received another chance at being good to one another. It is curious how people come to their senses only when they are being faced with life-threatening conditions.
There are practically no limits to how humans can behave, as they are instinctively inspired to express their superiority towards others. Both Lycaon and the rest of mankind did not look into the chaos that they were provoking and the gods decided to end life as it had been. The fact that Deucalion and his wife were saved from having the same destiny as the rest of people had been but a coincidence, as there had been little difference between themselves and the others. Ovid also attempts to exhibit the fact that people do not require special characteristics in order to be good, since anyone, regardless of their backgrounds, has the power to appreciate peace for what it is and to condemn evil.
Nothing ever stays the same when concerning humans, as they are constantly determined to change their behavior. Moreover, nothing is as it seems when relating to people, as even those that tend to be perfect have their flaws. Abilities that seem to be gifts are also curses, with characters such as Arachne and Daedulus having been constrained and controlled by others that attempted to illustrate their supremacy. In Ovid's opinion, people need to assume responsibility over the changes that they experience during their lives, in order for them to be…